Ava DuVernay is bringing a Black, teenage superhero to our TV screens. On Jan. 11, Naomi, will be premiering on CW. DuVernay is the executive producer behind the series and also co-wrote the pilot episode alongside Jill Blankenship.
The series is based on the 2019 Naomi DC comic book series, which was penned by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker, follows 17-year-old adopted military brat Naomi McDuffie who discovers she is a superhero after her small northwestern hometown is struck by a supernatural experience that she’s trying to get to the bottom of. After discovering her superpowers, Naomi, played by Kaci Walfall, juggles her active social life, extracurricular activities and being a superhero.
On Twitter, DuVernay said she decided do this show simply because she felt like it. Why not bring a Black girl who is a superhero to the forefront?
“I was asked why I’m doing a show on the CW about a Black girl learning that she’s actually a superhero,” she posted along with the trailer. “Because I want there to be a show about a Black girl learning that she’s actually a superhero. And then being a great one.”
DuVernay said debuting such a show is “not about representation, it’s about normalization.”
“We’re doing really muscular things that relates to race and gender and class but we’re doing it by playing it normal like it’s just a part of the everyday,” she said at Naomi’s Television Critics Association presentation on Jan. 6. “I say it kiddingly but it’s real. The more you can portray images without underlining or highlighting them and putting a star next to them. By showing a different type of hero that centers a girl, a Black girl, that centers different kinds of folks. We start to make that normal and that’s a radical and revolutionary thing.”
Noami will premiere on Jan. 11 at 9:00 p.m. EST on The CW. Watch DuVernay tell us about Naomi along with the official trailer below.