Writer, producer, and actor Seth Rogen has explained what sets Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem apart from other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles projects. The upcoming film will retell the story of the Ninja Turtles as they face an army of mutants with ties to a mysterious crime syndicate. The movie will be released on August 4 and will be part of its own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles storyline, separate from a planned live-action reboot from Saturday Night Live‘s Colin Jost and his brother Casey.
While discussing the film at Paramount’s CinemaCon 2023 panel, of which Screen Rant was in attendance, Rogen explained that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem will be set apart from other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles projects by focusing more on the teenage element of the characters. The film’s producer/writer/star revealed it was an intentional decision to cast real teenagers as the voices of the Ninja Turtles. Check out what Rogen had to say below:
I love these characters — they were weird, noble, brave and smart. When I got the opportunity to put my own stamp on it, I knew the versions that had come before had never leaned into the teenage element. We thought: ‘What if we cast actual teenagers and we capture their insane teenage energy?’ And that’s what we did. They said a lot of disgusting things we couldn’t use in the movie!
How Mutant Mayhem Can Honor TMNT’s Legacy
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem‘s teenage cast includes Nicolas Cantu as Leonardo, Brady Noon as Raphael, Micah Abbey as Donatello, Shamon Brown Jr. as Michelangelo. Because all four actors are young, their take on the titular team will be quite different from previous movies and TV series. However, Rogen’s comments underscore that importance of making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem stand out from previous projects in the franchise.
Even with a larger focus on the teenage elements of the team, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem still has plenty of ways it can honor prior Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles projects while still feeling fresh. Rogen himself will be voicing Bebop, John Cena will play Rocksteady, and Giancarlo Esposito will be portraying Baxter Stockman. The number of legacy characters from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the movie means there’s plenty of ways the film can reference and make homage to prior incarnations of the Turtles.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem casting also hints at legacy villain Krang making an appearance. While unconfirmed, the possibility opens the door for plenty of other unconfirmed character appearances, which would honor the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stories that came before the film. But no matter how many references to past iterations Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has, it’s clear Rogen wants the movie to stand on its own as a new story for the franchise.