The latest DC live-action superhero show from Greg Berlanti is coming to the The CW at midseason. Black Lightning made his debut in the pages of DC Comics in 1977.
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.
Based on the characters from DC, BLACK LIGHTNING is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”), and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.
"We do not intend to do a five-way crossover." CW President Mark Pedowitz told reporters. "'Black Lightning' at this point is not part of the Arrowverse."
However it's something star Cress Williams wouldn't mind exploring eventually. "I think it would be interesting down the line," he told ComicBook.com. "Eventually we’re going to have probably three superheroes on our show with me and the daughters. Once we become some kind of team, it would be great to go as a team onto another show. It’s going to be fun developing that, because with every good thing, there’s going to be a lot of wrinkles."
One obstacle to crossovers: "Arrow", "The Flash", "Supergirl" and "Legends of Tomorrow" are all shot in Vancouver. "Black Lightning" is being shot in Atlanta. In the comics, Garfield High is in one of the worst neighborhoods of Metropolis, so it would have made sense for this to be set in the same universe as "Supergirl" (Earth-38). But in the show, Garfield High is in New Orleans. Warner Bros. Television already has extensive New Orleans sets built in Atlanta for "The Originals". Presumably the two shows will share exteriors.
Here's the trailer: