It seems like Greg Berlanti won’t be satisfied until every DC hero has their own TV series. After shepherding Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, Berlanti is now working to bring Black Lightning to television. And now, the project already has a home.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has placed a pilot order for Black Lightning, based on the hero created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden in 1977. Black Lightning was DC’s first African-American superhero to get his own ongoing comic book series. In the DC Universe, Black Lightning was Jefferson Pierce, a man born with the metahuman ability to control electricity. Pierce lived in the suicide slum of Metropolis as a high school principal who became determined to clean up the neighborhood and confront the gang known as the 100 in his new superhero identity. Black Lightning went on to join the Outsiders alongside Batman and he was also a member of the Justice League of America.
The premise for Black Lightning’s TV series is that he already had his heroic adventures years ago before retiring to focus on his family. However, his daughter’s pursuit of justice and the plight of a student recruited into a gang forces Pierce to once again take up the fight, even though Black Lightning is a wanted man.
For this project, Berlanti is teaming up with Mara Brock Aki (The Game) and her husband, Salim Aki. This won’t be Fox’s first superhero series with a black protagonist. (That would be M.A.N.T.I.S. from the ’90s). But this is the first true superhero series at Fox in a long time, and it doesn’t necessarily fit in with Gotham, which may preclude any crossover possibilities. If anything, it seems like a better fit for The CW, but it probably went to Fox because The CW is already overflowing with superhero dramas.
That said, this could be DC Entertainment’s answer to Luke Cage, with a powerful black protagonist in the modern world. Depending upon the execution and casting, there could be a sizable audience for that.
Black Lighting‘s pilot episode will likely be filmed within the next few months. Casting is also expected to begin shortly.
Who should play Black Lightning? Share your dream casting picks in the comment section below!