Seth Rogen’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Sounds Just Like A Rogen Movie In First Trailer, Down To The Shrek Joke

It’s been several years since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles last graced the big screen, with their most recent cinematic endeavor being the Michael Bay-produced Out of the Shadows in 2016. While the franchise has been a consistent force on the small screen, it's now headed back to cinemas, thanks to the efforts of Seth Rogen. We’ve known for a while now that the star has been working on a new film called TMNT: Mutant Mayhem, and he’s shared small details over the last several months. Well, now, the first trailer has arrived, and it drives home the point that this is  a Rogen-produced flick through and through – even down to the A+ Shrek joke. 

The first trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is definitely more of a teaser, but it does give fans a good sense of the vibe that Rogen and co. are going for. The footage mostly focuses on the four main protagonists, which makes sense. While it’s unclear if the heroes in a half shell are each 15 here (as is the norm), they feel a lot younger this time around. That’s not a bad thing, though, as that childlike wonder brings a freshness to the proceedings. The same is true in regard to Rogen’s creative touch.

There are several scenes here alone in which you can sense the Superbad writer and devotee's influence. The fact that the trailer sees the four brothers (recklessly) using their weapons for pleasure – and recording it at that – tells you that we’re in for some true coming-of-age shenanigans. Another scene that exemplifies this tone is the turtles’ encounter with some thugs, which sees Donatello take a sai to the leg. I don’t know what’s more on brand for the Canadian performer's work: Donnie’s pain or Leo’s awkward reaction to it. And of course, there’s the moment that the group are humorously likened to baby Shreks, which is hilarious. And that explanation of the ooze is simply perfect.

More on TMNT: Mutant Mayhem

TMNT: Mutant Mayhem Logo


Seth Rogen Explains His Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie's Totally Tubular Connection To Tony Hawk

Seth Rogen deserves a lot of credit, because putting a new spin on the beloved ninjas is no small task. Yet if this trailer is any indication, Rogen, director Jeff Rowe (of The Mitchells vs. the Machines) and screenwriter Brendan O’Brien (who penned both Neighbors movies) might’ve succeeded. There are still plenty of details being kept under wraps, but what we do know about Mutant Mayhem is that it’ll see the sheltered siblings seeking to earn the approval of their fellow New Yorkers. Their efforts thrust them into a battle with a mysterious crime syndicate and, eventually, they're forced to take on an army of mutants.

This trailer comes on the heels of the actor/producer revealing the star-studded cast of Mutant Mayhem. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael are played by newcomers Nicolas Cantu, Shamon Brown Jr., Micah Abbey and Brady Noon, respectively. Jackie Chan is set to voice their wise rat master, Splinter, with Paul Rudd playing Mondo Gecko and The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri lending her talents to April O’Neil. Seth Rogen is also set to voice Bebop, while John Cena joins him as Rocksteady. Other notable stars include Giancarlo Esposito, Maya Rudolph and Ice Cube.

The pieces are in place for what could be a totally tubular big-screen adventure. Let’s hope the Pineapple Express writer and his team are able to pull it off in tremendous fashion. Though considering his track record, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his take on the lovable team of adolescent superheroes.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem opens in theaters on August 4 as part of the schedule of 2023 new movie releases.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.