First Look At Cress Williams In The CW’s Black Lightning

With production on The CW’s Black Lightning now underway in Atlanta, the network has released the first photo of Cress Williams in the lead role.

For those unfamiliar with the character, his real name is Jefferson Pierce and he was one of “DC’s first high profile African-American superheroes – who arrived on the pages of DC comic books in 1977, created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden.” An Olympic athlete, Pierce returns home only to find his neighbourhood terrorized by a gang called The 100. Using his metahuman abilities, which include manipulating bio-electric fields, he fights to save the people he knows and loves.

“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,” said executive producer and writer Salim Akil, who will direct the pilot.

“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…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.”

The costume design, which you can check out in full below, comes from designer Laura Jean Shannon, who certainly has experience in the genre as she’s worked on both Iron Man and Blade: Trinity, among other projects.

Black Lightning will be written and produced by Salim and Mara Brock Akil, alongside Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti. The CW hasn’t set a premiere date for the show just yet, but an official announcement regarding that and the rest of the cast should be coming very soon, so stay tuned.