'TMNT': Johnny Knoxville to Voice Leonardo, Tony Shalhoub to Voice Splinter

Leonardo in TMNT teaser trailer

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.

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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