Executive producer and character creator Geoff Johns (The Flash, Titans), along with the cast of DC's Stargirl Season Two, sat down and fielded questions from various members of the press during the network's recent virtual panel. During the Q & A, Johns promised to turn up the action and adventure of this season with new allies, new enemies, and the introduction of one of DC's most frightening adversaries, Eclipso. Johns told the panel that writer James Robinson (Starman, The Golden Age) had taken a throwaway character from the 40s, that could control darkness and shadows, and gave him a personality and made him an interesting, complex character. The EP said the immoral antihero known as The Shade was always part of the plan.
GEOFF JOHNS: Since Stargirl Season One, we've talked about The Shade. We never had plans to bring him into Season 1, clearly, but we planted him in that mural with all the ISA. We wanted to elevate The Shade and make him feel special because he is a special character. So that when we did bring him in, and thankfully we've gotten to do that with Season Two, played by Jonathan Cake (Desperate Housewives, Out of the Ashes), and he's wonderful, that we could really maximize and highlight, you know, what a great character he is. So, the answer is day one, James brought him on.
A lot has been made about DC's Stargirl Season Two being a little darker. Johns told reporters that he wanted to take a different tonal shift so every season will still be Stargirl, but do something new and different and surprising. Using classic horror films such as Lost Boys, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Young Sherlock Holmes, as inspiration, and the introduction of Eclipso Johns says "We wanted to bring scares to the season"
GEOFF JOHNS: Eclipso's an amazing character, for those who don't know. He's from the 60s and he's more of a demonic force in the same vein as, like, a Freddy Krueger or a Pennywise. And to have the kids and the adults go up against something like that this season, something that gets inside their heads and tries to expose their fears and their regrets and their guilt and use it against them and see if these heroes can rise up and stop it was, it was all about darkness versus light, which is very perfect for somebody like Stargirl. And this allowed us too to delve into, like, Yolanda (Yvette Monreal). Yolanda has a really personal and powerful storyline, as does Rick (Cameron Gellman) and Beth (Anjelika Washington) and Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and Pat (Luke Wilson) and Barbara (Amy Smart) and Mike (Trae Romano). Eclipso allowed us to crack them open. So, it was tough to balance that tone. Because we didn't want to not be Stargirl. But at the same time, we wanted to take some challenges and lean into a little bit of the horror element, the suspense element.
The second season premiere cold open teases the new villain in an absolutely dark and terrifying way. Johns discussed the scene and shared how long it may be before we see Eclipso in the flesh and blood.
GEOFF JOHNS: You know that first scene was purposely set up to be mysterious and both specific and vague at the same time because I wanted everyone to know there's a tonal shift this season. Right away, you get that tonal shift and it is scary and it is dark. But it was important to have that upfront… it was important, I thought, just to set the tone of the season. Right away, it lets you know that we're going to get scary this season. And as for Eclipso and when you'll see him in the flesh, you'll see him a little deeper into the season. You will see Nick Tarabay (The Expanse, Pacific Rim: Uprising) in his horrifying makeup. We wanted to build to that moment. That when he finally does set foot in Blue Valley for real and you see him manifest, it felt deserved, it felt scary, and it felt like everything had changed. And I think when people see that episode, hopefully, they'll be both happy and scared when they watch it."
DC's Stargirl Season Two Episode 209 will feature a few more JSA founders. Johns discussed bringing John Wesley Shipp (The Flash, CW's The Flash) onto the show as veteran speedster Jay Garrick for that episode, essentially anchoring Stargirl in the Arrowverse once again.
GEOFF JOHNS: I grew up watching The Flash TV show. It was my favorite superhero when I was a kid. And I was blown away by John Wesley Shipp when he played The Flash, and then lucky enough to work with him on The Flash. To have John play Jay Garrick, The Flash, in Stargirl connects our universe directly with the other shows and also shows that we're part of a grander universe. It opens up the door to opportunities for us to eventually interact with those characters. That was important, just like the comics. When we eventually do it, we'll do it in a hopefully very special Stargirl way.
The second season of The CW's DC's Stargirl premieres Tuesday, August 10 (8-9 pm ET/PT):
DC's Stargirl stars Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore / Stargirl, Yvette Monreal as Yolanda Montez / Wildcat, Anjelika Washington as Beth Chapel / Dr. Mid-Nite, Cameron Gellman as Rick Tyler / Hourman, Trae Romano as Mike Dugan, Hunter Sansone as Cameron Mahkent, Meg DeLacy as Cindy Burman / Shiv, and Nick Tarabay as Eclipso- with Amy Smart as Barbara Whitmore, Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan, Jonathan Cake as The Shade, Alkoya Brunson as Jakeem Thunder, Ysa Penarejo as Jade, and Jim Gaffigan as the voice of Thunderbolt. Executive produced by Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter, The CW's DC's Stargirl is produced by Berlanti Productions and Mad Ghost Productions in association with Warner Bros TV.
Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram: Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).
BCTV Daily Dispatch: For a look at what's going on across the television and streaming landscape, sign up for Bleeding Cool's daily email round-up of the news you need to know here.