The new DC Universe subscription streaming service has picked up speed on casting for its Stargirl series by adding Joy Osmanski as Tigress, Neil Hopkins as Sportsmaster, and Nelson Lee as Dragon King. The live-action show is expected to launch in September 2019, and will be the fifth original series to debut on DC Universe.
Tigress, Sportsmaster, and Dragon King are all members of the Injustice Society, a criminal collective that was created as a counter to DC’s superhero team the Justice Society of America. The Stargirl series, created by Geoff Johns and named in honor of his sister, follows high schooler Courtney Whitmore as she teams up with a group of young heroes against an array of villains, including the Injustice Society. Courtney’s story starts out in Los Angeles, but she's soon forced by her mother’s new marriage to move to rural Nebraska. School of Rock actress Brec Bassinger will fill the lead role as the “intelligent, compassionate, and athletic” Courtney Whitmore.
Per Deadline, Osmanski, Hopkins, and Lee will be portraying very familiar versions of Tigress, Sportsmaster, and Dragon King, respectively. Osmanski’s Tigress, a.k.a. Paula Brooks, is a lethal criminal who “hunts the world’s most dangerous game – humans.” Hopkins’ Sportsmaster, a.k.a. Lawrence “Crusher” Crock, is a highly competitive foe of the Justice Society of America who uses enhanced athletic gear, e.g. exploding hockey pucks, to fight and protect his family. And Lee’s Dragon King is a mysterious and controversial scientist who experiments on himself and others, often to horrifying effects.
Osmanski has had a long career on TV, notably on Grey’s Anatomy and more recently on Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet, while Hopkins is likely best known for his role as Liam Pace on J.J. Abrams hit series Lost. For his part, Lee has previously acted in the short-lived Blade: The Series, and will appear in the upcoming live-action Mulan as the Chancellor. Joining Osmanski, Hopkins, Lee, and Bassinger in Stargirl will be former Community star Joel McHale as Starman. Johns serves as showrunner for the series, and executive produces alongside Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Melissa Carter.
At a time when streaming services are popping up at regular intervals, it’s not entirely surprising to see one that is completely dominated by a single theme - superhero shows and films. The initial reactions to DC Universe’s first original series to launch, Titans, have been somewhat mixed, so it’ll be interesting to see what impact - if any at all - this might have on shows that are further down the line like Stargirl. For one thing, indicators like McHale’s casting show that it may offer an alternative to the typical DC gritty violence.