Casting Notices for Supergirl Reveal Kara’s New Sister and Other Lead Characters

TV Line has posted the casting breakdowns for two of its lead roles and four other series regulars who will appear in the Supergirl TV series. The breakdowns are an interesting mix of familiar concepts and fresh ideas that leave me even more curious about the show.

Keeping in mind that casting breakdowns rely on notoriously cheesy shorthand to quickly describe characters, here’s what they’re looking for:


The show is eyeing Caucasian females, age 22 to 26, to play 24. As the series’ mythology goes, Kara at age 12 was sent from her dying home planet of Krypton to Earth, where she was taken in by the Danvers, a foster family who taught her to be careful with her extraordinary powers. After repressing said skills for more than a decade, Kara is forced to bust out her super moves in public during an unexpected disaster. Energized by her heroism for the first time in her life, she begins embracing her abilities in the name of helping the people of her city, earning herself a super moniker along the way.

Wow, I really didn’t expect them to pull so much from the comics origin. Nice. “Kara Danvers” sounds a little clunky, but it isn’t the whitebread 1960s anymore and changing her given name wouldn’t make sense with this backstory. I am surprised, though, that they pushed her arrival age back to 12. Those extra three years would make a real difference in how mature and set as a person she would have been when she fled Krypton.

Alexandra “Alex” Danvers

The other lead role currently being cast is that of 26-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Kara’s gorgeous, brilliant, science-minded foster sister. Growing up, Alex was partly jealous of her sibling yet also fascinated by her abilities, prompting Alex to learn as much as she could about alien anthropology, sociology and culture. Today, Alex works for a secret government organization and, alongside her heroic sis, will face many challenges, both mundane and super.

And here we have the first major departure from canon. Kara has an adopted sister, who looks to be her primary foil and a co-lead. And her name is Alex. I feel like they’re deliberately playing with our expectations by using that name. At first glance she sounds like a dangerous threat to Kara, with the talk of jealousy, fascination with alien powers, and the ominous-sounding “secret government organization”. But I think there may be more going on than we’re given here, and she could turn out to be an ally to Kara in some way.

(How does one learn about “alien anthropology, sociology and culture” without actual space exploration to inhabited planets? WTH?)

The project is eyeing females in their 40s, open ethnicity, to play the founder of CatCo, a media conglomerate that Cat built from the ground up. Kara (Supergirl’s mild-mannered alter ego) will work as a personal assistant to Cat, who is described as “J.Lo by way of Anna Wintour.”


In his late 20s/early 30s, open ethnicity, James is a smart, worldly and (duh) attractive photographer for CatCo. Though an alpha male, his salt-of-the-earth nature elicits a huge ol’ crush from Kara.

Now this is interesting. This is older than we’ve ever seen Cat or Jimmy before, I think. It sounds like the members of the Superman cast have already worked at the Daily Planet for a number of years and moved on in their careers, implying Superman as been around for quite a while. I think Cat hired Jimmy away as a photographer for WGBS sometime in the 1990s, so that part’s not completely out of left field. I’m going to ignore the cringe-worthy description of Jimmy as an “alpha male” and Cat as “J.Lo by way of Anna Wintour” for the time being =P


This twentysomething tech whiz/Comic-Con stalwart toils for CatCo as a programmer, unaware of his own (toying?) potential. Unaware of her secret, he carries a torch for Kara, whom he lives next door to.

Fanboy computer nerd “nice guy” who may some day become the evil Toyman. Yeah…this one’s going to annoy me.


As an upstart CIA agent, Hank grew obsessed with intergalactic intel. Now in his 40s and lording over the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations), he is on high alert when Supergirl reveals herself, worried that her otherworldly abilities pose a threat to humankind.

Hank Henshaw is Cyborg Superman in the comics (or he was until New 52), so you know they’re going to tease the heck out of that. This is an entirely new version of the character, but he’s clearly the big bad.

These breakdowns were posted online at the end of October and casting is still just in the rumors stage (Claire Holt was the name being bandied about until a couple days ago). I wonder when we’ll hear more.

Michelle Bacon

Michelle loves comics and code. A lifelong Superfamily fan, she's been collecting comics for 20 years, and running Supergirl: Maid of Might since 2000.

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