RJ Cyler Joins ‘Black Lightning’ Cast

RJ Cyler posing at event.
Charley Gallay / Getty Images

Since its debut earlier this year, the CW’s Black Lightning has had quite a few well-known names on its cast list, including singer and actress Jill Scott as evil villain Lady Eve, and James Remar, who currently holds the main role as right-hand man Peter Gambi. It has also just been announced that Blue Ranger — from Lionsgate’s Power Rangers — RJ Cyler has landed a recurring role on the supercharged television show, according to a report from Deadline.

Black Lightning tells the story of Jefferson Pierce, played by Cress Williams. Jefferson is a husband, father, school principal, and masked vigilante Black Lightning. After being gifted the superpower to create and control electricity, he vows to protect his community, which has been overrun by gang violence. As a superhero, Jefferson is constantly putting his life on the line, and as a result, his family begins to suffer. His wife Lynn — played by Christine Adams — ultimately ends their marriage, which served as wake-up call for Jefferson. Soon after, he decides to put that life behind him and settle down to co-parent his two daughters, Anissa and Jennifer, played by Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain, respectively.

After almost a decade of not using his powers, Jefferson is forced to pick up his mask again when crime and corruption threaten not only his beloved community but the lives of his daughters.

In season two, Cyler will play the role of Todd Green, an awkward tech genius who has been denied a research grant. He doesn’t handle the news well until crime boss and lead villain Tobias Whale, played by Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

Black Lightning is based on the characters from DC Comics and is produced by Akil Productions and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil, and Sarah Schechter all serve as executive producers. The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella.

Cyler just wrapped his feature film project White Boy Rick, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Jason Leigh. He also recently shared the screen with Shannon Purser in the Netflix film Sierra Burgess is a Loser.

While fans will be excited to see Cyler in another series in the superhero genre, many are hopeful he will return to his role as Billy the Blue Ranger in a possible Power Rangers movie sequel. The sequel is said to be in the early stage of development according to CNET, but Cyler already has plans for his character.

“Billy will definitely be the same Billy, but he’ll be more comfortable because he’s got friends who got his back,” he told Inverse. “Billy has something else to do other than blow stuff up. He doesn’t just have science, he has Jason and Zack and Kimberly. In the second movie, you’ll definitely see more of a confident person. He’ll be more strong of a person.”