With the in-development Supergirl TV series for CBS having found its leading lady in actress Melissa Benoist, the next regular cast member has also been added, with Calista Flockhart (Ally McBeal) joining as Cat Grant. Kara Danvers will be employed as Grant's personal assistant, with the CatCo founder and chief executive a far cry from her comic book origins.
Flockhart may be best known for her starring role as a fresh-faced (but painfully neurotic) lawyer in Fox's Ally McBeal, but it's likely her time spent on ABC's Brothers & Sisters that has landed her the role. Supergirl executive producer Greg Berlanti also produced the family-focused drama, before shifting to superhero-oriented TV like Arrow, The Flash, and now Superman's cousin.
News of Flockhart's casting has arrived courtesy of Variety, confirming she will play a series regular. Though the show's fate (and its connections to the rest of DC's TV properties) is unknown, the early cast descriptions did offer fans an idea of what to expect from Flockhart's character. Have a look:
CAT GRANT | 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."
It should prove interesting to see how well Flockhart can portray a character mixing both 'diva' and The Devil Wears Prada, but those who followed the actress on Brothers & Sisters know that the cultural impact of Ally McBeal doesn't - and shouldn't - define just what she can bring to a weekly drama (especially if it's expected to model its heartwarming elements after The Flash).
For comic book fans, it should be clear just how much of a departure this version of Cat Grant will be from her original appearances. Typically depicted as The Daily Planet's fashion reporter, it's Cat's more... physical assets and flaky personality that have typically defined her. In more recent incarnations those elements have been softened, instead portraying Grant as a modern heavy-hitter in the world on online fashion and pop culture happenings.
Along with word of Flockhart's casting, the outlet claims that in Supergirl's fiction, Cat still began her career as a reporter before building a "global powerhouse" media company all on her own. That kind of strength and ambition not only means Cat Grant will fit in among the many other powerful women in CBS' current slate, but promises potential for her to be something of a role model for Kara Danvers (formerly Zor-El).
With Kara's mother Alura (to be played by Laura Benanti) presumably out of the picture during the show's events, a surrogate mother figure may come in handy. If nothing else, it's nice to see that classic Daily Planet employees will be adapted on the small screen.
What do you think of Flockhart's casting? Are you happy to see her join the cast, or is your attention focused on other aspects of the series? Sound off in the comments.
Supergirl is expected to air on CBS in 2015.