When The CW decided to revive the Powerpuff Girls franchise as a live-action television series, the pilot gained a significant amount of buzz before it was even shot. The fact that they were rebooting a familiar IP with a cast that gained attention, made it seem like the show would be a sure-fire pickup for the fall TV season on the network. This all changed when The CW released its finalized schedule and the Powerpuff Girls was nowhere to be found. It was soon revealed that the pilot was going to be retooled off-cycle for future consideration because the pilot didn’t quite work and then rumors of a script leak, which received a negative reaction on social media, added more fuel to the fire that this project was in a bit of trouble. Now that the dust has settled, one of the stars of the pilot, Dove Cameron, confirms that the pilot script was leaked but she reveals it has nothing to do with why they are reshooting the pilot to get it right.
Dove Cameron, who was cast as Bubbles for the pilot, spoke with “Entertainment Tonight” and she addressed the Powerpuff Girls delay. While Cameron does reveal that the pilot script was leaked online, she wanted to quell the rumor that the pilot was being reworked specifically because of the leak. Cameron said “They didn’t decide to rework the pilot because the script leaked. I just need to say that that wasn’t what happened. We had to reshoot it anyway for a couple of reasons.” Cameron doesn’t go into specifics as to what needs to be changed but she is the first of the Powerpuff Girls’ crew to directly comment on the leaked script. Here is more of what Cameron had to say about the reworked pilot:
“It’s a really big piece of IP, and it’s tonally very specific. Like getting it right, making everybody happy, and also making sure that it translates. It’s so specific. To modernize it and to make it fit like, a bunch of different things that don’t normally go together, it’s just kind of like a puzzle piece. So we’re removing some elements and we’re replacing others. I think the script is going to get another whack, and it’s just going to be a slightly different approach but everything else is going to stay the same.”
The leaked pilot script was posted anonymously online and it soon spread quickly on social media. The reactions to the pilot script were not very kind and many that read it were shocked by its adult content which included many references to alcohol, sex, and nudity. This would make it a big departure from the animated series that inspired it. While not a true children’s show by definition, the Powerpuff Girls definitely weren’t discussing alcohol, sex, and nudity so I can see why the content in the pilot script would’ve been a shock. Cameron went on to basically confirm what The CW has said previously about the pilot – that it just needed to take a different approach to properly modernize the franchise for a new audience while respecting fans of the original series. The actress also revealed that she is not discouraged by the reshoots but is very excited about them:
“I’m actually very excited at the thought of the rewrite. I was texting the girls and we’re like, ‘Oh. Well, now we know what we’re doing. What an amazing thing. You never get to do that as an actor, go back and be like, ‘What would I have done differently?'”
The Greg Berlanti-produced pilot from writers Heather Regnier and Diablo Cody remains an important franchise for the network and the entire cast, including Chloe Bennet, Yana Perrault, and Donald Faison remains attached. When the decision was made to rework the pilot, CW boss Mark Pedowitz explained his reasons for doing so to “Deadline” by saying “The reason we do pilots is sometimes things miss, this was just a miss. We believe in the cast completely, we believe in Diablo and Heather, the writers…in this case, the pilot didn’t work.” Pedowitz went on to explain that the interest and popularity around the original animated series made him realize that the new project needs to do that show justice. Pedowitz didn’t say specifically what needed to be reworked but he does note that the pilot “might’ve felt too campy.” Pedowitz concluded by saying “You learn things and you test things out. In this case, we felt let’s take a step back and go back to the drawing board because it’s a powerful property, it has engaged a lot of interest and we get to get it right before we put it out.”
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