EXCLUSIVE: It has been a fast rise for young actress Ciara Renée, who graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a degree in music theater in May 2013. Since then, she made her Broadway debut in Big Fish and replaced Patina Miller as Leading Player in the revival of Pippin. Last fall, she made her TV debut with a guest shot on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. And now, she has landed a lead in The CW’s proposed Arrow/Flash spinoff series, playing the role of Kendra Saunders aka Hawkgirl.
The superhero team-up show, from Arrow creators Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim, was to bring in three new DC superhero characters never seen on TV, along with a slew of Arrow/Flash recurring fan favorites. Hawkgirl is not expected to be one of them as the character has appeared in a Season 9 episode of the WB/CW drama Smallville, played by Sahar Biniaz, as well as in a couple of animated series including Justice League.
In the new series, Saunders is a young woman who is just beginning to learn that she has been repeatedly reincarnated over the centuries. When provoked, her ancient warrior persona manifests itself, along with wings that grow out of her back, earning her the moniker Hawkgirl.
On the Arrow/Flash spinoff, eyed for next midseason, Renée joins Brandon Routh (Arrow‘s Ray Palmer/The Atom), Wentworth Miller (The Flash‘s Leonard Snart/Captain Cold), Dominic Purcell (The Flash‘s Mick Rory/Heat Wave), Victor Garber (Dr. Martin Stein) and Caity Lotz whose role is still TBD as her Arrow character Sara Lance was killed off, with her sister Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) taking over as the Black Canary.
Per the released breakdowns, the Arrow/Flash spinoff has been casting three new roles. With one of them turning out to be Hawkgirl, Lotz could end up playing one of the three new-to-TV DC characters, along with the two new male roles, now casting.
Berlanti and Kreisberg, who also co-created The Flash, executive produce the new series alongside Guggenheim and Sarah Schechter for Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Prods.