There’s a new DC TV series coming to The CW next year, joining the likes of Arrow and The Flash. As you no doubt know by now, it’s called Black Lightning and will star Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce, a high school principal who has to return to his old life as the titular vigilante after his daughters are caught in a gang war.
Though we’ve already got a promo image along with a first trailer, we still haven’t seen too much of the show just yet, but that could be about to change. Entertainment Weekly has just delivered a ton of new information on the series while also bringing us the below image, which is from the pilot episode and sees Jefferson touching up his suit.
When EW spoke with Williams in a recent interview, he fleshed out the hero’s origins a little more. Intriguingly, he reveals that though it won’t be directly tied into the Arrowverse, Black Lightning will still employ that universe’s core concept of metahumans:
“The bare bones details are that he’s a metahuman, meaning he was born with these abilities, and discovered them as a child. He created, with the help of a friend, Black Lightning, and was fighting crime in his community for quite a few years before he hung it up for his family. As we pick up the story, he has hung up his suit for about nine years, and then circumstances cause him to pick it back up again.”
Williams also talked about what powers Black Lightning will and won’t have in the show. In particular, the actor revealed that the character can’t fly as he can do in the comics. At least, not right away. However, Williams has high hopes that they’ll get to that eventually.
“We haven’t gotten into flight, which I’m really excited about eventually getting to that. He has the ability to have limited flight, and that’s the superpower I would love to have. He controls all things electrically based, along with martial arts and the hand-to-hand combat thing. Without getting into too much, there are things that the new suit provides that the old suit didn’t. It’ll be very fun, let’s put it that way.”
Another of the Arrowverse’s tropes is to give the hero an invaluable tech support character – e.g. Cisco Ramone, Felicity Smoak, Winn Schott, etc. While Black Lightning isn’t rushing into introducing such a figure, Williams expects comic book character Peter Gambi to be included at some point.
“We haven’t even touched on Gambi yet. Gambi is like a childhood friend who helps him design the suit and his mentor. We haven’t touched on him yet, so I’m excited to get into all of that.”
Black Lightning is set to begin filming next month in Atlanta before airing on The CW in January 2018.