Supergirl Is Flying to the Big Screen — But Melissa Benoist Won’t Be Playing Her
While comic book fans have been awaiting word on whether or not Henry Cavill will be getting the chance to play the role of Superman again following 2017’s Justice League, Deadline is reporting that Warner Brothers has decided to give his cousin another shot at big screen stardom as Supergirl has gone into development. But without Melissa Benoist, who currently plays the character on the CW’s Supergirl.
The film, which is in the early stages, is being written by Oren Uziel. His previous credits are an interesting mix of comedy, drama, and horror, among them 22 Jump Street, Freaks of Nature, The Cloverfield Paradox, and next year’s live-action Sonic the Hedgehog. Beyond Supergirl, he’s got 10 different projects in various stages of development.
For a little background: The Kryptonian name of Supergirl is Kara Zor-El (earth identity Linda Danvers), who was sent from the doomed planet of Krypton to help raise and teach her little cousin Kal-El, who was rocketed away before her. But her ship got sidetracked and while she was in suspended animation and remained a teenager, he had landed on Earth, been raised by humans and grew to adulthood as Clark Kent, before revealing himself to the world as Superman.
Introduced in the comic books back in 1959, Supergirl made her first filmed appearance in the self-titled 1984 film starring Helen Slater. Since then, she has appeared in a variety of animated shows and films, including the current series. There is no expectation that Melissa will be making the leap to the big screen. The studio behind the film, Warner Bro, doesn’t seem to have a problem with the same hero appearing in different mediums and played by different actors. That’s why we have Grant Gustin as The Flash on TV, but Ezra Miller played him in the Justice League feature, and while Henry has made three big screen appearances as Superman, Tyler Hoechlin has played him in three episodes of Supergirl with an expectation of more.
Since we’re awaiting word on who will be donning the famous blue and red outfit, we turned to actresses who have played her previously to get their views on what she represents.
“What I’ve found,” says Melissa, “is that there’s this open, loving kind of attitude toward life in her. Just true, pure goodness. And she has the same kind of hope that Superman has. That is one of the keywords that came to mind when we were first shooting the pilot; I had to feel, almost internally, hopeful. And she doesn’t quit, so I definitely think she is a beacon of hope. It runs in the family.”
Adrianne Palicki, currently starring in Seth Macfarlane’s sci-fi comedy The Orville, played a version of the character once on the TV show Smallville, and was given some key advice about the character from one of the director/executive producers: “Kara’s an angel who comes to Jesus, who is Clark, and is telling him what he’s going to be, with his father, Jor-El, being God. So throughout the entire thig she’s the messenger, sent to help Clark [on Smallville] see what he needs to see, because he doesn’t know the full extent of his powers yet.”
Playing the “real” version of Kara in a number of Smallville episodes was Laura Vandervoort, who adds, “I know there’s a comic book theme behind who she is and who she’s supposed to be, but I kind of made her my own. I made her this rebellious teenager and she didn’t care about people, but we slowly developed her into a likable, almost-human being who had faults of her own.”
Molly C. Quinn, who voiced her in the animated film Superman Unbound, definitely views Supergirl as a symbol of female — particularly teen — empowerment. “The strongest force of change in the world is a girl, so that’s what I just kept saying to myself [while recording]. She has the ability, and she will impact the world. She knows that she has that confidence and that exuberance and that life inside her that she wants to share and she wants to teach. There were challenges in her attitude that she’s a mature woman stuck in a teenager’s body, so she’s having to go through all this stuff — puberty, being treated like a kid, not being given the respect of an adult. It’s all very conflicting inside her. She’s special, and she knows she’s special, so for her having to kind of blend in is always a struggle. She has these new powers, and she wants to go around and save people — and to make sure that what happened to her and her planet doesn’t happen to them. I like that human side of her. She’s very tough, but underneath she’s really fighting this terror that she feels — because she understands the consequences.”
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