The CW is launching their latest super-hero show this January in the form of Black Lightning, but the show isn’t part of the network’s flagship superhero universe: the Arrowverse.
The Arrowverse began with Arrow, eventually leading to The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl which are all interconnected. It was quite surprising when Black Lightning was announced as a standalone show, but Salim Akil has an explicit reason why the show isn’t connected to the Arrowverse.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday (via The Wrap), Salim Akil answered a question regarding why the show isn’t part of the Arrowverse:
“I say this with all due respect, but they’re not really relevant to the show that we’re doing. The great thing that Warner Bros. and CW allowed us to do was create our own world. We really wanted folk to get to know this family before we started branching out.”
Akil and his producing partner/wife Mara Brock Akil continued to praise the network for allowing them to tell the best story they could possibly tell:
“Oftentimes there’s so many reports about studios and networks, and I just want to say again that what you see is a direct result of people supporting us in this. This idea of why they’re not in this universe or why they’re not in the ‘Justice League’ is because … [we were told] ‘You’ve got to do this the way you want to do this. You’re going to live and die by that, and we support you.’ That’s what you’re seeing.”
The series stars Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning, Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce, China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce and Christine Adams as Lynn Pierce. Here’s the official synopsis:
“Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad. Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community. Based on the characters from DC, BLACK LIGHTNING is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (“Being Mary Jane,” “The Game,” “Girlfriends”), and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.”
Black Lightning is set to premiere January 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Source: The Wrap
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Logan and Deadpool have shown studios that R-Rated superhero movies can succeed. Sure, Watchmen and 300 kind of proved that same point in 2009, but now both Marvel and DC have said R-Rated movies are a possibility. Audiences are tired of so many comic book movies featuring similar plots, so opening more projects to the potential of being R-Rated makes it possible that different, mature stories can be told.
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