With DC Universe and The CW's live-action Stargirl ready to inspire a new generation of young heroes beginning Monday, May 11 (airing Tuesday, May 12, on The CW), the show's creator/co-showrunner Geoff Johns released an open, heartfelt, and incredibly personal letter to viewers.
Included with advance screener copies of the series' first three episodes, the letter finds Johns opening up about how much this project meant to him on both a personal and professional level. Along with being his first DC Comics series, the character of Stargirl is based on Johns' late sister Courtney, who died in an airplane disaster.
Warner Bros. TV gave permission for the letter to be released, so here's a look:
To Everyone About To Watch Stargirl –
I know you have real life concerns to deal with, as we all do, so if you are watching these I hope it's to take a break from it and I'd encourage you to watch Stargirl with your family. It's what the show was created for and what the show is about — and, quite frankly, right now is the time to be with family.
My entire career began with heroes. A cold call to Superman director Richard Donner's office landed me an internship that eventually led to me being Dick's assistant in 1996. During that first year working for him, my sister – Courtney – was killed in the TWA flight 800 disaster. Courtney was on her way to France as a foreign exchange student. She was 18. She was smart, funny and endlessly enthusiastic. Dick bought my ticket home to Detroit and told me I would have a job waiting for me in Los Angeles whenever I was ready to come back. That fall, we shot a film called Conspiracy Theory in New York. He invited my parents to the set and put them in the movie. It was the first time I remember them smiling and having fun since my sister's death. Dick was my hero for that.
A year later, I sold my first comic book proposal to DC Comics. It was called Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E.. The premise, which is also the premise of the show, was that teenager Courtney Whitmore's mother, Barbara, marries mechanic Pat Dugan and Courtney (reluctantly) moves with them from Los Angeles to Nebraska. In Nebraska, Courtney discovers that her new step-father used to be a superhero sidekick and steals his partner's old stuff, taking it for a joy ride. Ultimately, Courtney takes on the mantle of Stargirl and Pat is forced to come out of retirement and becomes a sidekick to his step-daughter as S.T.R.I.P.E. It is a story about how family is created by bond, not blood. Stargirl was, obviously, named after and inspired by my sister, Courtney. It is her spirit and optimistic energy that I wanted to put back in the world with Stargirl. It is celebratory, forward-looking and positive. And I hope that comes through when you watch these episodes.
I've written a lot of superhero stories in my career, but this is by far the most personal on every level. The cast, crew and everyone involved has given their talent and passion to bringing Stargirlto life and I couldn't be more grateful for them. I think their hard work paid off and, at the very least, I hope you smile a few times while you watch Brec Bassinger, playing Courtney, and Luke Wilson, playing Pat, take up their mantles individually and together.
I apologize for the length of this "introductory" note. Weeks ago, I had thought it would be a simple paragraph or two. But now, I almost feel apologetic for assuming you have the time to watch Stargirl. Again, thank you, and if anyone wants to talk further about the show, I'd be happy to.
Best to you and your family –
About DC Universe's "Stargirl"…
In DC Universe' Stargirl, Brec Bassinger's Courtney Whitmore finds her smooth-going high school experience derailed when her mother marries and moves the household from Los Angeles to bucolic Blue Valley in distant Nebraska. Struggling to adapt, Courtney discovers her stepfather has a secret past as a superhero sidekick. She also discovers an artifact of immense power – a long-lost hero's cosmic staff – and ends up on a journey to becoming the unlikely inspiration for an entirely new generation of superheroes.
DC Universe's live-action Stargirl series stars Brec Bassinger (Courtney Whitmore aka Stargirl), Luke Wilson (Pat Dugan aka Stripesy/STRIPE), Amy Smart (Barbara Whitmore), Joel McHale (Sylvester Pemberton aka Starman), Lou Ferrigno Jr. (Rex Tyler aka Hourman), Brian Stapf (Ted Grant aka Wildcat), Henry Thomas (Dr. Charles McNider aka Dr. Mid-Nite), Joy Osmanski (Paula Brooks aka Tigress), Neil Hopkins (Lawrence "Crusher" Crock aka the Sportsmaster), Nelson Lee (Dragon King), Meg DeLacy (Cindy aka Dragon King's daughter), and Trae Romano (Courtney's step-brother).
Anjelika Washington (Young Sheldon), Yvette Monreal (The Fosters, Faking It), and Christopher James Baker (True Detective), Jake Austin Walker (Rectify), Neil Jackson (Absentia, Sleepy Hollow), Hina Khan (Hit The Floor), and newcomer Hunter Sansone are also on board, in undisclosed roles.
Geoff Johns (Arrow, Batwoman, The Flash, Titans) executive produces Stargirl with Melissa Carter (Queen Sugar), who serves as co-showrunner, as well as Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Based on the characters from DC created by Johns, Stargirl is produced by Berlanti Productions and Mad Ghost Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.