Back in September 2016, FOX gave Black Lightning a pilot production commitment. After passing on the show, The CW picked it up. The show is currently in production and today we were given a first look at Cress Williams in the Black Lightning costume.
Cress Williams is largely known for his role in Hart of Dixie as Lavon Hayes. He briefly made appearances in Friday Night Lights and, more recently, Code Black. He’ll be starring in Black Lightning alongside China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams.
History of Black Lightning
Black Lightning isn’t a widely known character in the DC universe like the Flash, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are. Black Lightning’s real identity is Jefferson Pierce and his first appearance was in Black Lightning #1 in 1977. He was also one of the first African American characters for DC Comics. The “Year One” storyline gives a good look at the origin of the character. He’s an Olympic decathlete with a gold medal to show off his talents. After his success, he returns to the Southside section of Metropolis, most famously known for its ties to Superman.
Here’s what DC Comics had to say on the character in regards to the TV adaptation.
“The first African-American DC super hero to have his own standalone comic title, the character of Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden in 1977. The television adaptation tells the tale of a father drawn reluctantly back into the super hero game.”
“Jefferson Pierce made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with one daughter hell-bent on justice and the other a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend — Black Lightning.”
Greg Berlanti’s DC
Greg Berlanti is proving himself to be the master of DC television shows. He’s an executive producer on this and Berlanti Productions will be found in the credits, too. In addition to him, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil, and Sarah Schechter are executive producers and Akil Productions will be bringing this show to live in conjunction with Warner Bros. Television. It’s a great list of people, but Berlanti is still a focus.
With Black Lightning, Greg Berlanti will be adding to his already four shows on The CW. The show will know if it’s getting a first season or not by the time the Upfronts come around in May. Deadline first reported the move to The CW back in February:
“The high-profile drama based on the DC character, which had a big production commitment at Fox, was recently put in turnaround after Fox opted not to proceed with a pilot. Producing studio Warner Bros. TV shopped it to other networks, with the CW quickly emerging as the likely new home.”
“Black Lightning’s trajectory mirrors that of Archie Comics drama Riverdale, which also was originally developed at Fox where it did not go to pilot, before migrating to the CW, where it was piloted. It eventually went to series and just premiered to strong reviews. And last May, DC superhero drama series Supergirl moved from CBS to the CW, where it already has been renewed for next season. Like Black Lightning, Riverdale and Supergirl are produced by Berlanti.”
Black Lightning will be the first African-American superhero to be in a lead role in one the DC shows on The CW. Cress Williams looks to be a great fit from the image that is now circulating. Hopefully, we will get to see more images from the show in the near future.
[Featured Image by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images]