Timed with the filming of the Black Lightning pilot currently happening in Atlanta, Warner Bros. Television has unveiled a first look image of Cress Williams in costume as the iconic DC Comics character “Black Lightning.”
The pilot from producers Mara Brock Akil, Salim Akil, and Greg Berlanti is hoping for a spot on The CW’s 2017-2018 schedule. Starring in the project is Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie) as Jefferson Pierce a.k.a. Black Lightning, and if picked up, it could be the fifth (!!) show based on the DC Comics universe of characters on The CW schedule. (iZombie, based on a Vertigo Comics property, is not included in that tally, as it originated from an outside label.)
Created by Tony Isabella with Trevor von Eeden, Black Lightning was the first African-American superhero to headline his own standalone title at DC Comics. The TV costume for Black Lightning was designed by Laura Jean Shannon, whose many film and television credits include the upcoming Jumanji sequel, The Jungle Book, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Blade: Trinity, Good Girls Revolt and Iron Man, for which she was nominated for a Costume Designers Guild Award.
“I knew way too much about the world as a young boy growing up in Richmond, California. I was no stranger to violence, death, hopelessness or the feeling that no one cared about what was happening in my life,” Executive Producer/Writer/Director Salim Akil said in a statement. “Comics were a great way for me to escape. I was about 13 when Black Lightning was created, and finally there was a Black Super Hero that gave a damn about our neighborhood and our lives.”
“Resurrecting him at a time in our society when a sense of hope is lacking… Black Lightning will be that hope. And in updating the suit, it will signal to a new generation that it’s time to harness and release our power, and become our own Super Heroes,” Akil continued.
Here’s how WBTV describes the TV project:
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.
China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, and Christine Adams are also starring in the Black Lightning pilot. Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil and Sarah Schechter are executive producers of Black Lightning, from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Salim Akil is directing the pilot from a script that he wrote.
You can see the photo below. The CW will be announcing their new schedule in May, possibly on May 18.