Anybody who’s been paying attention knows that superheroes have become big, big business, on both the movie screen and on TV. Both DC and Marvel just announced huge, multi-year plans for their respective cinematic universes. On the TV front, DC has been far more ambitious, at least this season, with The Flash joining Arrow on The CW, Constantine working his magic on NBC, and Gotham a hit on Fox. They’ve also got not one, but two projects in development with ties to their heaviest hitter, Superman. We gave you the early details about David Goyer’s Krypton series last week; now we’ve got some new information about Supergirl, which is being developed for CBS.
TVLine reports that Supergirl will focus on two main characters. The first is, well, Supergirl herself, Kara Zor-El. Like her square-jawed flying cousin, Kara was sent to Earth from Krypton, where she was — again like good old Kal-El — raised by a human couple who taught her to use her powers with responsibility and discretion, lest somebody realize she’s an alien and decide a dissection is in order. Living as “Kara Danvers,” the girl who will be Supergirl begins to embrace her heroic potential after she’s forced to use her powers openly during a disaster. The Supergirl producers are looking for a Caucasian actress between 22 and 26 to play the role.
The second lead role will be Kara’s foster sister, Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, age 26. She’s smart as a whip, with a serious knack for science and a drive to excel so she can outshine her superpowered sister. She seeks to learn as much as she can about “alien anthropology, sociology and culture,” and begins working for a secret government organization that no doubt has more than a little interest in Supergirl.
And there are a few things that stand out about Alex. Scientific genius? Check. Both fascinated by and jealous of a Kryptonian with “El” in her name? Check. First name could be shorted to “Lex”…you see where you’re going with this, right? Whether her destiny is to become a straight-up nemesis for Supergirl or just a conflicted older sister, I guarantee you none of those little details are not accidental.
And so, with Krypton and Supergirl, we have two Superman-related projects that, given the big-screen plans for the character, will most likely never feature Superman on screen. But hey, Gotham is “Batman before Batman,” so why not? The DC approach so far has been the exact opposite of Marvel’s cross-media intertwining, so most of the DC shows exist in their own distinct universes, separate from each other. As such, presumably both Krypton and Supergirl will follow suit, and won’t exist in the same continuity. And presumably also won’t exist in the same continuity as Man of Steel and the emerging DC Cinematic Universe. Unless they do. Honestly, there are still tons of questions about these shows, and at this point we don’t even know what network Krypton will land on. (And CBS is still a really weird fit for a superhero series. Unless they slip a CSI into the title at some point.)
One last observation. In the comics, Supergirl’s never gone by the name “Kara Danvers,” although one incarnation of her did call herself “Linda Danvers.” Kara Danvers is obviously just her sticking with her Kryptonian name and taking her adoptive human name. But Kara Danvers also sounds a whole lot like Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, who just got a solo movie announced by Marvel. Probably just a coincidence, but odd if nothing else.
Ali Adler (No Ordinary Family) and Greg Berlanti (Arrow/Flash) wrote the Supergirl pilot, and will both executive produce alongside Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros. TV.