The Greatest American Hero has found its hero — and she couldn’t be more opposite from the curly-haired blonde male who starred in the original version of the series. The reboot of the early 1980s cult classic comedy-drama will star Hannah Simone, according to Entertainment Weekly. Simone is best known for her role as Zooey Deschanel’s best friend, Cece, on Fox’s New Girl, which is set to air its seventh and final season in April.
Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat) is the showrunner for the upcoming Greatest American Hero reboot. The new half-hour comedy series will focus on a young woman named Meera (Simone), an Indian-American tequila and karaoke fan who’s still trying to figure out her life when a super suit used to protect the planet lands in her hands. Fresh Off the Boat writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom wrote the pilot for the GAH reboot.
There has been talk of a Greatest American Hero revival for at least four years. In 2014, Deadline reported that the superhero series was in early stages for a TV revival on Fox to be penned by Rodney Rothman (22 Jump Street) alongside executive producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller for 20th Century Fox TV.
The original Greatest American Hero starred William Katt as schoolteacher Ralph Hinkley, a man who gained superhero powers after aliens left him a red jumpsuit. The series premiered as a two-hour pilot movie in 1981 and co-starred Robert Culp as FBI agent Bill Maxwell, and Connie Sellecca as lawyer Pam Davidson. The original series aired for two seasons on ABC, from 1981 to 1983.
Katt went on to star in a series of Perry Mason films and appeared in TV shows, including Heroes and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. The actor told Filmoria he was unable to distance himself from his Greatest American Hero persona — so he stopped trying.
“There was a time when I tried to divorce myself from my role on The Greatest American Hero,” Katt said. “But that’s like trying to distance yourself from your right arm. It will always be there. So I learned to embrace it.”
Katt later wrote a Greatest American Hero comic book and is still active on the Facebook dedicated to the original show.
The Greatest American Hero is the latest buzzy reboot in the works at ABC. The network has already ordered nine episodes of a Roseanne reboot, set to debut next month.