Original Supergirl Star Helen Slater is Given a Second Chance With the Character

By  · Published on February 27th, 2015

TriStar Pictures

No, Helen Slater isn’t getting another go at playing the superhero 31 years after Supergirl flopped at the box office. There’s still no sequel to the movie planned, nor even a reboot, but a TV series of the same name is in the works for CBS, and Slater has been cast in an undisclosed part. TV Line reported that she and former Superman portrayer Dean Cain, who donned the cape for TV’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, are both joining the show, which will star Melissa Benoist in the title role this time around.

Slater and Cain may only be making guest appearances, and they both previously had meta-cast parts on the DC Comics-based TV show Smallville, but seeing the actress’s name attached to something called Supergirl makes me very happy as a non-ironic fan of the 1984 feature. Sure, it’s cheap and corny, and Slater didn’t quite shine as the Krypton-born cousin of the more-famous Superman, but Faye Dunaway is a real hoot as the campy vampy villain, Selena. I’m now dreaming that she too will be given some sort of guest-starring gig here. Preferably with Brenda Vaccaro by her side.

I’m digging the modern superhero movement paying tribute to the bombs of the past. Last year, Howard the Duck made a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy. Now this. We need a Marvel property to feature Dolph Lundgren in a cameo nodding to 1989’s The Punisher. Can the MCU TV series follow DC’s lead and get him and maybe the 1990 Captain America’s Matt Salinger and anyone from 1994’s The Fantastic Four – preferably Jay Underwood – for some guest spots on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

These homages aren’t newfound validations for the old failures of the genre, but they do validate those of us who grew up and suffered through that era as best we could and found enjoyment where possible. Now we just need a TV series with an excuse to honor fans of Hudson Hawk.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.