While 1984's Supergirl is not generally well-regarded by comic book fans, it's likely that the film -- which grossed about $6 million in its opening weekend, or $13 million in 2015 dollars -- is the single Supergirl story seen by the most people prior to this year's hugely successful series premiere on CBS.
The film's star, Helen Slater, tends to miss most of the movie's harshest criticism, with viewers often saying that she acquitted herself pretty well, and that the script was likely not salvageable. She has gone on to be cast as Eliza Danvers, the adoptive mother to Kara "Supergirl" Danvers in the new series.
During a recent conversation with ComicBook.com, the full text of which will run tomorrow, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg teased that fans of the Supergirl movie will be rewarded for close attention to the series in an episode coming up soon.
"We're always incredibly conscious of what's come before us. Between Greg and I and now Ali, we consider ourselves blessed that we get to be the stewards for this leg of these characters' journeys. We don't feel a sense of proprietariness to these characters; we know we have them on loan," Kreisberg told ComicBook.com. "Having nods to the past -- casting John Wesley Shipp on The Flash and having Amanda Pays on and really even having Matt Ryan on Arrow is always paying back what's come before. So having Helen Slater and having Dean Cain -- because honestly that Supergirl movie obviously has its many flaws but when I was a kid, I didn't realize those flaws as much and I used to watch it all the time. I watched Lois and Clark. Having a sense of history I think has been part of our success. I think it's said to the fans out there that we are fans, and we really are. There's a couple of shout-outs to the Supergirl movie coming up that I think the fans are going to be excited about."
Could that be in this week's episode, which guest-stars Slater herself? Seems pretty likely.
It shouldn't be any surprise that Kreisberg and his fellow producers wouldn't shy away from the impact of the film: it was, after all, set in the world of the Richard Donner Superman films, which quite clearly influenced the look and feel of much of Supergirl as a TV series.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. This week's episode, "Livewire," guest stars Helen Slater and Brit Morgan.