‘TMNT’: Johnny Knoxville to Voice Leonardo, Tony Shalhoub to Voice Splinter

Published 1 year ago by

Leonardo in TMNT teaser trailer TMNT: Johnny Knoxville to Voice Leonardo, Tony Shalhoub to Voice Splinter

Whether we’re ready or not, Jonathan Liebesman’s big-budget Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is on the way this summer. The pizza-loving heroes have been given a redesign, Megan Fox has been given the role of April O’Neill, and fans of the franchise are watching each new reveal with a mixture of intrigue and wariness.

Although the first teaser trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released last week, the casting wasn’t quite complete at the time. A new announcement has revealed that Leonardo and Splinter will each be played by two different actors: their previously confirmed motion capture performers on set and some very familiar names in the recording studio.

Deadline reports that group leader Leonardo will be voiced by daredevil Johnny Knoxville, who was most recently seen playing the titular character in Bad Grandpa, the latest feature film from the Jackass crew. Knoxville is best known for putting himself in the path of danger in the name of glorious stupidity on Jackass, but has had a handful of acting roles in films such such as Men in Black II and The Dukes of Hazzard.

Knoxville isn’t the only new addition to the cast. Splinter, the turtles’ wise old rat mentor, will be voiced by Tony Shalhoub, who also appeared in the Men in Black franchise as well as in many other roles on both the big and small screens. Interestingly, the motion capture performer for Splinter, Danny Woodburn, once had a guest starring role on Shalhoub’s detective series Monk, so they’re practically old friends.

Tony Shalhoub to voice Splinter in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TMNT: Johnny Knoxville to Voice Leonardo, Tony Shalhoub to Voice Splinter

It’s not unusual for voice actors to be announced a long way into a film’s production (just look at Guardians of the Galaxy), and not all of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘ footage is yet in the can, with reshoots currently still ongoing. It’s possible, therefore, that we may hear further voice cast announcements for Raphael, Donatello and Michaelangelo, all of whom are being played by actors who are best known for TV guest star roles or minor supporting roles (read: aren’t exactly household names).

According to Deadline‘s inside sources, the turtle actors were only guaranteed physical performances and that the studio is “always open to changing the voicing component” of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was a little unusual that the principal class was fleshed out by so many unknowns, so it would make sense for Paramount to hire better-known actors to lend their voices to the turtles.

In the eventuality that further casting does take place, tell us in the comments which actors you think would be perfect for the voices of Raphael, Donatello and Michaelangelo.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is set for release on August 8, 2014.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Ok so tony as splinter I can deal with as I loved him in monk plus he’s gotten older. But Johnny freakin Knoxville Leo…….. Just quit. He is more of a ‘jackass’ (pun intended) than he is a turtle…

  2. I don’t like the idea of Knoxville doing any voice in the franchise, really… Especially not Raph as some have suggested (Raph was my favorite turtle when I was younger). When I think of Raph’s voice, I hear Brooklynese. Ray Liotta or Mark Wahlberg would have been good choices for Raph’s voice.

    If Keanu Reeves could channel his 1980′s self, he would be great for Mikey (doubtful). Honestly, Andrew Stanton (Crush from Finding Nemo)would be fine by me. Surfer bra style…

    Don’t know who I’d rather have voicing Leo or Donny. I just know I’m not too stoked by Knoxville.

    • Ugh no way…my most hated thing about 2nd generation of turtle stuff had Raph with a Brooklyn accent. Makes no sense why only one would have such a blatant accent if they all grew up together. Just stupid

      • Raph had a brooklyn accent in the movies too. That’s been his interpretation for the last 25 years.

      • Leo believes it’s best to leave the humans be, and leave their issues to them to solve, as humans will simply never accept them. He thinks its best that the turtles stay in the shadows, and not get caught up in what the humans are doing. Don is the turtle that takes the least interest in humans, and when he does, it’s more from an outside observer’s perspective, analyzing them empirically more out of scientific curiosity than anything else. Neither of them have any reason or motive to pick up human characteristics.

        Mikey is the one that most wishes that he was human, so he could enjoy all the things he sees on TV. He’s the most likely to pick up human traits from the TV, but he has no ties to any particular locality. He just wishes he could go out and have fun and make friends. His love of skateboarding and his use of surfer lingo is a result of him picking up traits of “popular kids” he sees on TV.

        Raphael, on the other hand is the one that most identifies with NYC. He wants to get more involved and use his skills to fight crime to make it a better place. He views New York as his city, and is fiercely protective of it. This is why, of all the turtles, he’s the most likely to pick up the local “flavor”. This is why he has the Brooklyn accent when none of the other turtles do.

  3. I am a huge fan of the TMNT franchise, in fact, I made it a tradition the two original films every holiday season (yeah, I’m that die-hard). So, having Michael Bay calling all the shots for the film gives me the creeps that this movie is going to suck (I hated him big time when he ruined my other fave franchise, Transformers). Good thing he’s just the producer but the trailer has some parts than reminds you of his patented work – slowmos, pans and that wwoooooonnnggggg. Geez.

  4. I think Noel Fisher is the official voices of Mikey since he has done a lot of voice work. This is the studio saying they need so more buzz so they bring in Knocksville and Shalhoub. I don’t think anyone knew the voices of the old ones besides Feldman.

  5. Donald Faison would be the perfect Michaelangelo. Hands down.

  6. Raphael should be voiced by vin deisel

    Donatello – a smart actor like,
    Robert downey Jr.

    Micheal-me or an actor with a surfers impression

    • Vin deisel as Raph… That would be the perfect voice actor.

  7. OK so my idea of Donatello is kinda this geeky nerdy teen with quick wits, how’s about Michael Cera or even that kid from ZombieLand?!! That be cool! And I know its late but if there should be a sequel you know? Now let’s see New York tough attitude Raphy, Krs1 the rapper or some kinda thug type dude you know to make it more realistic as the jokes are already there! For Leo, Knoxville’s OK but I’d go with some else! Maybeee that 1 kid from Twilight movies who played the main wolf guy! Mikey I’d go with some1 original, west coast surfer type like the guy in the comment above says from the Memo movie! Crush! Thanx Ppl hope u consider