Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Donald Faison to play Professor Utonium on The CW's gritty Powerpuff Girls series

Donald Faison
Donald Faison
Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Audible)

Earlier this month, The CW announced the main cast of its gritty, live-action Powerpuff Girls reboot—now titled simply Powerpuff, which is a very CW title—with Chloe Bennet, Dove Cameron, and Yana Perrault playing twenty-something versions of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. Now, the network has also cast the trio’s father/creator, Professor Utonium, finally confirming that there will at least be one other character from the original animated series returning for this (no word on Mojo Jojo, which is the one we’re all waiting for).

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As reported by Variety, Donald Faison has been cast as Professor Utonium, whose first name is apparently “Drake,” with the story saying he’s “quirky, debonair, and a pinch narcissistic.” He’s also “immensely proud” of the three super-children he created in his lab (when he combined sugar, spice, and everything nice with an accidental pinch of CHEMICAL X), and is now trying to repair his relationship with them while going through a midlife crisis. That’s all surprisingly upbeat compared to everything else we’ve heard about this show, which involves Blossom being consumed by anxiety, Bubbles getting overly invested in her celebrity lifestyle, and Buttercup rejecting her superhero past altogether, but Donald Faison is generally a delight and the animated Professor Utonium was always a reliable source for wacky humor, so there’s no reason he can’t be the slightly cheerier heart of the show. Assuming, of course, that the thing that brings the Powerpuff Girls back together isn’t Utonium getting horrifically murdered… which might be a little much, unless Zach Braff is playing Mojo Jojo and he’s the one who murders him.

Powerpuff is executive produced by CW mastermind Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Productions, and it comes from writer Diablo Cody and Heather Regnier. As far as we know, original series creator Craig McCracken isn’t really involved beyond getting a credit for coming up with the characters, though if the other CW superhero shows are any indication, there will be a scene where somebody mentions something happening on “McCracken Avenue.” That’s good, right?