Supergirl star Melissa Benoist will soar to new heights on and off-screen in season 5, with the actress signing on to direct an episode. Benoist debuted as The Girl of Steel back in 2015, with the first season debuting to initially impressive numbers on CBS. For season 2, however, the show moved to The CW, where it officially joined Arrowverse alongside the already established CW shows Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow. After crossing streams with each other over the last few years, the shows will next team-up for an adaptation of the 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' storyline.
When last seen, Supergirl and her friends at the DEO succeeded in halting the machinations of Lex Luthor and his unwitting pawn, Ben Lockwood (a.k.a Agent Liberty). Unbenowst to Kara, however, Lena Luthor learned of her being Supergirl - thus putting their friendship at risk - and a secretive new organization called Leviathan emerged from the shadows and revealed themselves as the puppet masters of some recent events. Both storylines will no doubt be explored in season 5, which will also see Kara getting an upgrade to her costume.
According to EW, Benoist will pull double duty in season 5. As well as starring in each episode, the actress will sit in the director's chair for one. It will be her directorial debut. "I’ve been wanting to direct since season 3, but couldn’t last year because of scheduling conflicts," Benoist revealed. As a result, co-star David Harewood, who plays J'onn J'onzz on the show, was given the opportunity. He directed episode 19, 'American Dreamer'. Benoist was determined, however, not to let the opportunity pass by yet again, however. "I just felt really drawn to it for a couple of seasons now, just because you know the show so well, and you get to know the character, and the world, and the tone of the show so well that you can’t help but envision certain scenes in a certain way. I want to play with that." She will direct the as-yet-untitled 17th episode.
The episode won't be released until early 2020, but Benoist is already preparing. As well as sitting in on production meetings, the actress has already been shadowing producing director Jesse Warn and has her sights set on shadowing Tawnia McKiernan. The latter helmed the season 4 episode, 'O Brother, Where Art Thou', which served as the introduction to Jon Cryer's iteration of Lex Luthor. "These shows are so massive that it’s not like directing any other show on TV, I would imagine, and everyone has said as much to me. I’m literally trying to be a sponge, and I will learn something new every single day I’m shadowing," Benoist added. "It’s just a matter of talking to actors, making sure everyone feels creative and collaborative even though we have these massive constraints with budget and special effects. It’s like a chess game, I’ve realized. You move your pawn one way, and then someone knocks your rook down because you can’t do a certain stunt you wanted to do. It’s all about compromising and trying to be as creative as you can within those boundaries, which is a cool challenge."
Actors stepping up to direct episodes is a common trend on CW shows. Jensen Ackles, for example, who serves as one of the two leads on Supernatural, has directed multiple episodes on the show. In terms of the Arrowverse, the next season will mark the end of Arrow. It remains unclear, however, what the future will hold for the rest of the shows. Many believe, though, that despite the 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' comic book arc including the death of Supergirl, the crossover could subvert that expectation. As such, the show could continue onwards for at least a few more seasons. Even more than that, it's suspected that next crossover will see the world of Supergirl (which exists as a parallel dimension) merge even more directly with the rest of the shows. Whatever the case, however, Benoist is clearly not intending to leave before gaining some new experiences and expanding her already extensive skillset.
Supergirl returns Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m on The CW