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April O’Neil – Our Favorite Lady in Yellow

by Kyle Tobey

It’s finally April! We just got some fresh snow on the ground in New York, but Spring is right around the corner! To celebrate, here are some little known facts about everyone’s favorite news reporter, April O’Neil

April O’Neil was first introduced in the 1984 Mirage comic series as a computer Programmer working for Baxter Stockman.

However, she quit after finding out that Baxter Stockman was using the Mousers to break in to bank vaults and was forced to flee Baxter’s lab. She ran in to the sewers with several mousers on her tail. Luckily, 3 of the turtles found her and came to the rescue. The turtles brought her back where she met Splinter and learned their origin.

Her age fluctuates A LOT.

In the Mirage series, she starts working as Baxter’s assistant at the age of 27. She outs herself as being 28 years old in the original cartoon series, as revealed in the episode “Leatherhead – Terror of the Swamp.” by saying, “I’m doomed to be a decrepit 28-year-old hag!” In the 2003 series she is 23, and in the 2012 series she is 16 years old. Her age in the new series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is yet to be determined.

In the series finale of the 2003 series, she and Casey Jones get married.

In Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles #50 the Krang dress a robot as April to infiltrate the turtles.

The plan failed, however, and Leonardo cut her in half.

Several big names were considered for the role of April.

Jennifer Beals, Marisa Tomei, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Melanie Griffith, Sean Young, Lorraine Bracco, Winona Ryder, and Brooke Shields were all considered for the role of April O’Neil in the original film. But, Judith Hoag beat them all for the role.

Director Steve Barron wished to replicate April O’Neil’s jumpsuit look from the early Mirage comics and the cartoon.

However, Judith Hoag found the jumpsuit “horrifying” and the idea was nixed. The yellow raincoat April wears in the beginning of the movie is a homage to the yellow jumpsuit she wears in the 1987 cartoon. It is the only time she wears it in the film.

Photo - Viacom

When asked why she didn’t reprise her role as April, Judith Hoag says she wasn’t even asked!

But, she blames it on her complaints about the first movie.

“I thought the movie suffered because of that. It was something I spoke to the producers about, I think they thought I was too demanding, and moved on.”

Megan Fox received a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress for her portrayal of April in the 2014 film.

She was nominated again in 2017. This time for Worst Actress category for her work in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, but lost (or won depending how you look at it) to Becky Turner (as Hillary Clinton) in Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party.

Peter Laird’s original plan was to have April O’Neil as an Asian woman.

She ends up being portrayed as a Caucasian-looking woman in most published Mirage TMNT works. It’s been debated if April was meant to be mixed race or African American (it’s hard to tell in a black and white comic). But, she will officially be portrayed as an African American in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Ok, so stay with me on this one.

In the Mirage series a young artist named Kirby (named after Jack Kirby) gets a crystal that makes anything he draws come to life.  At the end, however, the reveal is that April’s father had the same crystal at one point. Via time travel, she finds a sketch of a daughter Kirby would like to have one day. This is how April realizes she is a sketch that had come to life. Trippy.

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