The secret [of the Ooze] is out, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will return to Nickelodeon in 2018 with a brand-new animated series. Titled Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the show is "a reimagining that follows the band of brothers as they encounter new allies and villains and discover a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City,"
Rise will replace the current 3D-animated TMNT series and take after the version from the late 1980s with a more traditional 2D approach.
More importantly, the voice cast was announced as follows:
Omar Miller (Ballers) as Raphael, Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, Josh Brener (Silicon Valley) as Donatello, Brandon Mychal Smith (You’re The Worst) as Michelangelo and Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) as April O’Neil, and Eric Bauza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Master Splinter.
“This incredible roster of voice actors provides a fresh take on these globally recognized characters, and they are going to bring this version of the Turtles to life in a whole new way,” said Chris Viscardi, Senior Vice President, Production and Development, Animation. “We have reimagined the series to be filled with humor, loads of action and a dynamic look, and it’s packed with all new heroes, villains and cityscapes for the Turtles to explore.”
In terms of character breakdowns, here are Nick's descriptions for every major character:
"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."
The first 26 episodes are being directed by legendary voice actor Rob Paulsen (Yakko from The Animaniacs) who voiced Raphael and Donatello in the 1987 and 2012 cartoons respectively. Andy Suriano (character designer, Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (supervising producer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), both Emmy-award winners, are on board as executive producers.
After two poorly-received live action films based on Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's original comic series, it seems that animation is the best way to bring the pizza-eating, karate-using, '90s surfer slang-spouting reptiles to the eager masses.