The SDCC panel of Supergirl was super light on news, but we were able to enjoy the warm antics of a cast that clearly loves each other. In attendance were Executive Producer Sara Schechter and castmembers Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl), Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers), David Harewood (Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter), Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen) and Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott). Not in attendance, or even mentioned, more’s the pity, was Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant, but we did get a new addition in Tyler Hoechlin, who will play Supergirl’s Superman.
The one thing we learned is that Chris Woods’ new role, assured by Schechter to be a big, mysterious new DC character, was in the Kryptonian escape pod at the Season 1 finale. We did not learn his character’s name, but at least we know that much.
Schechter also talked a bit about Floriana Lima, previously revealed to be Maggie Sawyer in Season 2: “She’s an incredible actress, really tough and really badass, and one of the things that we’re proud of is having a lot of strong, badass ladies on television, and she’s going to be another one of them.”
Filming starts next week, so they didn’t have any new footage to reveal, but we did get a great sizzle reel from Season 1. The CW will air Season 1 – originally aired on CBS – starting in August, and the Season 2 premieres on The CW on Monday, October 10 8/7c.
Other tidbits from the panel:
Of working with The CW Schechter said, “It’s great, they get it. If you say metahuman, they know what you’re talking about.” She confirmed that it’s helpful to now officially have Supergirl as part of the “Flarrowverse,” and that everyone is “very excited for the four-episode crossover that’s coming.”
Of the relationship between Superman and Supergirl in Season 2, Schechter says, “Clark has a very different experience of what it means to have powers on earth, he was raised with them. There will definitely be some head-butting and some philosophical differences.”
Hoechlin is starting to truly understand the magnitude of playing Superman, especially when a little boy and his dad came up to him and just had to shake his hand. “I realized, ‘Oh, this is not a generational thing, this is across time, this is important.’”
Benoist has a similar experience, obviously. “Moments with young girls, when I just see their faces light up, and I think about how I would have felt when I was a young girl and if I’d met someone in my position, it would have been so important to me…There was one little girl when I was filming the crossover, and she just literally wouldn’t let go. We just hugged for an extended period of time.”
Schechter added, “Melissa Benoist is actually a superhero. She is always so nice when a little boy or a little girl comes up to her. We are very lucky to have an actual super girl playing Supergirl.” Leigh added, “I have learned the definition of grace from this one…She’s just inherently good.”
My favorite moment of the panel, however, was when Mehcad Brooks discussed playing a black Jimmy (James) Olsen:
“When I was auditioning, my manager kept telling me ‘Yeah, yeah, they like you!’ and I was like, ‘They know I’m black, right?’…We’re just sort of redefining the character for the 21st century. Jimmy was created 75 years ago. Things were a lot more monochromatic back then. If Jimmy was created today, he might look like me. We’re kind of righting the inequities of the past.”