Casting has begun for CBS’ Supergirl series. TVLine reports that CBS has begun searching for actors to play Jimmy Olsen, Cat Grant, Hank Henshaw, and Winslow Schott. In the comics, Jimmy has traditionally been a young photographer for the Daily Planet, and Superman’s pal (he used to have a special signal watch he could buzz when he needed help…aaaaand as I write that sentence, I’m left wondering why Superman gave Jimmy that signal watch. Don’t get me wrong, I know they’re friends, but Superman never gave a watch to Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Ron Troupe, Cat Grant, Jose Delgado, Perry White, or Pete Ross. Not to mention, it seems odd that Superman would privilege one particular human over the rest of humanity when he’s committed to helping everyone. He doesn’t play favorites). Cat Grant has at times been a gossip columnist and editor of the Entertainment & Arts section of the Daily Planet. Winslow Schott aka the Toyman is a genius toy maker, turned criminal who bedevils Superman with his deadly children’s toys. Hank Henshaw is more widely known as the villainous Cyborg Superman who debuted as one of four “replacements” for Superman following the latter’s temporary death (though the reboot of the DC Universe in 2011 changed this). Given the details from TVLine, it appears that all four will differ from their comic book versions (to varying degrees):
CAT GRANT | The project is eyeing females in their 40s, open ethnicity, to play the founder of CatCo, a media conglomerate that Cat built from the ground up. Kara (Supergirl’s mild-mannered alter ego) will work as a personal assistant to Cat, who is described as “J.Lo by way of Anna Wintour.”
JAMES OLSEN | In his late 20s/early 30s, open ethnicity, James is a smart, worldly and (duh) attractive photographer for CatCo. Though an alpha male, his salt-of-the-earth nature elicits a huge ol’ crush from Kara.
WINSLOW ‘WYNN’ SCHOTT | This twentysomething tech whiz/Comic-Con stalwart toils for CatCo as a programmer, unaware of his own (toying?) potential. Unware of her secret, he carries a torch for Kara, whom he lives next door to.
HANK HENSHAW | As an upstart CIA agent, Hank grew obsessed with intergalactic intel. Now in his 40s and lording over the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations), he is on high alert when Supergirl reveals herself, worried that her otherworldly abilities pose a threat to humankind.
Here’s a bit more info on the Supergirl series:
For Kara Zor-El aka Kara Danvers, the show is eyeing Caucasian females, age 22 to 26, to play 24. As the series’ mythology goes, Kara at age 12 was sent from her dying home planet of Krypton to Earth, where she was taken in by the Danvers, a foster family who taught her to be careful with her extraordinary powers. After repressing said skills for more than a decade, Kara is forced to bust out her super moves in public during an unexpected disaster. Energized by her heroism for the first time in her life, she begins embracing her abilities in the name of helping the people of her city, earning herself a super moniker along the way.
The other lead role currently being cast is that of 26-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Kara’s gorgeous, brilliant, science-minded foster sister. Growing up, Alex was partly jealous of her sibling yet also fascinated by her abilities, prompting Alex to learn as much as she could about alien anthropology, sociology and culture. Today, Alex works for a secret government organization and, alongside her heroic sis, will face many challenges, both mundane and super.
There are obviously a few changes from the portrayal of Supergirl in the comics (no matter what version or which continuity we’re talking about). There doesn’t appear to be any mention of Superman as her cousin, which prompts me to wonder how they can capitalize on a Super-character that has no ties to Superman. But then it makes me wonder if the creators are trying to minimize Superman’s role so that Supergirl can stand out from him. Perhaps they’re looking to develop her so that people view her as a hero in her own right rather than ‘Superman’s cousin from Krypton’. Also different is that Kara has never had a sibling, so Alex Danvers is a new character created for the show. There’s not enough information on this show for me to decide anything about it. Supergirl is one of my favorite characters. I still get teary eyed when reading the death of the original SG in Crisis on Infinite Earth #7. Peter David’s 1990s run on Supergirl is one of the best series of all time IMO. I wanted to like the Supergirl movie, but couldn’t bring myself to do so. So I have an appreciation for Supergirl. Here’s hoping the writers and directors can do her justice.