The CW is rumored to pick up Black Lightning to series for a 2018 midseason premiere date. This formula follows in the footsteps of Legends of Tomorrow, which premiered in mid-January 2016 for a 16-episode run, opposed to 23 episodes like The Flash and Arrow.
If the pilot order rumor proves true, Black Lighting would be the fifth DC Comics series to land on The CW helmed by all-star creative Greg Berlanti. That count does not include Riverdale and iZombie, which are also based on comics, bringing the real number to seven comic book adaptations total.
DCTV producer Geoff Johns said, before The CW picked up the series, Black Lightning wouldn’t cross over with the Arrowverse, however, since Fox gave away the show, it’s unclear if that statement still holds true. Worst-case scenario, Black Lightning can be a Supergirl-type situation where she primarily resides on some random Earth and only joins The Flash and Arrow for crossovers occasionally.
First look at Cress Williams as Black Lightning.
Cress Williams will play Black Lightning, a man in his mid-forties, principal at the local high school and retired superhero. Jefferson Pierce’s two daughters, heroes known as Thunder and Lightning in the comics, will both have large supporting roles.
“With a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend,” the synopsis reads.
Nafessa Williams (Code Black) plays Anissa Pierce, aka Thunder. At 22 years old, Anissa attends medical school while teaching at her father’s high school part-time. She’s described as sharp and passionate, and looks up to her father a great deal. In the comics, Thunder followed in the footsteps of her dad as a member of The Outsiders. She has the power to increase her body density, which gives her the ability to create shockwaves and have impenetrable skin.
Anissa is in a relationship with Grace Cho in the comics.
China Anne McClain (House of Payne) plays Jennifer Pierce, aka Lightning. She’s described as 16 years old and a feminist who is outspoken, independent, smart and athletic. In the comics, Lightning was eventually recruited as a member of the Justice Society of America. She possesses electromagnetic powers just like her dad.
Jennifer Pierce aka Lightning.
It’s unclear if we’ll see Black Lightning’s daughters suit up in the series, or if it will focus more on Pierce’s journey back to the streets. Though, Pierce as a middle-aged man instead of a young adult does allow the opportunity to develop his younger daughters’ heroic stories in more detail.
Black Lightning was in an episode of ‘Young Justice.’
To learn more about the cast and plot details, follow this link.
It’s also worth noting Black Lightning may be in competition for a time slot against another Berlanti show, Searchers , which is also rumored to be heading to series depending on what The CW decides to do with The Originals and iZombie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show follows “ a group of unlikely heroes and takes place 10 years after the death of their parents, when a pragmatic brother and free-spirited sister are forced to team when they learn that their mother’s terrifying and bizarre stories may be a road map to discovering the legends, myths and unexplainable mysteries of the world.”
This story is developing. Stay tuned for updates on premiere dates for Searchers and Black Lightning.