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Naomi: The CW’s new Arrowverse series from Ava DuVernay finds its star, casts key characters

By Benjamin Bullard
Naomi DC Comics

Late last year, The CW announced Naomi, a new Arrowverse-connected series from A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay and Arrow writer and co-executive producer Jill Blankenship. Based on the 2019 limited comics series from Brian Michael Bendis (Jessica Jones), Naomi will follow the adventures of its titular teenage hero in a small northwestern town in the wake of a big battle between Superman and Mogul.

Now as development on Naomi’s pilot gets underway, the Arrowverse’s newest spinoff has cast three key roles — including its lead. Deadline reports that Kaci Walfall (Nala from Broadway’s The Lion King) will star as the adopted girl who begins exploring and learning about her own powers after Superman has come and gone.

Joining Walfall for the pilot will be a trio of other young actors: Alexander Wraith (Orange Is the New Black, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Cranston Johnson (Filthy Rich, P-Valley) and newcomer Camila Moreno, via the report.

Wraith reportedly will play Dee, the owner of the local tattoo shop who’s harboring a secret; Johnson will play Zumbado, the neighborhood used car dealer with a mysterious past; and Moreno will play Lourdes — “a young woman with a sarcastic sense of humor who works in a vintage collectibles shop.” Lourdes also has “an unrequited crush on Naomi,” as well as a shared love of comics, which makes her the perfect companion to go sleuthing with Naomi (whose full name is Naomi McDuffie in the comics) on multiverse-seeking answers.

Co-written by Bendis and David F. Walker and illustrated by Jamal Campbell, Naomi was released under DC’s Bendis-curated Wonder Comics imprint and told a multiverse-spanning story with origins that went far beyond the sleepy confines of her adopted small town. At The CW, DuVernay and Blankenship are writing and executive producing the new series, which comes from DuVernay’s Array Filmworks in association with Warner Bros Television. Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes are also sharing in the executive producer role.

A premiere date hasn’t yet been set for Naomi, but it’s just one among a handful of new Arrowverse series, including the upcoming Wonder Girl and the recently-debuted Superman & Lois, that The CW is slotting into the vacancies left from departing series like Arrow and Supergirl, which is entering its final season.