Supergirl episode 13 is tackling a classic Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons DC Comics story. The creative team that gave fans Watchmen wrote a Superman story called “For the Man Who Has Everything,” about Kal-El living in a dream world where Krypton never exploded, and he has built a “normal” life for himself.
When I was on the set of Supergirl with the Television Critics Association, producers of the show announced the episode, and Laura Vandervoort joining the cast as Indigo. They also shared stories of girls coming to the set to visit Melissa Benoist as Supergirl. I actually managed to get some one-on-one time with producer Ali Adler to talk about “For The Girl Who Has Everything. If only I could introduce her to seven-year-old Fred who has loved Supergirl since the 1984 movie…
Den of Geek: Alan Moore fans are going to go ape for “For the Girl Who Has Everything.”
Ali Adler: Oh my God, it’s such a beautiful, emotional episode.
Are there drastic differences in doing it with Kara?
I think the notion, what’s really emotional is because Kal-El was a baby when he left, he doesn’t have the memory muscle that Kara does. So to return to Krypton, she’s been there, she’s formed relationships, she has her family.
So while Kal-El imagines what his world would be, she knows. Really, for her it’s a trip home.
How important has it been to have former Supergirls involved, like Helen Slater and Laura Vandervoort?
I think it’s so wonderful to look over and see Helen Slater talking to Melissa and Laura as well. I think the ultimate Supergirl that has really made a difference with Melissa is Calista. She really, in her own series, was number one. She just is a mentor for Melissa. It’s an amazing relationship.
Over the holidays there were some think pieces on “Don’t compare Jessica Jones to Supergirl.” The gist of it was you don’t compare Batman to Spider-Man because they’re both men. Were you gratified to see that people figured out that’s not a good comparison?
Yes, I think it’s one of those things where you have the first of something and then it’s done and all the gates open. Yeah, it’s preposterous to think that there can be one of anything anywhere, so we welcome more women, more men, more ethnic diversity. Any change always requires a little bit of [vigilance]. People will pay attention at the beginning and then hopefully I think we’ve demonstrated that she’s about strength, power and hope and not about a skirt.
Do you see more female characters coming after this strong fall season?
In terms of other shows? Again, I think we’re sort of hopefully going past that conversation I think. I would love to see more always because 50% of the world is female and certainly a balanced representation in all areas of not only fictional worlds, but in terms of behind the camera or behind the pencil or whatever it is. We should represent all things.
Yeah, I think with any successful anything, it took Melissa McCarthy to make a $100 million movie and then everyone’s welcoming those female scripts.
My favorite Supergirl episode so far is “Red-Faced,” not even for Red Tornado who was great, but what spoke to me about it was General Lane asked for Supergirl’s help and then sabotaged her. Was that an important theme, that authorities can set you up to fail?
I don’t know that that was the intention of that episode in particular. I think he needed to test her Kryptonian skills so he wasn’t going to come out and say that. That was his secret agenda, but I do think that as you say, that moment where Melissa was so emotional, where Kara Zor-El was so emotional going back through her past and channeling her primal wound, it was like watching someone give birth.
It was so private a moment that Melissa Benoist brought us on location that day. It was just a real privilege to see her take anger and turn it into defeating the bad guy.
Is it okay that I got what I got out of that episode?
Yeah, oh my God, I love every [interpretation]. Listen, art is subjective. I think that’s an interesting theory as well.
Of course it’s great that girls are coming to the set and girls have this figure to watch…
Oh, my son loves the show just as much as my daughter. I have an 11-year-old and an eight-year-old and with equal fervency. No one says, “Let’s watch The Flash and let’s watch Supergirl. Everyone just wants to watch.”
Right, so are we seeing that everyone’s getting something out of Supergirl, not just girls and women?
Oh, for sure, and I think what’s nice is that families can watch it together, no matter what your family looks like. Everyone can relate to just having a family, being in a family, not necessarily having a Kryptonian sister.
The two parter before and after the holidays was on such a massive scale, have you guys found a rhythm of doing this every week?
I was just saying that we really are just now figuring out what the alchemy is to balance the stunts and the visual effects and the acting and the practical effects to get an episode each week. It really is producing a movie and it’s arduous and exciting. We’re just trying to get as much, but I think as we come into this, as we know where we’re going and towards the end of the season and what we actually physically can accomplish, we’re starting to find that balance.
Supergirl “For The Girl Who Has Everything” airs on Monday, February 8th, at 8 pm on CBS.