Production has begun in Atlanta on a new pilot for The CW, Black Lightning, based on DC characters. Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil and Sarah Schechter are executive producers from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Salim Akil is directing the pilot from a script he wrote.
Here’s a first look at Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie) who stars as Jefferson Pierce (and his alter ego Black Lightning). The costume was designed by Laura Jean Shannon whose credits include Iron Man, Blade: Trinity, The Jungle Book and many others.
The first African-American DC Super Hero to have his own stand-alone comic title, Black Lightning is based on the character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden 40 years ago in 1977. 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.
Executive producer/writer/director Salim Akil said: “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. 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,” he continues, “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.”