It must be Christmas, at least for anyone whose idea of Christmas specifically involves casting announcements for gritty live-action reboots of 90s cartoons. The CW pilot aiming to continue the story of The Powerpuff Girls (with the potential series known simply as Powerpuff) has finally found one of its supposed villains, and it might not be who audiences are expecting.
Nicholas Podany, known for his role as Harry’s son Albus in the Broadway version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as fellow CW series Heart of Dixie, will join the series pilot as the son of Mojo Jojo, one of the Powerpuff Girls’ most notorious villains. However, unlike the hateful chimpanzee with a grudge, Jojo Jr. is described as a nerdy, insecure youth who was obsessed with the heroes as a kid. Though he’s still got that power-hungry itch just like his old man.
Jojo, as an ordinary monkey, was originally the assistant to Professor Utonium, who created the titular superhero trio. But the lab accident that resulted in their creation also mutated the poor primate into the rage-filled nemesis audiences came to know and love. Considering how the new story will focus on the Powerpuff Girls themselves as jaded women in their 20s in no rush to return to the superhero antics that dominated their youths, it will be interesting to see how Jojo and Jojo Jr. will be portrayed.
This casting announcement comes at the heels of several other confirmations for Powerpuff. Chloe Bennet of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fame will play Blossom, while Liv and Maddie‘s Dove Cameron takes on the role of Bubbles and Broadway actress Yana Perrault makes her on-screen debut as Buttercup. Aside from them, Donald Faison, best known as Dr. Chris Turk in Scrubs, has signed on to play the girls’ creator and father figure Professor Utonium.
Even now, the very concept of turning a series like The Powerpuff Girls into a live-action series is still difficult to wrap the mind around. The truly bizarre elements that make up the original series’ charm don’t exactly seem like the sorts of things that would translate well into the far more stiff trappings of reality, and it almost seems like it will lose the escapism that came with the classic show.
Of course, that isn’t to say it’s doomed to fail. It’s being produced by Berlanti Productions, and they’ve got a decent track record. Plus, if Archie can make that surprisingly convincing jump with Riverdale, anything is possible. Though the jury’s still out on how well a live-action HIM would work.