Berlanti, Johns Discuss "Supergirl's" Richard Donner Influence

During the Television Critics Association summer press tour, CBR News reporter Scott Huver attended the "Supergirl" panel and spoke with executive producers Greg Berlanti and Geoff Johns about the upcoming series and the influence of the classic Richard Donner-directed "Superman" film.

"I think that's the thing, is when you go back and you watch [the films] again, if you remove the action set pieces -- just the sort of sweeping vistas and the size and scope of it -- it had something that, I think, just imprinted on our brains at that time in our lives that I associated with what it meant to tell a superhero story," Berlanti said. "But, yeah, it was a relatability. There's times where we've watched the dailies and [Supergirl actress] Melissa [Benoist] is sort of ‑‑ is fumfering or doing what Clark Kent may have done in a scene or a sequence like that, and to me it's the most evocative since Christopher Reeve in terms of capturing, I think, that sort of relatability. And that was our hope and our desire, but you never know if you're going to be fortunate enough to do that."

Johns added the he believes that when Donner sees the show, he'll be really proud of the tonal inspiration his film provided. "I worked with him for four years and he has the same kind of passion," Johns said. "And he used to have the sign 'Verisimilitude' over all the production offices in 'Superman,' which meant truth, and he said it was about emotional truth. And, again, that goes back to what Greg and everybody else is bringing to the show."

The show centers on Kara Zor-El (Benoist), a Kryptonian stranded on Earth following the destruction of her home planet Krypton. Assuming the name Kara Danvers, she decides to come out of hiding at the age of 24 and use her super abilities for good, following in the footsteps of her famous cousin.

"Supergirl" arrives on CBS on October 26 at 8:30 p.m. eastern.

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