DC's Black Lightning: Cress Williams nabs the role

Greg Berlanti’s latest superhero project at The CW is Black Lightning. It’s the mega-producer’s sixth DC series at the network, following Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends Of Tomorrow. A pilot episode is going into production soon, from a script by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.

Black Lightning centers on Jefferson Pierce”, That Hashtag Show explained recently, sharing what they claim to be official info from the network. “He made his choice: He hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with a daughter hellbent on justice and 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.”

Today, the casting for this lead role has been confirmed. Prison Break, Friday Night Lights, Veronica Mars, Grey’s Anatomy and Hart Of Dixie alum Cress Williams will star in the pilot episode as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning, Deadline has revealed.

According to Variety, if the pilot is successful and a full season goes ahead, “the shows would be staggered throughout the year, rather than scheduling five separate nights of superhero programming.” 

Here is a big pile of character descriptions, which was shared by That Hashtag Show. We’re still waiting for everyone other than Jefferson to be cast…

“JEFFERSON PIERCE: Male, African-American, late 30s to 50. Handsome, fit, with an athletic build. Former 3-time gold medal decathlon winner who is now principal of a high school in South Central Los Angeles. A father figure to his student and hero to the local community. JEFFERSON is charming, charismatic, smart, and has both warmth and humor. He is devoted to his two daughters and remains deeply in love with his ex-wife LYNN. He also has a great passion for justice and a quick temper that he has spent years learning how to control. Think Idris Elba. LEAD.

“JENNIFER: Female. African-American, LEGAL 18 to play 16. JEFFERSON’s younger daughter. JENNIFER is a scholar athlete; beautiful with a lean, athletic runner’s build. She is the entitled feminist of the Pierce family. Independent and outspoken with a wild streak. SERIES REGUALR, ASP.

“ANISSA: Female. African-American, to play 22. JEFFERSON’s elder daughter. Beautiful, quick-witted and intelligent; intense and passionate. ANISSA has a great respect for her father. ANISA balances the demands of medical school with her duties as a part time teacher at JEFFERSON’s school. SERIES REGULAR, ASP.

“LYNN: Female, African-American, mid 30s to 50. Exudes confidence and intelligence. Beautiful, but not to be trifled with. Can exhibit both great emotional depth as well as a flirtatious, mischievous side. SERIES REGULAR, ASP.”

This looks set to be the first DC TV series with an all-African-American core cast, which is fitting considering that Black Lightning was one of DC Comics’ first black superheroes when he arrived on the scene in 1977. Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden created the character.

More news as we hear it.

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