Earlier this week, Nickelodeon produced a press release revealing the voice actors for Rise of the TMNT. Although most of this information was perfectly innocuous, there was one detail that confused some long time fans of the franchise. Raphael was described as the “leader” of the group, while Leonardo was “the self-professed ‘coolest’ brother.” Needless to say, this would be a monumental change to the formula of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While some shellheads were accepting of this potential alteration, others were very unhappy.
At the time, we suggested that this description might have been a mistake in the press release. Thankfully, we now have even more evidence that this information may not have been entirely accurate. Nickelodeon has just released a teaser video featuring the new voice actors for Rise of the TMNT, and each one describes the role their character will play in the cartoon. When Omar Miller explained what his role would be, it sounded a lot more like the Raphael that we all know and love.
“I relate to Raphael, because often times I act before I think. Raph is the meathead. The aggression and the overall brotherly caring that he brings as a big brother can’t be overstated.”
Now, none of this confirms that Raphael won’t actually be the leader, but it’s clear that most of his characterization has not actually been revised. Raph will still be the hothead who takes on all challengers, and that is definitely nice to hear. When it came time for Ben Schwartz to describe his role as Leonardo, he simply added that “he gets to be funny, he gets to be laid back, which is so fun to play.” This sounds a lot like the “cool” description he was given in the press release, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be the leader.
— TMNT (@TMNT) November 3, 2017
That being said, many fans have pointed out that this wouldn’t necessarily be a terrible decision. Some suggest that Raphael may start out as the leader and eventually be replaced by Leo. Others propose that this might be an alternate universe of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where certain details are a little different. Considering the way that this franchise plays with different dimensions, it’s entirely possible that Nickelodeon will choose to take this route with Rise of the TMNT.
Unfortunately, until Nickelodeon either confirms or denies these details, we’ll have to continue accepting the possibility that Raph may indeed be the new leader. At the very least, we now know that Raphael will remain the ‘meathead’ of the group. We’ll let you know when and if any additional details are made available.