From the start, the crux of Paramount Pictures' new, family-oriented action-adventure “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was re-envisioning the Turtles. It was essential that the charisma and comic flair of these amped-up amphibians shine through while bringing something new, forging Mutant mythology with 21st Century filmmaking. Each member of the Ninja family brings his own unique skills and attitude.
LEONARDO: Named for the mind-bending Italian inventor and painter Leonardo Da Vinci, Leonardo is the cool, calm, Zen Master of the Turtles, who takes to heart the responsibility of being the oldest brother. Luckily, “Leo” stands 6’ 5” and wields his steel katana swords with deadly accuracy.
While Leo has always been the most serious and disciplined of the four brothers since the very first TMNT comics, this Leo is a fresh incarnation who wrestles with a burden most teenagers don’t have: saving the world while keeping his little brothers safe! Picking up where Master Splinter leaves off, he serves as a surrogate dad to his family. And when it comes to the Ninja part of their legacy, no one trains harder than Leo, making him a formidable foe to anyone who threatens their brotherhood.
RAPHAEL: The namesake of the master fresco painter known as the father of Renaissance style, Raphael is no pushover. He’s the rebel bad-boy of the four brothers, known not only for his fierce red mask and his prong-shaped sai weapons, but his fiery opinions. Nicknamed Raph, Raphael might be the one turtle most likely to act now and ask questions later, but beneath his stormy personality, he’s as loyal to his brothers as they are to him.
Going back to the early comics, Raphael was always the most hotheaded but he has evolved into the quartet’s beloved wise-guy. And as ever, his fearless fighting skills continue to give the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a serious advantage when battling evil.
MICHELANGELO: The inimitably insightful Italian painter and sculptor Michelangelo gives the youngest brother among the Turtles his name. Freewheeling and irrepressibly fun-loving, “Mikey” dons an orange mask while whirling his nunchakus and spouting surfer lingo between bites of pizza.
Because he most resembles the original drawing by Kevin Eastman, some consider Michelangelo to be the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
Since then, through the history of the many comic books, TV series and movies, Michelangelo has come to embody the heart of the brothers and also coined many of their catchiest catch-phrases including the oft-quoted “Cowabunga!” No matter how tense a situation the Turtles find themselves in, Mikey never loses his verve. Still a giant kid at heart, this incarnation of Mikey brings a B-boy style his high-spirited humor even to battle.
DONATELLO: Dubbed for the Florentine sculptor who left an indelible mark on the art world, Donatello is the tech-savvy brains of the foursome. The tallest Turtle at 6’ 8”, behind his purple mask and his wooden bo staff, his sharp mind is never at rest.
While Donatello has, since the original comic, always been portrayed as the smartest of the terrapins, here he comes to life as non-stop digital inventor, the guy who comes up with all the most bodacious TMNT gadgets. Mirroring the cool, young nerds who drive the 21st Century, Donatello is as skilled at hacking into a camera or security system as he is at bandying his extra-long bo staff.
MASTER SPLINTER: Rounding out the Turtle’s patchwork family is Master Splinter, sometimes known just as Splinter, the wise but mutated rodent who has become sensei and adoptive father to the Turtles, instructing them in the ways of the Ninja.
Part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mythology from the very first comics, the elderly rat might be tiny in stature, but he more than makes up for it with his vast, all-knowing nature. And when things get tough, Splinter is ready to sacrifice.
As darkness settles over New York, the people of the city need heroes -- and they’re about to get them in the form of the mostly unlikely quartet of crime-fighters ever to help humankind: the spunky yet relentless reptilian force known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Based on the endlessly popular characters created by comic book writers Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, the tenacious terrapins that have captivated audiences of every age for decades arrive into the 21st century.
Crime and fear are spreading through the streets as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have been flexing their iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future seems all too grim until four outcast brothers, survivors of a scientific experiment gone wrong, rise from the sewers, and take on their destiny as the ultimate masked vigilantes.
Opening across the Philippines on August 13, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.