Nickelodeon is once again revamping Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and they've announced an all-new voice cast for the show. What's also new is that the series looks to be shaking up the original formula for the team, and Raphael is coming out as the new leader.
According to Collider, the new cast involves Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, Josh Brenner (Silicon Valley) as Donatello, Omar Miller (Ballers) as Raphael, Brandon Mychal Smith (You're the Worst) as Michaelangelo, and Kat Graham (The Vampire Diaries) as April O'Neil. Eric Bauza is also providing the voice for Splinter.
It's also said that Raphael will be the new leader of the team, being the oldest and brawniest of the four. For now it seems that Leonardo will be taking the role of the "cool rebel"; I expect nothing less from Ben Schwartz.
Here are the character descriptions:
- 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
- April O'Neil, the Turtles' most trusted ally, as a street savvy native New Yorker who is always ready to join in the fun.
It's also worth noting that this version of April O'Neil will be the first African-American iteration of the character.
The show will be co-ran by Andy Suriano (Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (TMNT) and voice director will be veteran voice actor Rob Paulsen.
Though I admit that it's good to change the formula from time to time, I don't know violently fans will react to Raphael being the leader of the group. All I'm thinking is that the show is planning to build up to Leonardo growing up to be the leader. It's always Leo and Raph who end up clashing when it comes to leading the team in previous versions of the turtles anyway, so I can see that happening in this show as well.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set for a release in 2018.