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Casting: Joel McHale to shine bright as Starman; Ali Wong swoops on Birds of Prey; more

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Dec 12, 2018, 5:32 PM EST (Updated)

Do you like casting roundups? Oh, you do. Well, we've got four pieces of good news for you, and they range from superhero properties to big Star Wars news. Let's dig in. 

Joel McHale (Community) has been cast as the recurring Starman in DC Universe's upcoming live-action Stargirl series, the streaming service confirmed today.

The character has gone through many identities and forms since he debuted in the early '40s, but McHale will play the Sylvester Pemberton version, a courageous member of the Justice Society of America. He's also got a faithful sidekick, Stripesy (Pat Dugan), the stepfather of Courtney Elizabeth Whitmore, aka Stargirl.


Credit: DC Comics

In the original comics by Gardner Fox and Jack Burnley, Knight was a scientist that discovered a device known as the Cosmic Rod/Staff, which is capable of controlling the energy and gravity of a star. Armed with this incredible power, Knight became Starman, donning a suit of red, gold, and green, notable for its helmet frill. 

The Cosmic Rod was eventually handed down to Courtney by Ted's son, Jack, yet another iteration of Starman. Brec Bassinger (The Goldbergs) will play Whitmore in the live-action series, which is being produced and showrun by Geoff Johns, who created the character in the late '90s. Johns is also writing the pilot episode. 

Stargirl is expected to arrive on the DC Universe streaming app in 2019. 

Up next, The Wrap writes that comedian Ali Wong has boarded director Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).

Wong, who voiced Felony (a member of Shank's gang) in Ralph Breaks the Internet, will play a friend of Rosie Perez's Renee Montoya in the Gotham police force. In addition, Robert Catrini (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) was cast in a currently-undisclosed role. 

Ali Wong

Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Written by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee), Birds of Prey follows Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie reprising her role as well as producing the film), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) protecting Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) from the dangerous Gotham crime lord known as Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). 

The film kicks off production in early 2019 and flies into theaters February 7, 2020. 

Next, we've got some casting news straight outta the bubbling morass that is DC Universe's Swamp Thing. Per Deadline, the Sharknado alum, Ian Ziering, will wade into the muck as Daniel Cassidy, sometimes known as the "Blue Devil." 

Cassidy is a washed up stuntman that hit it big when he landed the role as the Blue Devil on the big screen. Eight years after his career has dried up, Daniel mopes around, wishing for his long lost fame, all "while on a collision course with destiny," reads the official character description provided by Deadline

Blue Devil DC Comics Daniel Cassidy

Credit: DC Comics

The character was first introduced in 1984 by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, and Paris Cullins. In the comics, he was permanently bonded to his Blue Devil costume when a newly-unleashed demon mistakes him for the real thing. Aside from being stuck in a blue horned suit for the rest of his life, Cassidy also gains the unintentional ability to attract supernatural beings toward his vicinity. As Daniel seeks a way of reversing his fate, he becomes a bona fide superhero along the way. 

Like Stargirl, Swamp Thing premieres in 2019. Andy Bean and Derek Mears will play Alec Holland and his swampy counterpart respectively. Kevin Durand is playing the main antagonist, Jason Woodrue, aka the Floronic Man.

Pedro Pascal was confirmed as the lead in Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian for Lucasfilm.

The full cast of sci-fi veterans, announced via the official Star Wars website, includes Gina Carano (Deadpool), Giancarlo Esposito (Westworld), Emily Swallow (Supernatural), Carl Weathers (Predator), Omid Abtahi (American Gods), Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), and Nick Nolte (Affliction).

Pedro Pascal

Credit: Gabriel Maseda/NurPhoto via Getty Images

“We’re having a great time working with this incredibly talented group and excited for everyone to see what we’re up to,” said Jon Favreau in a statement. 

The Mandalorian drops on Disney+ in late 2019. 

And finally, there's the casting news of Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) joining Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone reboot. He will appear in an episode called "The Traveler," writes The Wrap, although no details on the plot or Yeun's character have been revealed. 

As Rod Serling's classic anthology series often dealt with both space and time travel, it's probably a good bet to assume that "The Traveler" will explore one of those two sci-fi mainstays. 

Yeun is just one of several big name actors who have boarded the revamped series. Adam Scott, John Cho, Allison Tolman, Jacob Tremblay, Sanaa Lathan, Adam Scott, and Kumail Nanjiani have also been confirmed for episodes. 

Peele's updated take on The Twilight Zone will arrive on CBS All Access in 2019.