I think it’s been an avowed rule of portrayals of Jimmy Olsen that Superman’s best friend is – What’s the word I’m looking for? – a nerd. He was a young kid that wore a bow tie for decades for crying out loud! Unless you’re The Doctor, nothing says “nerd” like wearing a bow tie and being under the age of 50 (of course Doctor Who may not exactly be the lampshade I’m thinking of for this rule). But if Jimmy Olsen isn’t supposed to be anything, it’s a well-cut side of beef that’s part underwear model, and part athlete. After all, what good is it to be Superman’s best friend if it looks like you’d have a good chance at kicking his ass if he didn’t have super-powers? To wit, Mehcad Brooks has now been cast as Olsen in CBS’ Supergirl series.
EW reported the news that Brooks, who is perhaps best known for playing Tara’s doomed love interest Eggs on the second season of True Blood, will play Olsen who, in the Supergirl context, is a photographer at CatCo, the same media company where Supergirl’s secret identity Kara Danver works. Melissa Benoist was cast last week in the title role, and it’s likely that Olsen, who a TV Line posted described in the casting call as “smart, worldly and attractive” and an “alpha male” with a “salt-of-the-earth nature,” will be Kara’s love interest on the show.
Brooks, who’s acting resume includes regular appearances on Desperate Housewives and The Game, as well as the films In the Valley of Elah and Creature, will be joining such acting titans as Jack Larson (The Adventures of Superman), Marc McClure (Superman: The Movie), Aaron Ashmore (Smallville), and Sam Huntington (Superman Returns) in the shoes of Olsen. Of course, you better call this Olsen James and not Jimmy. Disappointingly though, once again Olsen will appear on film as a non-ginger, but on the other hand this will be the first time that Olsen’s broken the color barrier, so Supergirl’s got that going for it. Personally, making Jimmy Olsen black doesn’t bother me, making him a stud, on the other hand, kinda does. I guess we’ll see how good an idea it is once we have a sense of the vision that Greg Berlanti (Arrow) and Ali Adler (No Ordinary Family) have for the show.
Supergirl will follow the weekly adventures of Kryptonian refugee Kara Zor-El, who, like her cousin Superman, escaped the destruction of her homeworld and came to Earth, but unlike her cousin she was a teenager when she fled and thus has memories of life on another world. Living in secret, Kara decides to start using her yellow sun enhanced powers to help the people of Earth.
Casting continues on the show, which will also feature other recurring comic book characters including Kara’s boss Cat Grant, co-worker Wynn Schott (AKA: Toy Man), and CIA agent next door Hank Henshaw (AKA: Cyborg Superman). We will also meet Kara’s sister Alex in the show. All those roles remain uncast (for now).
Supergirl will begin shooting its pilot episode later this winter, and will begin airing on CBS sometime during the 2015/16 TV season. We’ll have more news as it develops.