CBS is preparing to jump into the superhero genre in a big way with the buzzy new Supergirl series, and producer Greg Berlanti has finally dropped some intel about the development process.
The project has been in the works for a while, but pretty much the only info we’ve been able to glean up to this point are scattered casting rumors. Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash) didn’t drop any bombshells while chatting with reporters at the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour, though he did offer an update on the casting process. Basically: They’re still working on it, and waiting to run across the perfect actress:
“I hope you hear about casting soon or we’re not going to be able to make the pilot… As with all these things, there’s only one person. I can’t imagine someone other than a lot of our actors playing these roles so I feel you’re always just looking for that person.”
Berlanti also revealed that the series will be “tonally closer” to The Flash than darker mothership series Arrow, which seems like a solid direction for the series. Plus, The Flash is a breakout hit, so it’s no surprise they’d try to replicate that lighter vibe here. CBS chairman Nina Tassler added this about the show's direction and premise:
“It’s a wonderful amalgamation of the mythology of the character with kind of a very modern coming of age. She’s a very strong, independent young woman and she’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues and it’s a female empowerment story. You look at the strong female characters we have on the air, it really is resonant of that.”
Berlanti was coy on rumors that the CBS series could cross over with CW hits The Flash and Arrow, though it's been reported that that option is a part of the development deal. He also touched on the challenges and pressure of trying to make a female-led superhero series in what is a male-dominated market. Here's his comment via Collider:
“So much has to go right [to have a crossover]. We have to make a great show. Again, I think of myself, if I were watching it I would want to see that, but we have to get so many things right to make a good show, and so much of it is luck unfortunately…
That was really important to all of us (making a female-led superhero series) when we set out to working on it and it was really important to DC and it was really important to the women I’m working on the show with, the women that work at the studio and the women that work on the network. In a lot of ways I’m surrounded by more women on the project that can answer the question better.”
On the flip side, Tassler seemed less open to the idea of a crossover (at least anytime soon). She told reporters, "That’s a different network so I think we’re going to keep Supergirl to ourself right now." A fair point, and regardless of if they ever do reach the point of a crossover, you'd have to think it'd come well down the line once the series has had time to establish itself.
Judging by Berlanti’s comments here, it sounds like we should hear something on casting very soon. With a pilot order in the wind, they’re just running out of time now. Here’s hoping they find the right actress — and that she eventually has good chemistry with Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin.