Vanessa Hudgens will star in a new DC comedy pilot on NBC, Variety reports. The show, called Powerless, will be set in the DC world, likely the city of Gotham, but will feature an unremarkable insurance claims adjuster named Emily Locke, who will be played by Hudgens, and the only bad guys she’s likely to face are tough clients.
Nonetheless, the character, from what we know about her and what Variety has released, is entirely devoted to her job, but like your Average Amanda in the office who will not stop complaining about the antics of Donald Trump, Emily is becoming incrementally annoyed by the packs of vigilante superheroes destructing her city around her.
The show itself will be a “workplace comedy,” a la well-known vanilla-world series like Workaholics and The Office, which means that unlike every superhero show that has gone before it, Powerless will rarely leave the office-space, if only to take brief interludes to the homes of the characters and work-specific outside settings.
While this may all seem unusual for DC to try, it is at least something new. This will be the first televised look at what the innocent bystander-type might think about the super beings around her who, frankly, have complete disregard for law and order and the well-being of buildings. Powerless will also be the first ever DC comedy.
The role will be Vanessa Hudgens’s first continuous job in television, as her track record has mostly been in movies. She made her acting debut in 2006 in the memorable Disney Channel movie High School Musical, and since then has done work in Spring Breakers and Sucker Punch. Most recently, Hudgens starred in Grease: Live, attaining positive reviews from critics, which possibly gave her the momentum she needed to land this novel role.
Head-writer Ben Queen, who penned the script for Cars 2, is the leader of this project and sold the pilot to NBC back in January. Queen will also hire himself as executive producer while Michael Patrick Jann (The State), will direct the first episode.
Powerless tails the success the surplus of superhero shows on television have had lately. From Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to The Flash to Supergirl to Arrow, and even Marvel’s Agent Carter, a spin-off, classic superhero shows have flown off the market as of late, filling up time-slots that used to belong to sitcoms and comedies.
The pilot is also timely, coinciding with the quickly upcoming DC movie Batman v. Superman, featuring two characters whose names, at the very least, will unarguably wallpaper the series.
The show will be shot in single-camera style and will run for a half hour. If it includes interviews with the characters from an invisible crewmen and fourth-wall-shattering looks dead into the camera, Powerless could easily become the new superhero-flavored Office or Parks and Recreation, shows that NBC sorely misses (for its ratings powers, at the least).
If the pilot is a success, TV viewers and DC fans can expect to see Powerless soon, maybe in the fall.