Melissa Benoist Cast As Supergirl, Show Aims For ‘Relatability’

Melissa Benoist has been cast as Supergirl for a new CBS show, which will focus on Superman’s cousin and her desire to fulfill her destiny as a superhero after initially hiding it from the world.

For Benoist, the role will mark a definite departure from those she’s tackled in the past, which include characters on Glee, The Good Wife, and Law & Order: SVU. But that doesn’t mean she’s not completely stoked about it, and fans are hoping her energy will translate onscreen. Benoist tweeted recently that she wished there was a superhero emoji to get her feelings across.

And while this isn’t Supergirl’s first foray onto the small screen — she was previously portrayed by Laura Vandervoort on Smallville — the goal for this incarnation of the story is to make the character relatable, says Nina Tassler of CBS.

“We’re watching an evolution with regard to the way superhero characters are portrayed. There’s a humanity, they’re flawed, there’s a relatability. I think for our network, what we responded to was her humanity…the other characters on the show as well. These are all things that made her imminently relatable and made the story exciting, made it an adventure.”

Tassler also said that Supergirl’s story is one of female empowerment, a topic that is much talked about these days, and says she is “a very strong, independent young woman. She’s coming into her own. She’s dealing with family issues. She’s dealing with work issues. It’s a female empowerment story.”

Of course, Supergirl — aka Kara Danvers — won’t be the only focus of the series. The show will also tell the story of her foster sister, Alex, who works for a secret government organization, and a CIA agent who worries that with Supergirl’s big reveal will come a mound of trouble for the human race.

Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl will join a slew of other DC Comics characters who have their own television shows now, including The Flash, Oliver Queen (“Arrow”), and several of the villains and heroes from the world of Batman.