The CW is further expanding its television lineup heading into the 2021-22 season with the announcement that they are moving forward with three pilots and one project heading straight to series.
Among the three pilots moving forward is the DC Comics project, NAOMIproduced by Ava Duvernay’s ARRAY Filmworks in conjunction with Warner Bros Television and Jill Blankenship.
NAOMI follows a teen girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes. Based on the characters from DC.
The acclaimed NAOMI comic book series debuted in 2019 with Naomi: Season One, co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker, and illustrated by breakout artist Jamal Campbell. The comic follows a remarkable young woman on her unique hero’s journey.
Other shows being given pilot orders are: THE POWERPUFF GIRLS the story of three girls used to be America’s pint-sized superheroes, now they’re disillusioned twentysomethings who resent having lost their childhood to crime fighting. Will they agree to reunite now that the world needs them more than ever? Based on the original Cartoon Network animated series and characters created by Craig McCracken. Heather Regnier and Diablo Cody will serve as writers and executive producers. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and David Madden will also executive produce and Erika Kennair will produce alongside.
Also give a pilot order is an UNTITLED URMAN/ROTHROCK/WEIR PROJECT (PILOT ORDER). A dramedy about two millennial nuns – a devout true believer, and a new arrival who has yet to take her final vows – who start as strangers and become sisters on a funny, spiritual journey to understand their own faith and place in the Catholic church. The project will have as its writers/executive producers: Claire Rothrock & Ryann Weir (“Basic Witch”) and produced by CBS Studios and Sutton St. Productions.
The network has also order THE 4400 straight to series. This series is about 4400 overlooked, undervalued, or otherwise marginalized people who vanished without a trace over the last hundred years are all returned in an instant, having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them. As the government races to analyze the potential threat and contain the story, the 4400 themselves must grapple with the fact that they’ve been returned with a few…upgrades, and the increasing likelihood that they were all brought back now for a specific reason. Based on the original TV series. It is written and executive produced by Ariana Jackson along with Anna Fricke, Laura Terry. It is also produced by CBS Studios.
For the first time director, Ava Duvernay and her ARRAY Filmworks will partner up with The CW to bring NAOMI to the network.
The CW Network is developing a script for NAOMI, a new project from Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship produced by ARRAY Filmworks and Warner Bros TV, based on the DC character of the same name.Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes will also produce for ARRAY Filmworks.
NAOMI follows a teen girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes.
For those unfamiliar with the comic, the acclaimed NAOMI comic book series debuted in 2019 with Naomi: Season One, co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker, and illustrated by breakout artist Jamal Campbell. The comic follows a remarkable young woman on her unique hero’s journey.
Fans have come to love the Thunder-Grace relationship with Thunder/Anissa Pierce played by Nafessa Williams and Grace Choi played by Chantal Thuy. Well, we will for sure be getting more of that relationship in volume in the upcoming fourth season as Chantal Thuy has been upped to a series regular on BLACK LIGHTNING that will premiere in February.
Chantal Thuy embodies the character of Grace Choi,” saysBLACK LIGHTNING executive producer and showrunner Salim Akil. “I am sure our BLACK LIGHTNING fans knew, especially those who follow the Grace and Anissa relationship storyline, that having Chantal join as a series regular was only a matter of time. I am elated to finally welcome her officially to the team.”
Thuy’s character of Grace Choi is based on the BLACK LIGHTNING comic created by Tony Isabella with Trevor von Eeden, Grace Choi has been in a committed onscreen romantic relationship with Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) since the first season. The fan-favorite couple has consequently been through the highs and lows that any superheroes trying to maintain a personal life go through.
Thuy recently made her Broadway debut last year in Tracy Letts’ play Linda Vista with the Second Stage Theater in New York. Alongside the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble, she reprised the role of Minnie Tran after playing the part in the Center Theatre Group’s production in Los Angeles. She also ha previously guest starred in television series such as Madam Secretary (CBS), Pretty Little Liars (Freeform) and Matador (El Rey Network). She is represented by Joseph Le Talent Agency and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
In the third season amidst all of the chaos we saw Anissa & Grace attempt at getting married which was put on hold. Hopefully we will see the nuptials given and more Grace Choi in action.
After a major turn around in his arc in Season 2 of BLACK LIGHTNING and helping the Outsiders to stop Agent O’Dell (Bill Duke), GraveDigger (Wayne Brady) and the ASA’s occupation of Freeland, PAINKILLER played by Jordan Calloway will be getting his own spinoff series as announced by the CW on today.
The pilot will air as the seventh episode in the upcoming fourth season of BLACK LIGHTNING. BLACK LIGHTNING creator Salim Akil will serve as the shows EP, Writer and Director.
The synopsis of the series is:
Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) is a young man ridden with the guilt of his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City, where, as a super-enhanced killing machine known as Painkiller, he was both a member of Tobias Whale’s gang and a weapon of Agent Odell and the shadowy ASA. After attempting to bury the darker, devastatingly lethal Painkiller part of his persona, Khalil has distanced himself away from everyone he knows and loves in a new city, Akashic Valley, in order to find peace…but peace never comes easy for men with pasts like Khalil Payne and Painkiller. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrusted back into action with a new mission – bring justice where he once gave out punishment – but to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side, Painkiller.
This is very exciting news not just to see the world of BLACK LIGHTNING expanding but also for Jordan Calloway who has worked extremely hard in developing the character and getting him to connect to the audience.
You can check out the third season of BLACK LIGHTNING currently streaming on Netflix
When we got out first look at Javicia Leslie as the new Batwoman in a screen test it was met with many mixed emotions. Well now it seems that all those emotions can shift in a more positive direction as we now have our FIRST FULL LOOK at Leslie’s Ryan Wilder as the new protector of Gotham.
The redesigned Batsuit was conceptualized by Batwoman costume designer Maya Mani and created by Ocean Drive Leather, the wig created by Janice Workman and makeup styled by Cory Roberts.
Regarding new character Ryan Wilder and Batwoman’s new look, executive producer Caroline Dries said: “Ryan’s journey starts from a place of ‘What can this Batsuit do for me?’ But it’s not long before she realizes the power of its symbol and what it can do for everyone else in Gotham City. As Ryan embraces everything that makes her special, she adjusts the suit to fit her physically and figuratively. This meant creating a new body design and new cowl that was undeniably a statement that screamed ‘powerful.’ Maya Mani sent me her drawings and I loved it. The wig was something we never perfected in season one, and Janice Workman crushed it with this new take. Javicia and I saw various prototypes of styles and red ombres, and at one point we were trading our own iPad-doodled versions. Janice translated that into what we are looking at now. When I see it, I smile. It makes me feel inspired.”
Javicia Leslie is the first Black actress to portray Batwoman in a live-action television or film production. Of the design and her collaboration with Caroline Dries and Maya Mani, she said: “I love the fact that Ryan is becoming her own Batwoman — it’s her style, her swag, and her moment! It was an honor to be able to collaborate with Caroline and Maya. I felt it was important that viewers could tell by the silhouette that Batwoman was a Black girl. With the form-fitting suit and beautiful Afro, we definitely nailed it!”
Costume Designer Maya Mani, who has created many of the suits for the “Arrowverse,” says of the redesign: “I was asked by Caroline Dries to design a Batsuit that was unique to the character of Ryan Wilder; as she is a highly skilled fighter, encapsulating her raw, athletic, and passionate nature was imperative. As Batwoman, Javicia Leslie not only brings a fresh perspective, but physical strength to the role. It was important for the new suit to define Javicia’s commanding presence while showcasing her athleticism and allowing her the freedom to express the physical nature of Batwoman, all while looking ultra-cool in the process!”
Notable changes include:
A new cowl featuring natural, curly hair with red streaks, red gauntlets over the forearms, and shorter boots.
A redesign with new materials, featuring laser etching to create more visual depth and a stronger silhouette.
As someone who was excited for the second season to see what Javicia Leslie brings to the role this amps up the excitement ten fold.
Now that BATWOMAN has gone back into production in Vancouver for the CW, the biggest question was what would Javicia Leslie who will be portraying Ryan Wilder look like suited up as Gotham’s newest protector. Now we have our answer thanks to Leslie herself.
According to Javicia’s post she will have her own spin on the batsuit which is similar to the way the Kate Kane had the suit augmented for her in Season 1.
For those who need a reminder, the character of Ryan Wilder is a new character being created for the show’s sophomore season. Wilder is described as a wholly new version of Batwoman, with her own unique approach to keeping the people of Gotham safe. Described as likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. She’s the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical all-American hero.
The cast around the misfits known as DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW is steadily growing as it has now added former CHICAGO P.D. star, Lisseth Chavez as Esperanze “Spooner” Cruz heading into the show’s sixth season.
Cruz who is described as tough and self-sufficient,lives off the grid, devising ingenious tech for the detection of — and defense against — space aliens. And while some might call her paranoid, she calls it being prepared. A survivor of a childhood alien encounter, Spooner now believes she has the ability to communicate telepathically with aliens — making her the perfect recruit for Waverider captains Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan) and the Legends who, in season six, will be hunting down extraterrestrials who have been displaced throughout history. If you recall in the season finale Sara is abducted by aliens.
Executive producer Grainne Godfrey goes on to describe Chavez’ Cruz by saying that “She is a young Latinx woman from Texas, who was kidnapped by aliens and has a third for vengeance. She’s not going to be the loveable losers that we normally have, she’s going to be pretty tough and gives it to the other Legends and they’re going to have to react to her and I think it’s going to throw them off their feet a little bit.”
The LEGENDS will return for a sixth season in 2021.
After months of speculation as to who would be replacing Kate Kane as the protector of Gotham after Ruby Rose exited BATWOMAN, we now know who will take up the mantle as Ryan Wilder the new character set to be the city’s hero.
Javicia Leslie (GOD FRIENDED ME) will take over the title role in The CW series’ second season. With her cast she is becoming the first Black actress to play Batwoman in a live-action TV or film production.
“I am extremely proud to be the first Black actress to play the iconic role of Batwoman on television, and as a bisexual woman, I am honored to join this groundbreaking show which has been such a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Leslie.
The new character of Ryan Wilder, which was created by showrunner Caroline Dries and executive producer Greg Berlanti is described as “likable, messy, a little goofy and untamed. She’s also nothing like Kate Kane, the woman who wore the Batsuit before her. With no one in her life to keep her on track, Ryan spent years as a drug-runner, dodging the GCPD and masking her pain with bad habits. Today Ryan lives in her van with her plant. A girl who would steal milk for an alley cat and could also kill you with her bare hands, Ryan is the most dangerous type of fighter: highly skilled and wildly undisciplined. An out lesbian. Athletic. Raw. Passionate. Fallible. And very much not your stereotypical All-American hero.”
This is exciting but also adds an extra layer of interest with the Superman and Batwoman crossover set to happen in the near future.
STARGIRLwill continue to battle the Injustice Society as well as any other threat that may come to the town of Blue Valley in her second season. The DC Comics superhero show has been renewed for a sophomore season by the CW. Along with its renewal it will fully migrate over to the network as a CW original show and will leave its current mainstay home on the DC Universe.
STARGIRLwas initially a DC Universe original where the first season of the series was commissioned by the digital subscription service. The CW however last fall acquired an exclusive linear window as well as play on the network’s non-linear platforms following its debut on DC Universe.Episodes of STARGIRLcurrently air the next day on the CW a day after it airs on the DC Universe.
No longer will episodes be available on the DC Universe streaming platform going forward. This is seemingly the new direction the platform is taking. The DC Universe has been focusing on its core business of DC comic book and news content for fans. DC Universe has one exclusive original series, TITANS.DOOM PATROL which recently entered its second season is now shared with HBO Max.
There is now another chapter to this tale thanks to The Cinema Spot. It is being reported that RIVERDALE star, Vanessa Morgan is being eyed to take up the mantle of the new Ryan Wilder character. Initially after the announcement to replace Rose was made, many fans began to push back especially on social media stating that they would not be watching the sophomore season.
It is worth noting that Morgan is the only black lead on RIVERDALE and she recently called out the CW for its sidelining of black leads:
Tired of how Black people are portrayed in Media, tired of us being portrayed as thugs, dangerous or angry scary people. Tired of us also being used as sidekick non-dimensional characters to our white leads. Or only used in the ads for diversity but not actually in the show.
RIVERDALE creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa replied with the following:
We hear Vanessa. We love Vanessa. She’s right. We’re sorry and we make the same promise that we did to her. We will do better to honor her and the character she plays. As well as all of our actors and characters of color. CHANGE is happening and will continue to happen. Riverdale will get bigger, not smaller. Riverdale will be part of the movement, not outside it.
It was previously announced that, spoiler alert, Riverdale is set to do a time jump heading into Season 5. Therefore, it is likely that if Morgan gets the role of Ryan Wilder, her Riverdale character Toni Topaz will not be returning after the time jump.
Also it is being report that along with her audition, Vanessa Morgan will also be doing a screen test. This screen test will presumably be done with other members of the main cast.
Now just because she is screen testing it does not mean she is a lock and other actresses cannot audition for the role. The CW is looking for an actress who is younger than 30 years old, and “gets” Berlanti Productions and its culture.