Supergirl will air on CBS and is being produced by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash) and Ali Adler (No Ordinary Family). The Flash‘s Andrew Kreisberg joined as an executive producer and writer in February. CBS already gave it a series commitment.
Glee‘s Melissa Benoist, who starred in the Oscar nominated film Whiplash, was cast as Kara Zor-El a.k.a. Kara Danvers a.k.a. Supergirl back in January. Kara is 24-years-old and only just beginning to embrace her powers when the series starts. She’s also confirmed to be Superman’s cousin.
Benoist talked to CBR about playing Supergirl: “What’s so wonderful about her is that she is such a relatable character, amongst her powers. What I’m the most excited about is telling a story about a human being really realizing their potential and their strength, and I think that’s something that everyone will root for and want in their own lives — I’m really excited about that.”
Mehcad Brooks (True Blood) was cast as James “Jimmy” Olsen. In Supergirl, he’s a photographer and Kara’s love interest. But instead of being employed at the Daily Planet, he’ll work alongside Kara for a media conglomerate called CatCo.
Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal) will play the founder of CatCo, Cat Grant. She is “J.Lo by way of Anna Wintour” and Kara will work as her assistant.
Grey’s Anatomy‘s Chyler Leigh will play Kara’s foster sister, a doctor named Alex Danvers. Her character works for a secret government organization and is fascinated by Kara’s alien/Kryptonian origins, wanting to gain as much knowledge as she can. Of course, secret government organizations are never a good thing, so could Alex wind up in an anti-hero or villain role?
David Harewood, who played Eliza and Henry’s eccentric boss in the recently canceled Selfie, will play a CIA agent named Hank Henshaw. Henshaw will view Supergirl and her powers as a threat to humanity. In the comics, he becomes the half-robotic supervillain known as Cyborg Superman.
Laura Benanti was cast in a recurring capacity as Kara’s birth mother from Krypton, Alura Zor-El. It seems like she’ll function as the Jor-El to Kara’s Superman, offering guidance to Kara throughout the series. According to Deadline, she is a “strong noblewoman” who sent Kara to Earth to escape Krypton’s destruction. Her “wisdom and guidance echoes across space and time” and her presence will become invaluable to Kara.
Superman will have a presence in the series and rumor has it that he’ll make a cameo in the pilot. The show is looking for a double body whose description closely matches that of Clark Kent/Superman: 5’11 or taller, square jawed, and a ripped physique.
Lumberjack is the first villain Supergirl faces off against in the pilot. He’s described as a “big, burly monster of a man, who has battled Kara’s cousin” and the casting call was looking for an actor resembling Rory McCann from Game of Thrones.
Winslow “Wynn” Schott, who goes on to become the villain Toyman in the comics, will make an appearance and be played by Jeremy Jordan (The Last 5 Years, Smash). The casting description states: “This twenty-something tech whiz/Comic-Con stalwart toils for CatCo as a programmer, unaware of his own potential. Unaware of her secret, he carries a torch for Kara, whom he lives next door to.” He helps create Kara’s superhero costume, which will have a cape to help with “aerodynamics.”
Helen Slater, the first actress to portray Kara Zor-El on the big screen back in 1984, and Dean Cain, who played Superman in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, will appear in the show’s pilot. Could they have been cast to play Kara’s foster parents? It would be a nice little throwback.
— Melissa Benoist (@MelissaBenoist) March 2, 2015
UPDATE: Check out her costume!
Supergirl will air on CBS sometime in 2015.