The exact plot or reality-defying facts surrounding The CW’s next spinoff in their shared Arrow/The Flash universe may still be kept largely under wraps, but one more actress – and DC Comics superhero – can be added to the confirmed cast. Whether she should be considered one of the heroes ‘never before seen’ on TV isn’t clear, however (appearing in a minor role in Smallville).
The role in question is that of Kendra Saunders a.k.a. Hawkgirl, gifted with a set of wings and centuries-old battle instincts. The actress set to bring her to life, however, is far less well-known: Ciara Renée, who has quickly made a name for herself on the stage, not the screen.
The casting news comes courtesy of Deadline, following not long after the first descriptions of the remaining cast members were revealed (but without any real clues or hints as to which DC Comics heroes they referenced). We speculated at the time – colored, perhaps, by some wishful thinking – that one of the women mentioned could be Kendra Saunders. Now, that suspicion has been confirmed.
“FEMALE WARRIOR” | This twentysomething Latina is pretty but unassuming, book smart and socially awkward by day. But by night, when she hears the cry of battle, her fury is ignited and she becomes a fierce warrior — so much so, that sometimes she can become a threat to others.
Exactly how faithful to the heroine’s origin and superpowers the showrunners will keep is up for debate. As much as The Flash and Arrow have both waded into the realm of metahumans, a young girl who is either the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, or bonded with the spirit of her ancestor (depending on classic/alternate versions of Kendra Munoz-Saunders) – complete with a set of wings powerful enough to put Pegasus to shame – is something else entirely.
The casting announcement describes the heroine as “beginning to learn that she has been repeatedly reincarnated over the centuries,” with her warrior side emerging when in danger. That is in keeping with the comic book version of the origin story, but how such a mystical ability will be fitting alongside heroes firmly rooted in technology – A.T.O.M., Captain Cold, Canary(?) – remains to be seen.
It should encourage fans to know that when describing the addition of new DC Comics characters to the spinoff, executive producer Greg Berlanti seemed particularly enthusiastic about adding another woman to the team – provided they found the right actress:
“In picking them, it was very much about picking, ‘who are some of the most popular characters we’ve created?’ and also, tonally, who went with who? How disparate could we make it? And we’re also introducing these three new characters that we’re casting right now… I think it’s really important that we have another female hero on the show, and this one is really exciting. I can’t wait for people to find out — we just have to cast it right, as always. And then you want that Rat Pack-y kind of vibe of all this crew hanging out, as disparate and as different as they are.”
We’ll keep you up to date on more news about this spinoff series or Hawkgirl arrives, but for now, what do you think of the casting and character’s addition? Does this news confirm that the showrunners are truly looking to create a Justice League on the small screen, or do you have still have questions about the show’s direction?
The untitled Flash/Arrow spinoff is expected to premiere next during the 2015-2016 midseason.