When it was announced that The Powerpuff Girls — that candy-colored pint-sized superhero cartoon that lorded over the late ‘90s through the mid-aughts — was getting a gritty, live-action reboot, it seemed too good to be true. Well, that’s because it was, sort of: According to Variety (in a bit teased out by The A.V. Club), the revival has been shelved, not because The CW, who ordered it, no longer wants it. It’s because they want to give it a Mulligan.
The network was announcing some of the shows that are definitely coming in the fall, including Ava DuVernay’s superhero show Naomi and the spin-off All American: Homecoming. But Powerpuff — as the reboot’s been called, and which was to revisit the characters as disillusioned twentysomethings, unhappy that they spent their childhood fighting crime — is not. That’s because it’s getting reworked. No reason was given. Perhaps they decided to make it less gritty. Perhaps they’re keeping it gritty but realized the version they made was just a bit (or a lot) off.
The latter seems more likely, as Variety reports they’re retaining all four leads — Chloe Bennet, Dove Cameron, Yana Perrault, and Donald Faison — as well as “the remainder of the cast and the creative team.” A gritty Powerpuff Girls certainly not a bad idea, and it would be fitting with such renegade superhero shows like Umbrella Academy and The Boys, which effectively do a more comedic version of Watchmen, dissecting comic book tropes and delivering more adult fare. So it sounds like the CW is giving the reboot team a second chance to get it right the first time.