Greg Berlanti’s latest superhero drama to join The CW had somewhat of a tumultuous journey before it finally landed a home.
But now that the network picked up Black Lightning for a series order after it was passed over by FOX, the Arrowverse will get a little bit bigger with the addition of Cress Williams as the title character.
And though that epic first trailer might have given an indication that the show is well on its way, the pilot hasn’t actually even been shot yet. That footage was cut from a presentation for the networks.
The news comes from Tony Isabella, original co-creator of the character for DC Comics alongside Trevor Von Eeden. Isabella is not a producer on the show but he said showrunners Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil keep him in the loop during a discussion with the iDigital Times. He revealed that he has “known stuff before it hits online.”
For example,” Isabella said, “people kept talking about a Black Lightning pilot having been filmed. No. No pilot was filmed. They did a presentation piece, which was then cut into the trailer. And when I first heard that from DC, I thought it was a bad thing. And then they told me no, well, we sold Legends of Tomorrow with a picture of the cast and brief synopsis.”
It sounds like the show is currently in the planning phase for its midseason debut, likely to air in the beginning of 2018.
It remains to be seen just how much the episodes will be true to the footage we’ve already seen, which really turned out to be a proof of concept. Hopefully it looks - and feels - similar to that epic trailer, because it looked like another interesting offer in The CW’s spate of DC Comics-related offerings.
Black Lightning will air on The CW in 2018.
Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad.
Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community.