The character was first introduced in the comic book series, way back in 1984, and appeared as a programmer. But most will remember her from the animated series, where she wore a bright yellow jumpsuit and got into all sorts of crazy calamities. (There's a nod to the original jumpsuit in Fox's yellow leather jacket.) In the original live-action "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie, O'Neil is closer to the comic book, a gritty investigative reporter willing to stick her neck out for a story, but in the sequel she became more of a news anchor; a talking head afraid of mixing it up. (Honestly, the less said about the third live action movie, the better.)
It appears this new version of April is closer to that initial incarnation. "April is willing to do whatever she has to do for whatever she sees is right," Fox says in the featurette, before various clips of her climbing buildings and falling through pipes. Apparently, this movie has a lot of action, with the heroes in a half-shell being brought to dazzling life courtesy of Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop, who also provided the apes for "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes."
As director Jonathan Liebesman says elsewhere in the little featurette, "She is very determined. She feels she has a lot to prove. Everyone doubts her because she is beautiful. She wants to show people there is more to her than meets the eye." Could there be some feminist subtext snuck into a film about six-foot-tall radioactive turtles who fight crime using their extreme martial arts skills? We can only hope!
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" opens on August 8th.