Chantal Thuy will play the DC Comics character Grace Choi in The CW's upcoming series, Black Lightning. This latest addition to the network’s stable of superhero shows stars Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce, a retired vigilante and family man, who is drawn back into the fray when his kids’ lives are put in danger. The series will not cover origin material, and it’s expected to be a more mature offering than The CW’s other DC series, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. Nonetheless, an eventual crossover isn’t being ruled out.
The Black Lightning cast is a sizeable one, with recent additions including Jill Scott as the villainous Lady Eve, Marvin Jones III as the crime lord Tobias Whale, Jame Remar as Peter Gambi (a mentor figure to Jefferson) and Daniel Gupton as Inspector Henderson, a seasoned officer of the law.
Thuy - who you might recognize from Pretty Little Liars, Matador or Crossing the Rubicon: The Journey - is the latest talented individual to join the Black Lightning cast. Variety broke the news, reporting that Thuy has nabbed a recurring role as Grace Choi, “a bartender who becomes the love interest of Anissa Pierce.” Anissa is Jefferson’s daughter, played by Nafessa Williams, who will gain her own electrical powers - just like her father’s - at some point during the series. A little bit of extra information was included, regarding the relationship between Grace and Anissa:
“Grace is a comic book fan who befriends Anissa while she is coming to terms with her abilities and becomes Anissa’s first confidant about the struggles and challenges of having abilities.”
Fans had already been told that Black Lightning will put Jefferson’s family “at the center” of the action, but this piece of news confirms it. It’s exciting to hear that Anissa will have her own storylines, including a love life, which should allow her to feel like a fully rounded character. Hopefully, Jefferson’s other daughter - Jennifer, played by China Anne McCain - will get a similar amount of bespoke storylines.
It’s expected that Jennifer and Anissa will both get superpowers. In the comics, they go by the superhero codenames Thunder and Lightning, respectively. It should be interesting to see how Black Lightning handles its pacing and screentime allocation, with three central superheroes to squeeze in. In fact, in the comics, Grace Choi has superpowers as well: she has enhanced strength, thanks to some Amazonian ancestry. It's unclear if Thuy's live-action version of the character will have powers, too, but it's very much possible.
Some fans might be worrying that Jefferson himself will get sidelined, with all these other superpowered individuals in the show. However, Legends of Tomorrow has proven time and again that juggling multiple heroic storylines is very much doable. Hopefully, Black Lightning showrunners Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil will be able to achieve that same feat.
Black Lightning premieres early next year on The CW.