Supergirl fans have gotten some big news in recent days, with the reveal of a new costume for National City's hero as well as news that Jeremy Jordan will return as Winn Schott during the upcoming Season 5. Now, there's another big piece of Supergirl news for fans, though this one is sure to leave fans a little sad. Mehcad Brooks, who has played James Olsen since the series' first season on CBS, is leaving Supergirl during the first half of Season 5.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Brooks is departing the series in order to focus on feature films, develop his own starring cable series, as well as work on a book that he is currently writing. Currently, there are no details on how Brooks' Olsen will depart the series, but according to showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller, the door will always remain open for the actor to return.
“We love Mehcad and we’re sad to see him leave the show as a series regular, but we’re excited for both Mehcad and James Olsen’s future,” Rovner and Queller said in a statement. “He’ll always be a part of our Supergirl family and we look forward to James returning to National City at some point to visit his sister and his super friends.”
On Supergirl, Brooks' James has had quite a journey. Audiences first met him in Season 1 as the newest photojournalist at CatCo, having moved to National City from Metropolis. Over the course of the season, he and Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) grew closer, eventually turning into a relationship though his romance with Kara ultimately did not last. When Cat Grant decided to take a leave from CatCo to find bigger and better things to do, she left James in charge of the media empire, giving him a new role professionally while, personally, he created a new role for himself -- that of the hero, Guardian.
In the most recent season Supergirl, James dealt with not only issues of race and injustice, but also relationship as well, having started dating Lena Luthor (Kate McGrath). James also found himself getting superpowers -- as well as facing the threat of Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) as well. Brooks referred to James' experiences in Season 4 as an "emotional" journey.
"The writers and I had a conversation very early on, and we were on the same page about James using CatCo as a place where everyday heroics can come from," Brooks said in an interview with Decider last year. "Shedding light on some of the darkness coming out of the White House. Shedding light on some of the darkness coming out of our society. I think we all know what shedding light can do, exposing the truth can do, at times like this. It can keep us sane. It can keep us balanced. It can help construct a road to the future where we're all going. I think that this is a hell of an emotional journey for James, that he is a newsman in this time. He's also somebody who believes in fairness and equality in this time. And I think that those are the two most important things that he can do for the show right now."
Supergirl returns for its fifth season on Sunday, October 6th at 9/8c on The CW.