Berlanti, Akil Pitch ‘Black Lightning’

by Charly Shelton
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Black Lightning was one of DC’s first African-American superheroes, debuting back in 1977. And now he’s coming back as one of the DC television universe’s first African-American superheroes in a new show, currently being pitched to networks by producer Greg Berlanti, Deadline reports.

Berlanti and partner Sarah Schechter have secured rights to produce the television drama, along with Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil of Akil Productions who wrote pilot and will executive produce.

While Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning, was preceded by a few black superheroes in the comics, most notably Green Lantern John Stewart, who debuted in Dec. 1971, the television iteration is preceded only by two — Franz Drameh as Jefferson ‘Jax’ Jackson aka Firestorm in Legends of Tomorrow, and Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West aka Kid Flash in the upcoming season of The Flash. Ok, maybe three if you count Diggle as a superhero in Arrow, played by John Ramsey.

Into this relatively small group comes Pierce, a father who chose to hang up the cape to raise his daughters. But with a daughter hell-bent 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.

Berlanti is currently the producer of the CW’s Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as the upcoming Archie Comics adaptation, Riverdale. The Akil’s are currently in production on an upcoming pilot for a multi-camera comedy at ABC, Documenting Love. They are known primarily for their previous productions, The Game and Being Mary Jane, both created and exec. produced by The Akil’s.

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