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Black Lightning - DC Comics Superhero Series Receives Pilot Order at FOX from Greg Berlanti *Updated*



UPDATE: It has now been ordered as a pilot by FOX.

Fox may soon be adding another DC Comics character to its roster.

The network has given a pilot production commitment to Black Lightning, the black superhero drama from prolific superhero series producer Greg Berlanti, and The Game's Salim and Mara Brock Akil, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

One of DC Comics' first major African-American superheroes, Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden and debuted in 1977. The hourlong drama will center on Jefferson Pierce, who hung up his suit and his secret identity years ago. However, 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.

The Akils will write and exec produce the project with Berlanti and his producing partner Sarah Schechter. Their respective banners, Akil Productions and Berlanti Productions, will produce in association with Warner Bros. TV.



EXCLUSIVE: In a pairing that resembles a superhero team-up, I have learned that Greg Berlanti, king of the CW’s DC universe, has partnered with The Game and Being Mary Jane creator Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil for Black Lightning, a drama series based on the DC character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden. I hear the project, from Warner Bros. TV and studio-based Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions, is currently being pitched to networks.

Written by the Akils, Black Lightning centers on Jefferson Pierce. He made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, 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.

Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil executive produce with Berlanti Prods.’ Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter.

Pierce aka Black Lightning was one of DC Comics’ first major African American superheroes, making his debut in 1977. In the books, Jefferson has two daughters, both of whom have followed in his superhero footsteps — Anissa Pierce aka Thunder, who is a member of the Outsiders, and Jennifer Pierce, aka Lightning, recruited by the Justice Society of America.

On TV, Black Lightning is looking to join another black superhero who toplines his own series, Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix.

While it’s being taken out now, a Black Lightning series had been in the works at WBTV for well over a year, going through different incarnations as the studio has taken its time to get the take right.

Greg Berlanti and his Berlanti Prods. are behind all WBTV superhero series on the CW, DC’s Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, which Berlanti also co-created, as well as the upcoming Archie Comics adaptation Riverdale.
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