The DC Universe just brightened — Brec Bassinger of Nickelodeon’s Bella & the Bulldogs will play the cosmic title character on Stargirl, one of the new TV series that Warner Bros.Digital Networks and DC Entertainment are banking on as they launch an ambitious streaming site aimed at superhero fans.
The streaming site — called DC Universe — launched Saturday and hopes to entice fans to pay $7.99 a month for access to comics, films and TV shows. Stargirl is expected to be among the high-profile offerings needed to propel the digital subscription model toward its heroic potential.
The show and the character are special to Geoff Johns, the show’s writer and executive producer, who until recently was chief creative officer at DC Entertainment. Johns rose through the ranks of DC Comics writers and Stargirl (aka Courtney Whitmore) was among the characters most closely associated with his ascent to fan-favorite status in publishing.
“There is no other character in comic books more special to me than Stargirl, and after searching far and wide I can say there is no other actor on the planet that embodies her more than Brec Bassinger,” Johns said. “Brec’s warmth, strength, humor and positive energy are core to who Courtney Whitmore is. I’m so grateful she’s signed on for the role.”
As heroes go, Stargirl is intelligent, athletic and, above all, kind. That may sound odd in this superhero era of haunted loners, lunatics and gritty brawlers (like Wolverine, Batman or Deadpool), but Stargirl won over readers and critics alike by veering toward a sunny spirit who finds herself facing dark dangers.
Whitmore’s smooth-going high school experience is derailed when her mother marries and moves the household from Los Angeles to bucolic Blue Valley in distant Nebraska. Struggling to adapt, Courtney discovers her stepfather has a secret past as a superhero sidekick. She also discovers an artifact of immense power, a long-lost hero’s cosmic staff, and Courtney becomes the unlikely inspiration for an entirely new generation of superheroes.
Johns is writing the first episode. He created the character Stargirl in 1999 and modeled her on his late sister, also named Courtney, who perished in a 1996 plane crash. The character has reached the screen before — she was portrayed by Britt Irvin and Sarah Grey on Smallville and Legends of Tomorrow, respectively.
Bassinger also starred in the Hulu series All Night and played recurring roles on shows like The Haunted Hathaways, School of Rock and The Goldbergs. She has several movies in the can including Status Update (opposite Ross Lynch and Olivia Holt) and the aptly named Saturday Night at the Starlight (with Abigail Breslin and Michael Madsen). Bassinger is repped by CESD, Vicki Baumann at WORK Management and Mitchell Gossett at Industry Entertainment.
Along with Johns, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter are executive producers of Stargirl. The series is produced by Berlanti Productions and Mad Ghost Productions in association with Warner Bros Television.