When NBC first announced that its next attempt at tackling the DC Comics universe would come in the form of the half-hour comedy Powerless, it sounded like a great way to tackle the superhero genre from a different angle. And now that the pilot is building its cast, the project has become a must-watch, assuming the network allows it to move forward. The latest additions are headed up by the always excellent Firefly alum Alan Tudyk, and he’ll be joined by Community’s Danny Pudi and A-to-Z’s Christina Kirk.
Developed by A to Z creator Ben Queen, Powerless takes place at one of the worst insurance companies in a country much like our own America, only this version is one where DC heroes have a presence. High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens was cast as the series lead Emily, a claims adjuster who still manages to love her job despite not liking the disastrous efforts of the super-citizens all around her city.
Alan Tudyk signed on to play a pompous douche named Del, who just got promoted in the claims department, which makes him Emily’s new boss. He’s not a good worker though, and is merely the boss’ son, but he still quickly lets the newfound power get to his ego-filled head. I always like rooting for Tudyk’s characters rather than against them, but I can’t imagine he won’t be fantastic as a sniveling shitbag. The actor could most recently be seen in the acclaimed feature Trumbo, as well as Con Man, a web series of his own creation that features several Firefly co-stars during its initial season. And as far as his DC ties go, he’s voiced both Green Arrow and The Flash in Young Justice and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, respectively.
Danny Pudi will play Emily’s best friend and co-worker Teddy. To be expected, Teddy isn’t exactly the most professional person, and he spends a lot of his shift time creating pranks to liven up the office. While it doesn’t look like Pudi will be reprising his Community role of Abed any time soon, considering Yahoo lost a ton of dough giving it an extra season, he can still be seen on other shows such as Angie Tribeca and Dr. Ken, as well as heard in the upcoming sequel Smurfs: The Lost Village.
According to TVLine, Christina Kirk will play Jackie, who is certain to get on Emily’s nerves. Not only is Jackie totally into all of the superheroes out there, but she also happens to be Del’s assistant. Kirk’s biggest TV role to date was in the short-lived comedy A to Z, though she also had a notable part in the drama Manhattan. She will next be seen on the big screen for the horror anthology XX, which features solely female directors.
Since I don’t have any kind of psychic powers, it’s not clear exactly what the timetable will be for Powerless’ pilot, but we definitely hope it’s as super as some of the other DC series on the air right now.