Ava DuVernay’s ‘Naomi’ CW DC Drama Pilot Adds Barry Watson, Mouzam Makkar, 3 More To Cast

Ava DuVernay’s ‘Naomi’ CW DC Drama Pilot Adds Barry Watson, Mouzam Makkar, 3 More To Cast

Ava DuVernay’s superhero DC drama Naomi is rounding out its cast. In his return to the CW, former 7th Heaven star Barry Watson is set as a series regular, along with Mouzam Makkar (The Fix), Mary-Charles Jones (Kevin Can Wait), Aidan Gemme (Finding Neverland) and Daniel Puig (The System). Additionally, Amanda Marsalis (Queen Sugar, Ozark) has been tapped to direct and co-executive produce the pilot, from DuVernay’s Array Filmworks and Warner Bros. Television.

Amanda Marsalis
CW

They join previously announced Kaci Walfall as Naomi, along with Alexander Wraith, Cranston Johnson and newcomer Camila Moreno.

Naomi, the network’s latest DC adaptation, comes from DuVernay and Arrow writer and co-exec producer Jill Blankenship. Based on the eponymous comic book series that debuted in 2019, co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker and illustrated by breakout artist Jamal Campbell, the show follows a teen girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes.

Daniel Puig, Mary Charles-Jones, Aidan Gemme
Courtesy of Melvin Vasquez; Deidhra Fahey; Alison Sheehy

Watson portrays Greg, Naomi’s (Walfall) adoptive father, a veteran military officer who is serious about his responsibilities at the town’s military base. He is happily married to Jennifer (Makkar) and sees Naomi as the perfect daughter.

Makkar’s Jennifer is Naomi’s adoptive mother, who dotes on her bright and gifted daughter. She is happily married to Greg and teaches linguistics at the town military base.

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Jones is Annabelle, Naomi’s fiercely loyal classmate and best friend who is unafraid of telling Naomi hard truths. Though she thinks Naomi is overly obsessive about a recent mysterious event, she supports her in her quest for answers.

Gemme plays Jacob. Sweet, shy, and a bit nerdy, Jacob has been dating Annabelle since the fifth grade, and he treats her like a queen.

Puig is Nathan, a high school jock who briefly dated Naomi before she ended the relationship. Though the two remain friends, they still share an undeniable chemistry, and Naomi’s interest in another teen sparks Nathan’s jealousy.

Blankenship and DuVernay will write and exec produce. The project will be produced by DuVernay’s Array Filmworks in association with Warner Bros Television, with Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes also set as EPs.

Watson’s breakout role came on the CW’s 7th Heaven, starring as Matt Camden for six seasons. He most recently appeared opposite Russell Crowe in Showtime’s limited series The Loudest Voice, playing News Corp Chairman Lachlan Murdoch. He was the lead of Hulu/Blumhouse Production’s The Current Occupant, and he starred in Sony’s film A Dog’s Way Home. He’s repped by Innovative Artists and Trademark Talent.

Makkar can most recently be seen in the first season of the new ABC series The Fix, starring alongside Robin Tunney, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Merrin Dungey and Breckin Meyer. Earlier this year, she starred on the NBC series Champions, created by Mindy Kaling and Charlie Grandy, opposite Anders Holm and Fortune Feimster. She also has recurred on Chicago Fire (NBC), Vampire Diaries (CW) and The Exorcist (Fox), among others. She’s repped by Artists First, A3 Artists Agency and Myman Greenspan.

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Jones recently starred as Sara, Kevin James’ tough but lovable middle child in Kevin Can Wait, which ran for two seasons on CBS. Her earlier film includes Paramount’s remake of Footloose and Identity Thief for Universal. Other credits include roles in Grey’s Anatomy, Hannah Montana, New Girl, Hot In Cleveland and a starring part in Walden Media’s Dear Dumb Diary. She’s repped by Industry Entertainment, The Osbrink Agency and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner and Gellman.

On stage, Gemme played the pivotal role of Peter in the original Broadway company of Finding Neverland. He also appeared in the Broadway production of Waiting for Godot where he appeared opposite Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. He made his Broadway debut as Michael Banks in Mary Poppins. He’s also the familiar voice of Benny on Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer, and can be heard in the animated films Treasure Buddies and Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups. Gemme is repped by Paradigm and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.

Puig filmed the lead role in the SAG new media series The System, a teen-centric crime drama. He has trained with Sheila Gray, Marci Phillips, Bob Krakower, and Rita Litton. He is repped by CESD and Authentic Talent & Literary Management.

Marsalis made her feature directorial debut with Echo Park starring Mamie Gummer, which was picked up by DuVernay’s Array for distribution. Marsalis then directed two episodes of Duvernay’s Queen Sugar and went on to direct for Ozark, Westworld and Umbrella Academy. After directing and producing four episodes of Simon Kinberg and David Weil’s Invasion for AppleTV, Marsalis will return to Ozark to direct four episodes of the final season. Marsalis is repped by WME and Del Shaw Moonves.

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