Ciara Renée, who just made her TV debut last year on Law & Order: SVU, has landed the role of Kendra Saunders, which the report characterizes as a lead.
This calls into question the notion that the remaining leads would be characters never seen before on TV; Hawkgirl has appeared extensively in animation and even in live-action during Smallville. That said, the initial rumor only said that there would be three never-before-seen heroes, not that those heroes would be the same as the three leads who were out for casting. The logic just seemed to make sense.
Given how many DC characters have made appearances on series like Smallville, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Justice League Unlimited (on which Hawkgirl was a major character), the exact nature of that "never-before-seen," which came from press reports and not the network, has been debated. It's not entirely unfair to speculate that it could simply be they're talking about characters who have never been a live-action lead before.
The cast so far includes Brandon Routh as The Atom, Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold, Dominic Purcell as Heat Wave, Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein and Caity Lotz in an as-yet-undisclosed role expected to be Sara Lance, her character from Arrow who died at the start of this season.
The two remaining leads will be a brash, mysterious time-traveling hero whose allegiances are questionable and a snarky, powerful African-American character who got his powers in an accident.
The series is expected to shoot for a midseason debut next year, with Arrow producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim at the helm. Meanwhile, Guggenheim will run Vixen, an animated spinoff set in the same universe and featuring the titular Justice Leaguer. That series will debut later this year on CW Seed, the network's online platform.