Supergirl’s $14.3m Box Office Bomb Makes The DCU Reboot Even More Important

Summary

  • Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow set to revitalize DCU and Kara Zor-El’s cinematic legacy with cosmic adventure.
  • Milly Alcock’s casting as Supergirl receives widespread approval, signaling a positive start for the character’s DCU debut.
  • Movie inspired by offbeat comic plot where Supergirl journeys into space, hinting at a cosmic adventure and unique storytelling.



With filming for 2025’s Superman well underway, the DCU reboot is poised to reinvigorate enthusiasm for DC’s most popular characters – which is particularly important for Supergirl in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. The DCU’s release slate has confirmed that Kara Zor-El, AKA Supergirl, will be debuting in her own solo movie following her cousin’s debut in Superman. The movie is titled after a comic book that sees Kara Zor-El embroiled in a cosmic adventure of vengeance and self-discovery, though details surrounding the exact plot of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow are still to be confirmed.

What is confirmed, however, is that Milly Alcock has been cast in the titular role, which has garnered widespread approval. This is a positive start for the character’s DCU debut and hopefully precedes a series of positive decisions that will help to rectify the character’s cinematic legacy. The last time Supergirl appeared on film was as a supporting character in The Flash as portrayed by Sasha Calle – but the last time she starred in her own movie was not so well-received.


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The DCU Needs To Redeem The Last Live-Action Supergirl Movie

Supergirl Was Released In 1984

Following the success of Christopher Reeves’ Superman movies, a Supergirl spin-off was released in 1984 starring Helen Slater in the titular role. It pits Kara Zor-El against the witch Selena, a villain that was created specifically for the movie, who came into possession of the Omegahedron – an item that powers Kara’s home city. The movie’s climax sees Kara fighting an invisible shadow demon after Selena declares herself “Princess of Earth” before being trapped in the Phantom Zone by Supergirl. Suffice it to say, the movie was exceptionally hammy and did not land very well with audiences.


Despite drawing the ire of some critics, Helen Slater was nominated for a Saturn Award for her role while two of her co-stars, Peter O’Toole and Faye Dunaway, earned Razzie nominations for theirs.

Supergirl preceded the lambasted Superman IV: The Quest for Peace by three years and did not fare any better critically. The movie bombed at the worldwide box office, earning just $14.3m, and boasts a paltry 8% score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the worst-rated superhero movies of all time. Detractors took aim at the movie’s overly campy tone, with Helen Slater’s animated performance as Kara Zor-El rubbing some critics the wrong way. This is, at least, something that Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is poised to contrast with its presumed plot.


Supergirl 1984 Movie Poster

Supergirl (1984)

Supergirl is a 1984 DC movie starring Helen Slater as the titular character. The movie acted as a spinoff of Christopher Reeve’s Superman movies, which ran from 1978 to 1987. Reeve decided not to appear in this spinoff, and Supergirl was unfortunately critically panned upon release. The plot revolves around Kara Zor-El coming to Earth to collect a powerful orb but ending up in a battle against a wicked witch.

Director
Jeannot Szwarc

Release Date
November 21, 1984

Cast
Helen Slater , Peter O’Toole , Faye Dunaway , Mia Farrow , Brenda Vaccaro , Marc McClure , Peter Cook , Simon Ward

Runtime
124 Minutes

Why DCU’s Supergirl Is Already Set To Be Promising

Kara on the cover of the Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow deluxe edition comic next to Milly Alcock from House of the Dragon
Custom image by Andy Behbakht

The comic run after which Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is named depicts Kara Zor-El’s coming-of-age story in a decidedly off-the-wall setting.


Milly Alcock, who rose to prominence after portraying a young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in HBO’s House of the Dragon, is an exceptionally popular pick for the titular role in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. Her tenure in the Game of Thrones spin-off series demonstrated her ability to portray a nuanced character who is full of life and fiercely independent. This should marry well with Supergirl’s first solo outing in the DCU, especially if the movie follows the same plot as its comic book namesake, as it flies in the face of Slater’s happy-go-lucky portrayal.

The comic run after which Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is named depicts Kara Zor-El’s coming-of-age story in a decidedly off-the-wall setting. Instead of confining Supergirl to Earth, the comic sees her journey into space in search of a red sun that would reduce her powers enough to experience inebriation. James Gunn’s proven capacity to tell cosmic stories with offbeat alien characters – whom Supergirl teams up with in the comics – is a promising sign for the movie should it depict the same storyline as its namesake. Story details are likely to remain under wraps for a while yet, however.


Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow Poster

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is one of many DC movies being released by Warner Bros. under the supervision of DC co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow was officially confirmed in January 2023 alongside other DC titles, including Superman: Legacy, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Swamp Thing.

Distributor(s)
Warner Bros. Pictures

Cast
Milly Alcock

Key Release Dates

  • Superman Legacy Comic Cover

  • The Batman 2 temp poster