Despite surviving the leap from her debut in The Dark Knight Returns to both DC Comics’ current continuity and a cameo in the Titans TV series with her original appearance intact, Carrie Kelley has been announced as the next red-headed comic book character to receive a race swap in their proper live-action debut.
As announced by Deadline, Kelley will be portrayed in The CW’s upcoming Gotham Knights series by Navia Robinson, the actress perhaps best known for her role as Nia Baxter in the That’s So Raven sequel series Raven’s Home.
“Fearless, idealistic and plucky as hell, Carrie talked her way into being Batman’s unlikely sidekick,” reads a description of her character provided to the trade news outlet. “If there’s a burning building or a person in need, she’s the first to rush in. Just as long as she’s home by curfew.”
As noted above, since her introduction in the first issue of Frank Miller’s seminal The Dark Knight Returns, Kelley has always been depicted as a white-skinned red-head, even with her introduction to the main DCU in 2013’s Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #19, just as the woke trend of race swapping under the guise of ‘representation’ began to pick up steam.
However, with Robinson’s casting, Kelley now joins such fellow DC characters as Hawkgirl, Cyclone, and Artemis on the list of established red-headed comic book characters who, in recent years, have been arbitrarily race-swapped in an attempt by publishers and IP owners to court the social media audience.
Alongside Kelley’s casting, it was announced that French actor Oscar Morgan will play an apparent original character named Turner Hayes, who “despite the murder of his biological parents, remains resilient and driven to live up to his billionaire adoptive father’s name,” and “while charming and soulful, has never quite felt comfortable in this world of wealth and privilege.”
Further, Days of Our Lives actress Olivia Rose Keegan was also revealed to be cast as Duela – better known in the comics as the self-proclaimed Joker’s Daughter.
“Abrasive, unpredictable and a little unhinged, Duela is, above all, a survivor. Born in Arkham Asylum and abandoned by her father – the most dangerous man in Gotham – Duela forged herself into a brutal fighter and skilled thief,” Deadline described her character.
According to a series plot synopsis provided by Deadline, “Gotham Knights picks up in the aftermath of Bruce Wayne’s murder, with his rebellious adopted son forging an unlikely alliance with the children of Batman’s enemies when they are all framed for killing the Caped Crusader,”
“As the city’s most wanted criminals, this renegade band of misfits must fight to clear their names,” it continues. “But in a Gotham with no Dark Knight to protect it, the city descends into the most dangerous it’s ever been. However, hope comes from the most unexpected of places as this team of mismatched fugitives will become its next generation of saviors known as the Gotham Knights.”
Set to be helmed by Batwoman writer Natalie Abrams and producers Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux, production on Gotham Knights is set to begin in April.
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