Cress Williams On His ‘Black Lightning’ Audition & More

Black Lightning Warner Bros. TV Comic-ConThe CW is getting its fifth superhero series in the coming TV season with Black Lightning starring Cress Williams as the titular hero. After years of staying away from the superhero live, Jefferson Pierce comes out of retirement to become the iconic DC hero once again.

Williams recently chatted with Entertainment Weekly where he talked about the upcoming project in length. The actor talked a bit about his audition process for Jefferson Pierce and how he was aware of the show before going in for it. According to Williams, it was a busy pilot season for him when he was also auditioning for Black Lightning.

“Interestingly enough, simpler than I thought it was going to be. I was aware of the project, and pilot season was going on and I was going out for things. I was aware that it was at Fox and then I was aware that it was going to The CW. I was having a good time in pilot season, and I was enjoying things that I was going out for, and I hadn’t even read a script, but I was like, “I just want a chance, I just want a shot” before anything pans out. It came relatively quickly. I went in for a taped read, because it was a tape read for the producers. It was interesting because the day I went in, I had two auditions that day. I went to the first one and then this was the second one. Time was tight, because I was trying to rush back — it was very Jefferson Pierce — because it was my daughter’s choir concert that night. We live all the way in Pasadena and I was in L.A. I got called in. Thankfully, I got called in early, like ahead of a couple of guys, and I was like, “Hey, can I go in, because I have to get to my daughter’s concert?” The casting director was like, “Well, let’s go! Hurry up! We gotta get you to that concert!” [Laughs] I did my thing. I felt really good about it. Then, I think, relatively shortly after, they said they wanted to test me. I went into that test process, it was actually really easy. But as an actor, I’m really insecure, so until I got the job, I was just convinced there was somebody else in the wings who was going to swoop in and take it. Fortunately, I got it.”

One of the things that were stated early on was that Black Lightning would not be part of the bigger Arrowverse, at least for right now. When Williams was asked about his thoughts on the show being disconnected, the actor admitted that he didn’t mind the separation.

“I kind of like the fact that it’s in a separate world of its own for a number of reasons. One, it’s the logistical fact that we’re shooting in Atlanta and all the other Arrowverse shows shoot in Vancouver, so logistically that would be very, very complicated to make it work. But also, again, we’re a different type of show. I’ve told people we’re a family drama with superpowers on top of it. Then, I’m really more intrigued about what happens as my daughters develop abilities. When it’s all said and done, when we’re really up and running seasons down the line, you’re going to have a show with three superheroes on it, so it’s not a solo show, but it’ll almost be like a team. So I’m really excited about unwrapping all of that more than combining universes.”

“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.”

Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil & Greg Berlanti’s Black Lightning, starring Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning, Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce, China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce and Christine Adams as Lynn Pierce, will premiere mid-season on The CW.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

New Comic Book Shows That Are Coming In 2017-2018

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Comic Book TVThe current TV season is pretty much done as several comic book and superhero TV shows have concluded their respective seasons. All the comic book shows that aired this year will be back for the new TV season with The CW’s The Flash, Supergirl, Riverdale, iZombie, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, with ABC bringing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. back for another season and FOX giving Gotham and Lucifer another go.

FX is also bringing back their new comic book TV hit series with Legion while AMC is bringing back The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead for new seasons, along with their new Vertigo hit Preacher. While the comic book TV landscape is already epic in scope, it’s only going to get bigger next year. The 2017-2018 television season is going to be one of the biggest seasons of all time for comic book adaptations for both DC and Marvel.

To make it a bit easier to keep up with what is coming out next season, we have put together a perfect guide of what new comic book shows are coming to the silver screen. The shows that we have listed are those that have officially been picked up to series and been guaranteed a slot for the 2017-2018 TV season, for both broadcast television, cable and streaming services.

Several of these new comic book shows, while picked up to series, are still in the process of casting their leads as well as getting official premiere dates set. Hit the NEXT button below and let’s go through all the new exciting comic book and superhero television shows that are coming from DC and Marvel.

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Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht is an online entertainment journalist who has been covering television and movies since 2010. In addition, he is also a podcast producer.