Seth Rogen Talks Remaking 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Starring Actual Teenagers (Exclusive)

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem' hits theaters on Aug. 2.

Everyone's favorite sewer-dwelling, pizza-gobbling, crime-fighting reptiles are back in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, but this time there's one major difference -- the titular turtles are actually played by teenagers!

"They're often middle-aged men doing Teenage-Voiced Mutant Ninja Turtles," joked Seth Rogen when he sat down with ET's Will Marfuggi to talk about how a life-long love of the titular turtles led to writing and producing the latest installment in the long-running franchise.

"I was really the target audience for the first iteration of all this stuff," he explained, noting that he watched the TMNT cartoons and movies as a kid and was "obsessed" with the toys. "My dad bought like, a big box of used Ninja Turtle toys at a garage sale when I was a kid, and so I had those and I played with them so much."

However, Rogen admitted, "I always thought that the 'Teenage' part of it was weirdly under-explored, you know?"

For his movie, the Dumb Money star added in more details about the turtles' desire to be just regular teens, and wanted the cast to be made up of voice actors that were closer in age to their characters than past iterations.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers star Brady Noon, 17, is Raphael, the bravest and strongest -- but also most impulsive -- of his brothers, who wears a red mask and fights with two pronged sai weapons.

Paramount Pictures

The Amazing World of Gumball's Nicolas Cantu, 19, plays Leonardo, "the leader and the most honorable and responsible" of the turtles, who wears blue and wields two katana. 

Paramount Pictures

Cousins for Life star Micah Abbey, 15, plays the "wise and resourceful" Donatello, who wears a purple mask and wields a bō staff. 

Paramount Pictures

And The Chi's Shamon Brown Jr., 19, is Michelangelo, the heart and charismatic soul of the family. "Mikey," as his brothers call him, dons an orange mask and primarily fights with nunchucks, though he's wielded other weapons throughout the years.

Paramount Pictures

"It's always [been] the same kind of energy, from the beginning," Brown Jr. said of stepping into a beloved role that multiple actors have played throughout the years. "Mikey, personally, being like the funny one and you know, the loving one, I kind of embodied that in to this, just [adding] the modern day feel to it."

Part of that modern feel, Rogen admitted, came from letting the core foursome improvise and inject some modern-day teen speak to make up for the old, outdated "cowabungas" -- which would feel totally anachronistic in 2023.

"I think it was so important that the freedom that Jeff [Rowe, Mutant Mayhem director] and Seth gave us and kind of the trust that they put into us being like, 'I think these kids know the generation better then we do as older men,'" Noon shared, earning a guffaw from Rogen. "I think that that was really important that we just had that trust and [knew] certain slangs that we can put into the film to make it better understanding for our generation."

"Most of it was just Seth and Jeff giving us like, the reins to be crazy," Cantu agreed, recalling that Rogen and Rowe would often hear the boys joking around off-camera and ask them to recreate the dialogue in the booth.

"We cast them well and we just knew if they were essentially themselves, honestly, that it would convey the right dynamic and it would be the right energy," Rogen noted. "That was like so helpful and it's why the movie feels natural, and I think why you stop thinking of them as turtles and you start thinking of them as teenagers within like, 30 seconds of seeing them on screen."

For Rogen, it was an exercise in feeling a bit out of his depth as a writer.

"A large part of it was acknowledging, like, I don't know how these kids talk anymore," he admitted. "When we wrote Superbad, we had such a handle of how 18-year-olds in 2004 spoke, you know what I mean? But now it's like 20 years later... We don't want to sound like 40-year-old men writing for teenagers."

"I don't know half the stuff they say in the movie," he joked, teasing the cast, "I signed off on it. I've heard since that it's really offensive."

The film also stars Jackie Chan as Master Splinter, Ayo Edebiri as April O'Neil, Ice Cube as Superfly, Rogen as Bebop, John Cena as Rocksteady, Hannibal Buress, Rose Byrne, Natasia Demetriou, Post Malone, Paul Rudd, Giancarlo Esposito and Maya Rudolph.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is in theaters Aug. 2.