Powerpuff: Everything We Know About the CW Powerpuff Girls Series

Culture

The CW’s Powerpuff Girl series Powerpuff, featuring the beloved ‘90s cartoon characters as disillusioned twenty-somethings, began filming its pilot in Atlanta in April, only to be hit by some surprising news in May: The show will not be going to series—yet. Per Deadline, the highly anticipated production will reshoot its pilot, apparently due to difficulties adapting the live-action series from a cartoon.

For those curious about what exactly those difficulties might be, Warner Bros. TV Group President Channing Dungey didn’t give many details when discussing the hold-up: “We’ve got a trio of terrific actresses at the center of [the show]. I’m not going to say that it hasn’t been a challenge. Bringing a children’s cartoon into live-action adulthood has been a really fine like to walk, but I think we’ve done a pretty great job walking it.”

Much of the struggle likely has to do with re-inventing the peppy, innocent, kindergarten-aged Powerpuffs into Powerpuff, an older, more contemporary group of sisters who sport moto jackets and unaddressed trauma. The cognitive dissonance at the heart of the series was present from the first photos released from set; the show was roundly teased for its awkward versions of the girls’ iconic blue, green, and pink dresses, tube socks and Mary Janes.

dove cameron, yana perrault, and chloe bennet as the powerpuff girls

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A few days later, the CW released its first official look at the show, featuring the leads in modernized outfits (but in their signature colors, of course).

powerpuff

James Acomb/The CW

It seems the show’s costumes will switch between the superhero look and a real-world update, but the disconnect is not encouraging for a show that’s apparently struggling to find solid ground. Still, with Chloe Bennet, Dove Cameron, and Yana Perrault attached, Powerpuff could be The CW’s next major hit. As the series goes in for an apparently much-needed polish, here’s what else we know so far.

What is the grown-up Powerpuff Girls show about?

As Variety puts it, the girls, now in their 20s, “resent having lost their childhood to crime fighting. Will they agree to reunite now that the world needs them more than ever?

In March 2021, Variety released new details about how the series is depicting Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup as adults. Here’s how the outlet describes them:

Blossom: “Though she was a spunky, conscientious, Little-Miss-Perfect child who holds several advanced degrees, [Blossom]’s repressed kiddie-superhero trauma has left her feeling anxious and reclusive, and she aims to become a leader again, this time on her own terms.”

Bubbles: “Bubbles’ sweet-girl disposition won America’s hearts as a child. She still sparkles as an adult, but her charming exterior belies an unexpected toughness and wit. She’s initially more interested in recapturing her fame than saving the world, but she just might surprise us and herself.”

Buttercup: “Buttercup was the rebellious badass of The Powerpuff Girls in its heyday. More sensitive than her tough exterior suggests, Buttercup has spent her adulthood trying to shed her Powerpuff Girl identity and live an anonymous life.”

Heather Regnier (former Veronica Mars producer) and Diablo Cody (Juno writer) are writing and executive producing the series. Other executive producers include Greg Berlanti (Love, Simon), Sarah Schechter (Unpregnant), and David Madden (Superman and Lois Lane). Erika Kennair (The Flight Attendant) will also work as a producer on the show. For the pilot, Maggie Kiley (who has directed Katy Keene, Riverdale, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina episodes) is directing and executive producing.

Who is in the cast?

Seven roles have been announced so far.

Chloe Bennet as Blossom

Twenty-eight-year old actress and singer Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will be playing Blossom. Bennet dyed her hair red for the role and showed off the change on her Instagram. “female, asian, red headed, superhero (again),” she wrote. “✨fuck yeah✨ Go ahead and normalize being anything you want hunnyyy.”

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Dove Cameron as Bubbles

Twenty-five-year old actress and singer Dove Cameron will be playing Bubbles. Cameron was a Disney Channel star as a kid, starring in Liv and Maddie and The Descendants films. Bennet and Cameron also worked together before on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Cameron has given a generous look at production on Powerpuff on her Instagram. She shared behind-the-scene photos from the pilot filming on April 3, 2021.

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Yana Perrault as Buttercup

Twenty-five-year old Yana Perrault is making her screen debut with Powerpuff. Perrault is an accomplished Broadway actress; Variety notes that she was in the Alanis Morrissette musical Jagged Little Pill and was cast in Hamilton before the coronavirus pandemic shut down Broadway. When Perrault’s casting was announced, the actress wrote on her Instagram, “Bag secured. 💚🤑💚⚡️ (no really v grateful, this is too dreamy to believe, so many feelings, still processing, on cloud 9) 💚”

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Donald Faison as Professor Utonium

Donald Faison, the 46-year-old Scrubs and Clueless alum, will play the Powerpuff Girls’ scientist father, who created them in his lab in the original cartoon. According to Variety, Professor Utonium will be “quirky, debonair, and a pinch narcissistic. He is a scientific genius who is immensely proud of the three extraordinary girls he created in his lab. Staring down a midlife crisis, he is determined to repair his relationships with his now-adult daughters.”

Nicholas Podany as Mojo Jojo

Twenty-four-year old Nicholas Podany will play the CW series’ Mojo Jojo, according to Variety. Podany has a Broadway background, having played Albus Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Back in 2012, he also appeared on Hart of Dixie as Max Burgess.

What is this Mojo Jojo, fully named Joseph “Jojo” Mondel Jr, like? Variety wrote, “as a kid, the nerdy, power-hungry, insecure JoJo was obsessed with The Powerpuff Girls, despite his father’s grudge against them. As an adult, JoJo finds his sweetness and rage in constant battle.”

Podany has also shared photos from shooting, posting behind-the-scene pics on April 7. “Mojo and my Gamma (a la merch) are what make me happy today,” he captioned it.

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Robyn Lively as Sarah Bellum

That’s right: Blake’s big sister will play the Mayor’s right-hand woman. Deadline describes the character as “a warm and witty career woman who has a complicated romantic history with Drake. Always a friend to the Powerpuff Girls, she has remained close to them since childhood.”

Lively shared the news on her Instagram with an exuberant caption: “I am BESIDE myself w bubbling, blossoming, buttercup JOY.”

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Tom Kenny as the Narrator

Kenny returns to the role he originated in the 1996 original animated series and the 2016 reboot. You may know him best as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants.

When will Powerpuff come out?

It’s unclear at this point what the release date for the show will be, especially now that the pilot will be reshot. Fingers crossed it won’t be too long before we get to see our girls flying high.

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