Nickelodeon has officially announced the full cast for its upcoming Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series.
Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) and Josh Brener (Silicon Valley) have joined the show as April O’Neil and Donatello, respectively. This finalizes the group that already includes Omar Miller (Ballers) as Raphael, Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, and Brandon Mychal Smith (You’re the Worst) as Michelangelo. Eric Bauza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) has also been cast as Splinter.
While Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will change several conventions from previous TMNT adaptations, the biggest of all seems to be that Raphael will now serve as the leader of the team, while Leonardo will be depicted as the “self-professed ‘coolest’ brother.”
“This incredible roster of voice actors provides a fresh take on these globally recognized characters,” Chris Viscardi, senior vp production and development, animation, at Nickelodeon said in a statement. “They are going to bring this version of the Turtles to life in a whole new way.”
He also spoke about the direction the new series will go in, explaining, “we have reimagined the series to be filled with humor, loads of action and a dynamic look.” The series will also bring “all-new heroes, villains and cityscapes for the Turtles to explore.”
Veteran voice actor Rob Paulsen, who voiced Raphael in the original 1987 series, will be voice directing Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Miller commented on this by saying “to get to voice this fictional character who had such a giant positive impact on my childhood is an honor. And to boot, I’m being directed by the man who voiced Raphael in my childhood.”
Here’s the official description of the characters, direct from Nickelodeon’s press release: “The highly comedic voice cast shapes the team in a fresh way and breathes new life into the characters’ distinct personalities, including: Raphael, as the oldest and physically biggest brother, he is now the leader and his enthusiasm and bravado puts him front and center for most of their bizarre adventures; Leonardo, the self-professed ‘coolest’ brother possesses irreverent charm and a rebel heart; Donatello, an unflappable mechanical genius and tech wizard whose ninja skills are second only to his coding; Michelangelo, the youngest brother, an artist and awesome skateboarder with a wild colorful, and imaginative personality; and the Turtles’ most trusted ally, April O’Neil, a street savvy native New Yorker who is always ready to join in the fun. Additionally, Eric Bauza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) joins the cast as Splinter, both father figure and sensei to the Turtles.”
This will be Nickelodeon’s second TMNT animated series with 2012’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ending after five season. The new 2D-animated series will debut with 26 episodes in 2018 and is co-executive produced by Andy Suriano and Ant Ward.
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