Sidekick no more: James Olsen will be suiting up as DC Comics’ character Guardian in season 2 of Supergirl, EW has learned.
Following a press screening of the upcoming second episode of Supergirl on Tuesday, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed that Olsen will take to the streets as a vigilante this year. “James has a pretty big turn coming up,” Kreisberg says. “These next few episodes are going to make him realize that being a photographer… is not enough for him, so he’s going to go on a pretty exciting career trajectory that we’re really pumped by. James is going to decide that he can no longer sit back and be a sidekick, so he’s going to decide to become a vigilante and he’s going to become Guardian — complete with the shield — which is going to cause a massive problem in his relationship with Kara [Melissa Benoist], because he has decided not to tell her.
“Now there’s this new masked vigilante, and she has her own feelings about vigilantes, and it becomes a push and pull about who gets to decide who gets to be a hero?” Kreisberg continues. “He’s recruited Winn [Jeremy Jordan] to help him, Winn is his man in the van, so the two of them are doing this together. Winn and James together is comedy gold. Watching Winn, as he takes his job at the DEO, but then he’s lying to everybody about how he’s spending his nights, because he’s going out with James, and how he walks in exhausted or walks in with a black eye and says he walked into a door, is the fun excitement of building these first 10 episodes.”
Kreisberg also notes that James becoming a vigilante goes hand-in-hand with the show’s move to The CW — the flagship Arrow started with just a vigilante before Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) fully became the Green Arrow. The same can be said for the reasons behind James and Kara’s sudden split during Monday’s premiere episode. “They’re both tremendously talented actors and they’re both lovely people and they both love working with each other,” Kreisberg says. “We felt like we were pursuing that relationship more because we felt like we had to then any of us was really, truly feeling it. It was interesting because we brought in some new writers in the middle of the season to keep some fresh blood and even they were like coming at it fresh and sort of felt like we weren’t quite sure how we were going to make this happen. We realized that the best scenes between them were just the nice, sweet scenes when they were just being friends.”
“Whether the show is on CBS or CW, the show has a large fan base and a loyal fan base and we didn’t feel like we could just drop it because we made such a big deal about it in the first season,” Kreisberg continues. “But we thought rather than opening the episode with, ‘Well, we had our summer romance, sorry that didn’t work out,’ actually making it a part of the story. The theme of last year was, ‘How does Kara become Supergirl?’ and the theme of this year is, ‘How does Supergirl become Kara?’ It felt like there was a way to have that realization actually be part of the story. Most of us have had friendships that have turned into something more and then you realize maybe it wasn’t, so it felt like a very nature, very real story that we could be telling.”
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Later this month, Benoist and several of her CW superhero cohorts will be taking the stage at EW PopFest. Click the banner above for tickets and further details.