CBS has selected Melissa Benoist to play the lead in the new series Supergirl from Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler.
The Glee actress can currently be seen in the Oscar-nominated Whiplash, and has appeared in several guest roles on shows such as Homeland, Law & Order: SVU, and Blue Bloods.
The show will follow 24-year-old Kara Zor-El as she decides to embrace her Kryptonian powers and stop hiding her abilities from the world. Living with the Danvers family, she’s taken on the identity of Linda Danvers, with a foster sister named Alexandra.
In leaked audition videos and scene descriptions, Alex is irritated with Kara for using her powers in public to save people on a train, and we have a hint that Kara’s cousin Kal-El (or Superman, if you prefer) may appear — in a flashback? — during a scene where Jimmy Olsen describes a rescue he witnessed.
Supergirl shares a pedigree with Arrow and The Flash with producer Berlanti, and that has fueled speculation that all three shows (along with the new animated Vixen) could live in the same shared universe. CW president Mark Pedowitz even hinted at the possibility earlier this year. His comments also teased a cross-over between the CW shows and TNT’s new Titans, based on the Teen Titans team.
CBS chair Nina Tassler says of Supergirl, “She embodied so many of the characteristics of classic female heroines on the network… We fell in love with the pitch.” At the time of her presentation at the TCA winter press tour, few details were set. Costume designer Colleen Atwood will create the costume, as she has for Arrow and The Flash.
The first live-action adaptation of the character came in 1984 with Helen Slater playing the Maid of Might in a production by the same team who brought Christopher Reeve to the role of Superman. The most recent live-action Supergirl was played by Laura Vandervoort on Smallville.