While it wasn’t a screening of the full pilot presentation that was filmed earlier this year, Warner Bros. ran a preview of their upcoming superhero drama Black Lightning during Preview Night of the Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Slightly different from the trailer shown during the Upfronts in May, and clocking in at only around 90 seconds, this updated Black Lightning promo focused more on the superhero life that Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) left behind — and illustrates even more of the reasons why he put it in his past, until increasingly dangerous trouble in his city gives him the call to justice once more. The Comic-Con sizzle reel focused more on superheroic visual effects and imagery, though the focus on the Pierce family is still firmly featured. The newer trailer, which has not yet been released online, also reveals a bit about the types of villains that will be seen in the show, who lead Pierce to “return and light up the darkness once more,” as the trailer narrates referring to Black Lightning’s return.
Although it is entering a very crowded field (being the fifth DC superhero show on The CW with an emphasis on family), focusing specifically on not just a black superhero but the notion of an older superhero returning to the fold should give Black Lightning a unique voice. Credit is also due to director Salim Akil, who at least in the sizzle reel gives the series a look not seen in the other Greg Berlanti-produced series.
More details about Black Lightning should become available on Saturday when Warner Bros Television presents a panel for the show with Executive Producers Salim & Mara Brock Akil and stars Cress Williams, Christine Adams, Nafessa Williams, and China Anne McClain. The show will premiere at midseason on The CW network.
Here’s the new official synopsis for Black Lightning:
BLACK LIGHTNING –– 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.