As Supergirl returns for its second season, there are numerous changes in store for Melissa Benoist's Girl Of Steel. For starters, Kara Danvers' boss, Cat Grant, will be appearing sporadically rather than weekly, due to the production's relocation from Los Angeles to Vancouver and actress Calista Flockhart electing not to relocate. Tyler Hoechlin portrays Superman in the first two episodes of the year, and new cast members include Floriana Lima as police officer Maggie Sawyer, Chris Wood as super-powered alien Mon-El, Ian Gomez as CatCo's Snapper Carr, Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor (Lex's sister) and Frederick Schmidt guest starring as the man with a heart of Kryptonite, John Corben/Metallo.
Executive producer Ali Adler sat down with Empire to preview the season to come and the thinking behind what will be taking place.
1. Season Two will be more emotional
"In season one we learned that we have this tremendous cast that's very emotional and able to tell stories that aren't always told with their fists or with the beautiful visual effects that we do. In season two we get to really show this emotional connection with our cast in a deeper way, although there are still plenty of action and visual effects sequences that are really stunning."
2. A Shift in American networks means a closer connection to the comics
"I think the CW lets it be more in the world it wants to be in. Not that there was an urge to be more procedural at CBS. It was just telling stories there as well, but I think it gets more specific into some of the history of the comic and some more specificity about the alien presence on Earth that maybe we couldn't tell as significantly before."
3. Season Two will be about character growth
"J'onn J'onzz has been lonely for hundreds of years on Earth, and finally started to build a bit of a family last year with Kara and Alex. He suddenly feels less alone Meeting someone of his own kind (Miss Martian) when he thought he was the last Martian, causes close personal examination. With Alex, her sister's secret is out, and so she is faced with becoming exactly who she is. For Supergirl, she's become more active at work as Kara and more accepted and embraced in the world as a hero in her own right, and not just being in her cousin's shadow. Everyone's coming into their own this season."
4. Why Superman is appearing in the first two episodes
"It's sort of weird if we don't tell the story of her famous cousin. It's like if your brother was a rock star, we'd have to tell that story if we were doing the story of your life. So it's important to tell that story and it seemed like a natural time to tell it. At its core, Supergirl's not only a show about girl power, but about a powerful girl. She really is the essence and the core of the show, but we're thrilled that Tyler Hoechlin came and we're so honored that we were granted amazing access to this tremendous, iconic character in Superman."
5. What Tyler Hoechlin brings to the character of Superman
"It's the most difficult costume to be handed. It's really so iconic, and every child has a dream of growing up and putting on a cape like that, and wearing a glyph with the S. He has just done a tremendous job of filling that suit. It's an emotional and a physical job, and he was so up to the task. We love the Christopher Reeve version, and we are so influenced by that, because his is the take on the character that I think my generation really identifies with. And Tyler's done an amazingly charming job of bringing Superman, ironically, justice. This show has a hopefulness that we think people need at this time in the world, and Tyler brings that."
6. What will be the impact of Calista Flockhart's Cat Grant becoming a recurring character rather than a series regular?
"The Cat/Kara relationship has been such an important part of the show. As she became Supergirl, both Kara and Supergirl were shaped by the amazing advice and tutelage Calista Flockhart/Cat Crant offered. I think as we grow in our professional careers, and this is applicable to both Supergirl and Kara Danvers, different people begin to influence us. The character Snapper Carr, played by the brilliant Ian Gomez, has come in to CatCo and is, I would say, as gentle as Cat Grant in his tutelage, but with a different attitude. He has many lessons to impart in terms of professionalism and journalistic integrity. As Kara grows in her professional career, she has much to learn there. Hank Henshaw has much to teach Supergirl as well. So although Calista will be with us less, there are still many people that are helping shape our Supergirl."
7. What does Mon-El bring to the show?
"We weren't around when Kara landed on Earth and had all of those fish out of water or stranger in a strange land experiences. What's exciting is as Mon-El comes to Earth, he's going to have a guide in Kara, which is what she was supposed to be for Kal-El, but he arrived on Earth first by 13 years. She is very reflective about her own past in guiding him and helping him through what this journey is of being a foreigner. So much of season one we were talking about aliens on Earth, and acceptance of non-humans on this planet and what our responsibility is to that. Mon-El gives us the chance to address all of that."
9. Superman villain Metallo makes his presence known
"Metallo is such an iconic character in the DC Universe, and we're so impressed with how it's been handled, even in terms of the costume itself. Kiersten Ronning, who is the costume designer, is just so tremendous with her designs. All these phases that we're seeing in our villains at the top of the season are just people and villains from the gallery of rogues. These are people that we've really looked forward to meeting since our childhoods, and now we get to humanize them. Someone like Metallo definitely fits into that category."
10. Supergirl and The Flash will interact in a musical crossover
"As if it wasn't enough that we have action sequences and visual effects sequences and romance, we also now need to add singing! I met Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist on Glee, where I was a writer. Our cast, when we're not shooting, is singing behind the sets. We have the most tremendously gifted musical cast, so it seems only appropriate to add one more dimension to our weekly journey."
Supergirl airs on the CW in America and Sky1 in the UK