The first official trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) is finally here. And while the footage teases only a handful of characters, producer Seth Rogen confirmed the entire cast list at this year’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. So here’s a guide to all the Mutant Mayhem characters who will be appearing in the upcoming film (as confirmed), along with the star-studded cast…
The mutant rat in TMNT goes by a number of different names — Father, Sensei, Master — but he’s more simply known as Splinter. Father to Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello, Splinter is a master at martial arts, and sworn enemy of The Shredder.
But with The Shredder nowhere in sight in Mutant Mayhem, and with the four Ninja Turtles appearing to be in their early teenage years, it’s likely we’ll also be dropping in on Splinter at an earlier point in his life, which might explain his bizarre hair-do in the trailer!
In many iterations of TMNT, Splinter was formerly a human martial artist named Hamato Yoshi. And given the excellent casting choice of Jackie Chan in Mutant Mayhem, it’s more than likely that the filmmakers have opted to go down this route.
Related: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Gets an R-Rated Reboot
Leo, Raph, Mikey, and Donnie
For the first time in TMNT history, the Turtles will be played by actual teenage actors. Nicolas Cantu will play leader Leonardo, Brady Noon will play hot-head Raphael, Shamon Brown Jr. will play jokester Michelangelo, and Micah Abbey will be the brainiac Donatello.
It will be interesting to see how these four Mutant Mayhem characters will play off one another in the new film, especially now that they’re a lot younger than we’ve ever seen them before, although the trailer does give us a pretty good idea about their dynamic.
Either way, we can’t wait to see what these four actors will bring to the table. While the Turtles appear to be on point with their individual personality types, it’s interesting to see that Donnie is the “baby” of the group instead of Mikey this time (and he’s already adorable).
Related: ‘TMNT’ Sequel Kills Off Original Heroes, Officially Replaces Them With Female Turtles
Just a few places down on our list and we’ve already entered controversial waters. In Mutant Mayhem, the Turtles’ human friend and news reporter April O’Neil will be played by African-American actress Ayo Edebiri. And this time, April herself is also African-American.
Many “fans” have been quick to lambast the film for featuring a Black version of April O’Neil, even though it’s entirely possible that the filmmakers decided to portray April as such because the best actress for the role happened to be African-American.
But even if this isn’t the reason, it really shouldn’t matter. Nevertheless, we’re excited to see this new iteration of April, and judging by the trailer, it would seem that she too is a lot younger this time, and it’s possible she’s a budding reporter. Podcaster or blogger, perhaps?
Related: Will One of These Actresses Play April O’Neil In the Live-Action ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot?!
Bebop and Rocksteady
The two Mutant Mayhem characters we’ve all been waiting for. While the two Michael Bay-produced live-action films Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and its sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) were panned by critics, they get a few things right.
One of those things was in the 2016 film, which was the first to bring bumbling villain duo Bebop and Rocksteady to life in live action, played by Gary Anthony Williams and Sheamus, respectively. And they were nothing short of perfect, both in human form and mutant form.
Now, the iconic mutant warthog and rhinoceros will be played by Seth Rogen and John Cena, respectively! In fact, we at Inside the Magic actually predicted that Seth Rogen would voice Bebop, largely because he had already voiced Pumbaa in The Lion King (2019)!
Related: First, Female Ninja Turtles, Now ‘TMNT’ Eyed For R-Rated Horror Reboot
Cynthia Utrom and Leatherhead
And so we arrive in the obscure Mutant Mayhem characters territory — at least to the non-diehard TMNT fans. As the title suggests, the upcoming film really is going to have some “mutant mayhem”, as the newly revealed cast/character list showcases a ton from the TMNT universe.
Among them are Leatherhead and Cynthia Utrom. While the former, a villainous mutant humanoid alligator, is a well-known character in TMNT lore, this time they will seemingly be portrayed as female, as Australian actress Rose Byrne is attached to the role.
Cynthia Utrom, however, is an entirely new character — well, sort of. The Utroms are a race of war-mongering aliens, whose most famous member you’ll know as Krang. Maya Rudolph will be voicing Cynthia Utrom, and we can only assume from her species that she’s bad!
Related: Will the Live-Action ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot Be All-Female?!
Ray Fillet and Mondo Gecko
American musician Post Malone will be playing the anthropomorphic manta ray Ray Fillet (what a great name). Interestingly, Post Malone performed the song “Sunflower” for the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), which Mutant Mayhem is already being compared with by many from an artistic standpoint, so it’s possible that Malone will also provide the title track for the upcoming film too.
Mondo Gecko will also be appearing in the film, having last appeared in the CG-animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012). As you’ve probably already guessed, he’s a mutated gecko, and great at skateboarding too, which will be a huge focus in the film, as Seth Rogen recently cited the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series as a huge source of inspiration. Oh, and he’s being played by Paul Rudd!
Related: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Gets R-Rated Prequel
Wingnut and Genghis Frog
Wingnut is a mutant alien bat who is usually partnered up with an alien mosquito named Screwloose (get it?). There’s no sign of his partner in crime in Mutant Mayhem, but Wingnut will no doubt be tied into the Utroms somehow, who just love making mutants. Like Leatherhead, Wingnut will this time seemingly be female, played by English comedian and What We Do In the Shadows (2019) star Natasia Demetriou.
And then there’s Genghis Frog, the leader of the four Punk Frogs, mutant brothers who have appeared in many TMNT iterations, including the ’80s cartoon. Though usually allies of the Turtles, whether or not Genghis will be a bad guy in Mutant Mayhem remains to be seen. He will be played by comedy actor Hannibal Buress.
Related: Paramount May Be Releasing an Open-World ‘Ninja Turtles’ Game In 2023
Baxter Stockman and Superfly
While it also remains to be seen what the likes of Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, and Paul Rudd will bring to the table as their respective mutants, the casting of Giancarlo Esposito as evil scientist Baxter Stockman is absolute perfection.
Esposito is best known for playing villains, such as Gus Fring in Breaking Bad (2008) and Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian (2019), so seeing him turn his hand as a TMNT villain is very exciting. However, there’s a little bit of a riddle to solve here.
Fans will know that Stockman becomes a mutant himself, as he transforms into “Superfly”, however, Ice Cube will actually be voicing that side of the character. Whether or not this will simply be an “alter ego”-type casting a ‘la Jekyll and Hyde, or that the characters have been split into two, remains to be seen.
Related: “Footage” Surfaces For R-Rated ‘TMNT’ Reboot, Marvel Star Was Set For Lead Role
Mutant Mayhem is the seventh theatrical TMNT movie. It follows Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), TMNT (2007), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016).
Check out the brand-new trailer for Mutant Mayhem below:
Related: ‘TMNT’ Prequel Follows ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot, Replaces Beloved Heroes With Female Turtles
As per Wikipedia, here’s the official synopsis for the film:
After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtles set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a notorious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.
Related: What Is the New Female ‘Ninja Turtles’ Sequel About?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem stars Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Micah Abbey (Donatello), Shamon Brown Jr. (Michelangelo), Brady Noon (Raphael), Jackie Chan (Splinter), Ayo Edebiri (April O’Neil), Seth Rogen (Bebop), John Cena (Rocksteady), Hannibal Buress (Genghis Frog), Rose Byrne (Leatherhead), Ice Cube (Superfly), Post Malone (Ray Fillet), Paul Rudd (Mondo Gecko), Maya Rudolph (Cynthia Utrom), Natasia Demetriou (Wingnut), and Giancarlo Esposito (Baxter Stockman).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) will be released in theaters on August 4, 2023.
Related: 10 Things We Want to See in an Open-World ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Game
Which Mutant Mayhem characters are you looking forward to seeing the most? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!