The CW’s ‘Black Lightning’ Didn’t Use FOX’s Pilot Script
No one was exactly surprised when FOX’s Black Lightning pilot moved to join its fellow DC heroes on The CW, but there may be more changes in store than a network. A new pilot report suggests that The CW Black Lightning didn’t end up using FOX’s treatment of the character, and won’t actually film a formal pilot before pickup.
Deadline offered an early update on pilots across the five major networks, including the Black Lightning series originally developed by FOX. Chances for CW pickup look good (it is produced by Arrow-verse overlord Greg Berlanti), but according to the report, The CW opted not to use FOX’s pilot script, and instead film its own shorter pitch:
This year, the CW ordered Black Lightning to pilot at the last minute in a turnaround from Fox. Because the original script had been written for Fox, it was not used, with the project filming a shorter presentation instead. The presentation once again is based by a DC property and has Berlanti producing, making Black Lightning a hot prospect.
Featuring Hart of Dixie alum Cress Wiliams in the title role, and produced by Greg Berlanti, The Game and Being Mary Jane creators Mara Brock Akil and husband Salim, Black Lightning’s synopsis reads:
Jefferson Pierce 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.
In addition to Christine Adams as Jefferson’s ex-wife, Lynn, Black Lightning will see Twin Peaks star Nafessa Williams take the role of Jefferson’s older daughter Anissa Pierce, described as a twenty-something daughter who balances the demands of medical school with teaching part-time at her father’s school. China Anne McClain portrays Jennifer Pierce, described as “independent, outspoken scholar-athlete with a wild streak of her own,” while both later take on the comic identities of Thunder and Lightning.
It remains unclear if the series would take part in the same multi-verse as Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl or Legends of Tomorrow (hence the rewrite, perhaps?), but stay tuned for more on an official Black Lightning pickup.
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