Subscribe To The Flash Creator's Black Lightning Show Is Moving Forward, Here's The Latest Updates
Producer Greg Berlanti has already established himself as the king of live action superhero television with his work on Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. Having a hand in four comic book shows (not to mention numerous other projects) might seem like enough work. but Berlanti isn't done expanding the world of DC Comics by a long shot. Last week, it was reported that he is working on a Black Lightning TV drama, and today it was announced that the project may have found a possible home at Fox.
Black Lightning has officially earned a put pilot commitment from Fox (via The Hollywood Reporter), meaning that if the pilot doesn't end up being aired, the network will need to pay a monetary penalty to the studio. If ordered to series, Black Lightning will share a home with fellow DC/Vertigo shows Gotham and Lucifer. It would also be the first network TV series to feature a black superhero as the lead, though Marvel already has that covered on a streaming platform with Luke Cage later this month. Along with Greg Berlanti serving as producer (and working with his partner Sarah Schechter), Salim and Mara Brock Akil from The Game will also serve as executive producers.
Black Lightning has been fighting crime in the DC Comics universe since 1977, but the Black Lighting TV project will be taking inspiration from his more modern stories. Having retired from the superhero game many years ago, Jefferson Pierce is enjoying his time as a parent. However, with a daughter "hell-bent on justice" and a star student being "recruited by a local gang," Jefferson will find himself forced to become Black Lightning again. Black Lightning has appeared outside of the comics in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and several DC Nation shorts, but this show would definitely be his biggest media appearance yet.
Unless Fox decides they want to get started on Black Lightning as soon as possible and air it as a midseason show, it looks like the project is being set up for one of the many news shows in the 2017-2018 TV season. Although Gotham and Lucifer are both doing reasonably well, Black Lightning would be Fox's first foray into full-blown superhero territory. There's also no word yet on whether Black Lightning will stand on its own or take place in the Arrow-verse, but since CBS was able to pull off a crossover with The Flash during Supergirl Season 1, perhaps there's wiggle room to connect Black Lightning to those CW shows, especially since it's a fellow Berlanti production.
It will presumably be a while until we learn whether Fox will go forward with Black Lightning or not, but stay tuned to Cinema Blend for all the relevant updates surrounding the project.