After having a very successful 5 year run, Nickelodeon has decided to cancel the 2012 rendition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, after it’s most interesting and mini story arc driven season Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which saw the return of Usagi Yojimbo to the series after a long licensing issue kept him from the secondary series that made the Rabbit a part of pop culture. The replacement, along with the voice cast, has been announced.
The new TMNT animated series scheduled to kick off in 2018 on Nickelodeon will be called Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and this one is going back to 2D animation, something that hasn’t been done with the series since the 2002 reboot series that lasted 7 seasons. One of the executive producers on this show is Andy Suriano who has worked on character design on Samurai Jack, and he’s working with Ant Ward, the supervising producer who has helped make the most recent series a critical success; so the new series looks to be in good hands animation wise.
Here’s the official synopsis, courtesy of Nickelodeon:
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles follows Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello and Michelangelo on all-new adventures as they seek to unlock the mystical secrets of New York City. From the tallest skyscraper to the dankest sewer drain, the Turtles will encounter absurd new mutants and battle bizarre creatures all while enjoying their favorite slice of pizza. Tapping into mystic, ninja powers they never knew existed, the four brothers must learn to work together and navigate the perils of the modern age and hidden realms in order to fulfill their destiny to become a team of heroes.
Nickelodeon has now announced the impressive voice cast as well: 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 will voice Splinter.
Check out the official character descriptions for the team, too!
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.
Now while there has been a very diverse cast brought together for Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a rumor has been going around the internet stating that April O’Neil will be an African-American woman. However it is highly possible that the website reporting this as fact has gotten confused with the voice actress for the character being African-American. So take that with a gain of salt at the moment. Even though in the original Mirage Comic series, April O’Neil was a woman of African-American inspired in her look but her heritage has never been made public.
“The Turtles is a property that has reinvention in its DNA, which keeps it fresh and relevant to every new generation while satisfying the demand from its adult fans,” said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon Group in a statement earlier this year. “Turtles has been an incredibly important franchise for us since we reignited it five years ago, and we’re excited for the new series to take the characters in a different direction with more humor, a younger and lighter feel and all-new dimensions to explore.”
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will run for 26 episodes when it arrives in 2018. A press release from Nickelodean can be found here.