In 2016, it was announced that DCTV would be producing a Black Lightning show that would air on FOX. Black Lightning would join other DC Comics properties like Lucifer and Gotham, both of which had been flourishing on FOX for several seasons already. The pilot was set to begin filming, and the show would be introduced to the 2017 fall line-up.
So far, so good — but fans of The CW’s wildly successful #Arrowverse were a bit disappointed about the show being on FOX, because that means the lighting-slingin’ superhero would not be able to crossover with The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, or Legends of Tomorrow. However that has all changed, Variety is reporting the The CW has picked up Black Lightning, and it will join all the wonderful heroes in the Arrowverse!
The CW Picks Up Black Lightning
Deadline reported that Fox passed on Black Lightning, and Warner Bros. Television was shopping the project around to other networks, with The CW being the most likely to pick up a pilot order. As it turns out, The CW has officially picked up the show, and Black Lightning will join the Arrowverse, becoming the 5th DC Comics show on The CW.
Warner Bros. had a similar situation like this before when Fox passed on the Archie Comics-based show, Riverdale, which eventually found its home on The CW. Fox ultimately decided to pass on Black Lightning because they have 5 genre (Sci-Fi/Comic Book) dramas already in various stages of development for 2017.
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Greg Berlanti, the godfather of the Arrowverse, is currently attached to the Black Lightning project, along with Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil. The couple have already created projects such as The Game and Being Mary Jane. With The CW ordering the pilot, they will begin shooting soon, and if the show is greenlit, it will be introduced to The CW's 2017 line-up.
Who Is Black Lightning?
Black Lightning was the first major black superhero for DC Comics, and was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden. By day, Black Lightning is Jefferson Pierce, a gold medal-winning Olympic decathlete, and principal at Garfield High School in Metropolis. Unlike many superheroes who receive their powers through freak accidents, Jefferson has inborn meta-human abilities.
Along with being a skilled combatant and Olympic-level athlete, Jefferson Pierce can emit large blasts of electricity, create force fields, and even fly (even if his flight is limited to shorter distances). Pierce has a wife, Lynn Stewart, and two daughters. His daughters Anissa and Jennifer would later become the superheroes Lightning and Thunder respectively.
What Will Black Lightning Bring To The Arrowverse?
Ultimately #BlackLightning will be the first superhero show on The CW with a black male lead. It would also be only the second major superhero show helmed by a black man, following Netflix & Marvel’s runaway success, Luke Cage. The Arrowverse is becoming more diverse, but the addition of Black Lightning is another step in the right direction.
Furthermore, at his core, Jefferson Pierce is a family man. Several of the current CW superhero shows are family-centric, but this would be the first show in the Arrowverse where the titular hero has a spouse and children, which would be an interesting dynamic to explore. Oliver, Barry, and Kara are all single people in their late 20s & early 30s, and seem to have a hard enough time managing their alter egos as it is. Jefferson's life is vastly more complicated. Black Lightning is also a member of the Justice League, and is a stellar addition to the massive crossover events.
There is the concern that adding of Black Lightning to the Arrowverse might be a mistake, seeing as The CW already have 4 superhero shows. While 5 shows are a lot to manage simultaneously, I’m sure they have the resources and crew who will not only be able to pull this off, but give us a fresh, stellar new superhero show that's worth our attention.
The CW ordering the Black Lightning pilot is great news, and will certainly have Arrowverse fans excited. It will be interesting to see where the show fits in with the rest; I wouldn’t be surprised if he exists on Supergirl’s Earth; maybe he’ll have some run-ins with Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman. Black Lightning is in great hands with the Akils and Greg Berlanti, and I can’t wait to see how this project turns out. Make sure you check back in with Movie Pilot to get the latest in superhero news!