Film Forward

'New Girl' Star Hannah Simone's Latest Role Is Flipping The Script On An '80s Classic

There's a new "American Hero" in town.

The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.

An upcoming reboot of a classic '80s comedy series is swapping the White male lead and redefining what it means to be an "American Hero." Deadline reports that New Girl actress Hannah Simone has been cast in an ABC remake of The Greatest American Hero, which recently received a pilot order.

The original series, which ran from 1981 to 1983, starred William Katt as a teacher who becomes an unlikely superhero thanks to a super suit that gives him powers. According to Deadline, Simone's version of the character, Meera, is "a 30-year-old woman who loves tequila and karaoke and has spent her life searching and failing to find meaning, much to the chagrin of her traditional Indian-American family."

Simone is believed to be the first woman of color to play a superhero lead in a live-action television series. This new take on the role challenges traditional expectations of what an American and a hero should look like, both on and off the screen. Hype around the upcoming Black Panther movie and the success of last year's Wonder Woman have started similar conversations about diversifying the superheroes we see in media, and the importance of representation for young people.

This new take on the series should come as no surprise when you hear the names behind it. Writer and executive producer Rachna Fruchbom has worked on the ABC comedy Fresh Off the Boat, about an Asian-American family. That show's creator, Nahnatchka Khan, is also serving as an executive producer on the pilot.

The Greatest American Hero joins titles such as Ghostbusters and Ocean's 8 in gender-flipping a male-led story. It comes just months after Doctor Who cast the first-ever woman in the long-running role, and as conversation heats up around the possibility of a female James Bond.

Simone seems pretty excited about the new role, if her social media is anything to go by. She posted lyrics to the show's classic theme song ("Believe it or not, I'm walking on air") on both Twitter and Instagram, where she added the hashtags #femalesuperheroofcolor and #thechangeishappeningpeople.

In the meantime, we'll be watching her on New Girl's seventh and final season starting April 10 on Fox.

(H/T: The Wrap)

More From A Plus

GET SOME POSITIVITY IN YOUR INBOX

Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.