Ben Schwartz and Kat Graham Join Voice Cast of Nickelodeon’s Reboot of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'
By Stacy Lambe
Nickelodeon’s 2D-animated reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise has found its voices.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will star 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. Eric Bauza, who voiced multiple characters on the network’s 3D version, returns as Splinter.
The new series follows the four turtles-turned-superheroes as they unlock the mystical secrets of New York City, battle new mutants and find the ultimate slice of pizza. The re-imagined series will also breathe new life into the longtime characters, with Raphael turned into an enthusiastic leader full of bravado, Leonardo becoming a charming rebel, Donatello as the ultimate tech wiz, and Michelangelo embracing his colorful artistic personality. The series will also introduce the first African American April.
“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.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles marks the latest animated series to find new life on TV. The Powerpuff Girls returned to the Cartoon Network in 2016 with the introduction of a fourth Powerpuff, Bliss. The network also brought back Samurai Jack for a fifth and final season after 13 years off the air. And a reboot of DuckTales premiered on DisneyXD in September, with Schwartz also lending his voice to Dewey Duck.
First launched in 1987, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ran in syndication until 1990 and then on CBS until 1996. After various iterations on TV, FOX introduced the first revival in 2003, where it ran for six seasons before airing its seventh and final on Cartoon Network. Nickelodeon took over the franchise, introducing a 3D-animated version in 2012. Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will the franchise’s return to 2D animation. It’s the latest reboot of the franchise, which follows the two live-action films starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett and others.
The new 26-episode series is set to debut in 2018.