It’s not every day that billionaire Bruce Wayne calls. After all, he’s a busy man, with a vast business empire and those shadowy nocturnal activities. So when he does pick up the phone, it’s a pretty big deal, even for his cousin. Just realize that Bruce may not have time to actually talk.
In a new clip for the NBC sitcom “Powerless,” the online search by Alan Tudyk’s Van Wayne for a katana is interrupted first by a city-wide broadcast by the villainous Jack O’Lantern and then by a call from Bruce. Interestingly, the first event is depicted as commonplace in Charm City — “Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up,” Van says while trying to close out of Jack O’Lantern’s message — while the latter is cause for panic.
“Jackie,” Van tells his secretary, “if you are lying to me, I will put rocks in your pockets and I will throw you in the ocean.” The head of Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises, Van psyches himself up for the call from “B-Dubs,” only to be placed on hold.
Set within the DC Universe, “Powerless” centers on the everyday lives of people in a world populated by super-powered heroes and villains. The workplace comedy follows Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke, who begins her new job as director of research & development for Wayne Security, which specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer as they try not to become collateral damage in the battles between superheroes and supervillains.
Although the shadow of Bruce Wayne looms large on “Powerless” — after all, he owns Wayne Security — viewers shouldn’t expect a cameo by Batman anytime soon.
“Even if you want to see [Bruce Wayne’s] hands pop into frame, you’d have to go get [Ben] Affleck; you can’t just have anyone’s hands,” executive producer Justin Halpern said during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.
“Usually they’re very protective of their characters — for good reason. A lot of people invest a lot in these characters,” he added, referring to Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. “We ask for as much as we can get, and we see where we can find a happy medium. Like anything, they wanted to make sure they didn’t think the show was terrible before they let us use stuff.”
However, as we’ve already seen, DC Comics D-listers Crimson Fox and Jack O’Lantern play a prominent role on the series, which gives nods to Superman, Wonder Woman and other iconic heroes. Plus, there’s that appearance by Starro, and an ad for Joker Gas Anti-Venom.
Starring Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches and Christina Kirk, “Powerless” premieres Thursday, Feb. 2, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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