It’s been a busy week for the upcoming Supergirl TV series, as Calista Flockhart was added on earlier this week as the titular character’s boss Cat Gant, and yesterday brought Chyler Leigh and David Harewood to the cast as Alexandra Danvers and Hank Henshaw, respectively. Two more actors have now joined on, but unlike the rest, they aren’t new to the world of Superman. Super-veterans Dean Cain and Helen Slater have just been announced to appear in the first season of Supergirl.
Cain rose to stardom in the 1990s when he starred as Superman in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman for four seasons. Supergirl also isn’t Cain’s first foray back into the world of Superman, as he also appeared on Smallville in 2007 as Dr. Curtis Knox, a small screen adaptation of the immortal DC villain Vandal Savage.
Slater's claim to super-fame is playing the first live-action iteration of Supergirl in the self-titled 1984 movie. Despite the movie earning mixed reviews, many critics approved of Slater in the role, and she later earned a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress. Like Cain, she also appeared on Smallville, recurring from 2007-2010 as Lara-El, Superman’s Kryptonian mother. She also voiced Talia al Ghul in Batman: The Animated Series.
Unfortunately for fans, Cain and Slater’s roles in the series haven’t been revealed. One possibility is that both of these actors are playing Kara’s foster parents, who in the Silver Age of comic books were named Fred and Edna Danvers. Although Kara's Earth parents haven’t been mentioned in any character descriptions, they would likely play at least a recurring role in the series. Another option for Dean is that he is playing Kara’s Kryptonian father Zor-El, which would have him sharing scenes with Laura Benanti as Zor-El’s wife Alura.
This is the second current DC TV series that has cast actors who previously appeared in similar superhero shows. The CW’s The Flash has featured appearances from John Wesley Shipp, Amanda Pays and Mark Hamill, all of whom starred in the original 1990 Flash series. This isn’t much of a surprise, however, as both shows have Greg Berlanti as their executive producer, and David Rapaport as their casting director.
Supergirl has earned a series commitment from CBS, although no air date has been announced.