Ava DuVernay’s DC drama ‘Naomi’ cast Kaci Walfall as lead

    The character has been described as a 'cool' and 'confident' high schooler in search of her 'hidden destiny'

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    Actress Kaci Walfall has been tapped for the titular role in Ava DuVernay’s forthcoming superhero DC drama Naomi.

    The CW pilot, from DuVernay’s Array Filmworks and Warner Bros. Television, follows the story of a young Black girl named Naomi McDuffie from a small northwestern town to the multiverse. Naomi searches to find the origin of a supernatural event while discovering her superhero abilities, Deadline reports.

    DuVernay took to Twitter late last year to announce the project and praised DC Comics for “believing in the vision.” She also noted that the new series is the third DC project coming out of her production company, theGRIO reported. She is also co-writing a big-screen adaptation of “New Gods” with Tom King.

    Read More: Ava DuVernay signs exclusive podcast deal with Spotify

    The first Naomi comic, created by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker and illustrated by artist Jamal Campbell, came out in March 2019 and was called Naomi #1, according to Fandom.

    In the comics, Naomi has energy-based powers that grants her incredible strength and supernatural abilities.

    Bendis reacted on social media to the initial news of DuVernay developing the series, tweeting in December 2020, “I cannot find the right gif to properly express my over the top joy. I guess I’ll just have to use words and stuff! YAY!!!”

    Walfall will co-star alongside three series regulars, Alexander Wraith, Cranston Johnson, and newcomer Camila Moreno. Deadline shared character descriptions of their characters:

    Walfall’s Naomi has been described to be an effortlessly cool and confident high school student that pursues her hidden destiny after a supernatural event leads to the discovery of her powers within.

    Wraith will portray Dee, who has been described as an owner of a local tattoo parlor. The description unveiled that Dee appears to know more than he is willing to tell after a strange event leaves the town in chaos.

    Johnson will play a mysterious owner of a local used car lot named Zumbado. The character is described as someone who has a troubling past, ultimately leading to a tense encounter with Naomi.

    Moreno will play a young woman with a sarcastic sense of humor who works in a vintage collectibles shop who has an unrequited crush on Walfall’s character.

    Read More: Ava DuVernay teams up with Warner Bros. exec to bring diversity to Hollywood crews

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    Jill Blankenship and DuVernay will write and exec produce the project along with Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes

    Walfall’s TV credits include CBS’ Person of Interest, Starz’s Power, and Lifetime’s Army Wives. She’s can also be seen in season 2 of the anthology series Modern Love on Amazon and CBS’ The Equalizer, starring Queen Latifah.

    In related news, earlier this year, DuVernay signed an exclusive podcasting deal with Spotify. 

    Under the multi-year collaboration, DuVernay’s film distribution company Array is expected to produce several scripted and unscripted shows, per TheWrap. Array president Sarah Bremne will oversee the projects. The acclaimed filmmaker credits Lydia Polgreen of Gimlet, the Spotify-owned podcasting studio, for influencing her decision to sign the deal.

    “Recognizing the undeniable power of voice and sound, I’m thrilled to extend Array’s storytelling into the realm of podcasts,” DuVernay said in a statement. “The opportunity to work with Lydia Polgreen and her passionate team drew us to Spotify as a home for our audio narratives and we couldn’t be more excited to begin this new creative journey.”

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