Supergirl was a surprising addition to The Flash’s multiversal adventure. Sasha Calle’s interpretation of the character, with her limited screen time, managed to win over many fans of the character. While the movie was not highly regarded, many thought she did a great job in the role and were hoping to see her return in the new DCU that James Gunn and Peter Safran have been setting up.
With a planned Supergirl movie, titled Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, in development and with the massive marketing push around Calle as Supergirl, many assumed she would be the lead role. Yet, as with the case of Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Jason Momoa as Aquaman, it appears Calle is not expected to return to the DCU and will instead be replaced with a new star in the rebooted franchise.
While the DCU does want to start fresh, it is unclear why certain characters are getting recast, and others are not. Viola Davis will return as Amanda Waller, and it is highly assumed that John Cena will return as Peacemaker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. While Gunn likely wants to rebuild the Superman franchise from the ground up, recasting Calle is not a good idea and has the potential to look bad on a number of fronts.
Update December 12, 2023: This article has been updated following the rumors that Supergirl is going to be cast in Superman: Legacy and that Calle is not expected to return.
Leaving Calle Out To Dry
While The Flash was a movie about Barry Allen, aka The Flash, due to star Ezra Miller’s multiple behind-the-scenes controversies, the star did not actively promote the movie. While Warner Bros. Discovery leaned heavily on Michael Keaton returning as Batman, due to other commitments for Keaton, he was unable to do the major press tour for the film. This put Sasha Calle front and center, and most of the film press was done by her.
While Warner Bros. Discovery is likely wanting to distance itself from The Flash due to its loss of over $200 million, it can’t help but feel like they are taking it out on Calle and making her pay the price for something that was out of her control. She did the work, and she also helped market a film that was put into a terrible position due to the actions of the lead star. Now the movie bombs, and Calle is tossed aside as Supergirl. Meanwhile, The Flash‘s director, Andy Muschietti, was given the director’s seat in the upcoming Batman movie, the Brave and the Bold. It can’t help but look bad that the woman of color did the work and is left with nothing while the white director of a movie that flopped is getting a second chance.
Calle Was Supposed To Have a Big Future in the DCEU
Calle was a relative unknown when she was cast as Supergirl. The moment was a big deal and was set to be such a big part in a major franchise. Warner Bros. clearly had big plans for the character, as it is known the original ending for The Flash saw Barry Allen reboot the universe and set up a new DCEU. Part of that would be Michael Keaton becoming the new Batman of the franchise, replacing Ben Affleck, with Sasha Calle being brought in as Supergirl. While at one point it was assumed that Supergirl might replace Superman in the franchise, later it was planned for the movie to end with Supergirl and Superman finally meeting, allowing these two Kryptonian survivors to meet after thinking they were the only one of their people left.
Calle would then get her own Supergirl film, which was announced shortly after she was cast. Yet that was not what happened. When James Gunn and Peter Safran became heads of DC Films, those plans were scrapped, and any trace of the original place was tossed out. Keaton’s final scene in the movie was replaced with a joke having Bruce Wayne instead of George Clooney. This was done so as not to tease anything or get in the way of their new DC plans.
The issue is this decision sort of ruins The Flash, as that leaves Kara’s story unfinished. Now she is just set to die repeatedly, very gruesome deaths and The Flash’s moral is to leave her to die and that universe to suffer. Now, Calle’s character and her career were sacrificed due to behind-the-scenes politics. While the studio is still making a Supergirl movie, they are tossing aside the young actresses whom they plucked from obscurity and looked to try to make a star—certainly not a good look.
They Already Laid The Groundwork
The DCU’s Supergirl will be based on the comic Woman of Tomorrow. This iteration focused on Kara being a grizzled warrior. She mistrusted humanity, much like her introduction in The Flash. In the film, humanity helped her restore her lost faith and beliefs. She had a sensation of anger from the first moment she appeared. Kara Zor-El is a character tormented by losing Krypton and her cousin Kal to Zod. She lost faith in humanity, making her fueled with rage. Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne proved that humanity was worth fighting for. They reignited a sense of hope that was sorely missing in Kara Zor-El.
Her newfound purpose proves she is the best choice for the DCU’s Supergirl since it lays the groundwork for Supergirl in the upcoming film. They have already done the work of setting Supergirl up, so why throw it aside? Doesn’t that make everyone’s job harder? Calle’s rage in The Flash can evolve into a character. It could recontextualize what we saw in The Flash. Recasting when you have a perfectly good Supergirl feels like a waste.
The Key To Rectifying It: Power Girl
Recasting a Latina actress with a white actress is likely not going to be a good look for the DCU, even though Kara was white in the comics. Yet if James Gunn, Peter Safran, and the rest of DC are so insistent on bringing in a new actress to play Kara Zor-El in the DCU as Supergirl, there is one way to make up for Calle’s treatment that might make everyone happy. Bring Calle back but as Power Girl.
In the comics, Power Girl is an older, more mature, grown-up version of Supergirl. She hails from another reality but has been integrated into the main DC Universe. She is one of the most popular DC characters, and bringing in Calle might be the perfect call. Calle’s Power Girl could be the Supergirl from The Flash who finds herself in the new DCU, stranded and the last survivor of her reality. With a Supergirl already present, she adopts a new identity, Power Girl.
Power Girl falls more in line with Calle’s depiction of Supergirl. She is a much more headstrong figure, a little rougher around the edges. The DCU is allowed to feature its own unique Supergirl for Woman of Tomorrow while also paying respect to the rich legacy of the DC Universe by giving an actress a second chance at a character she was not fairly given a chance to portray. The fact that there is another alternate-reality version of Supergirl that is a fan favorite is too good of a chance for James Gunn and DC to pass up.