With the rise in popularity of comic book superhero adaptations on the big screen, the trend has carried over to the small screen. While Marvel Studios is currently in the process of expanding both its offerings on Netflix and ABC - with other projects in development elsewhere as well - DC Comics has an arguably bigger presence on TV. The CW's shared DC Comics universe includes four separate television series in addition to iZombie, an adaptation of the series housed on DC's imprint Vertigo. Meanwhile, Fox currently has two DC Comics adaptations, Gotham and Lucifer (the latter being loosely based on another Vertigo title). Plus, the network has ordered to pilot a third DC Comics-based series in Black Lightning.
The Black Lightning show was first reported to be in development last fall, with The CW's DC Comics universe architect Greg Berlanti listed as a producer, before landing at Fox with a pilot order shortly after. Black Lightning is being co-written by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil (The Game, Being Mary Jane), who Berlanti has said are more to credit for the show's creative direction than himself. Now, it appears Black Lightning is taking the next step in the TV pilot process by gearing up to start production soon.
Per My Entertainment World, production on the Black Lightning TV pilot is set to begin in New Orleans, LA, this March. No other details are available as of yet, but this timeline falls in line with that of a typical television pilot. After the pilot episode is completed, it will be sent to Fox for review and the network will make a decision on whether or not to order Black Lightning to series - with the decision likely arriving in May around the time of the network's upfronts presentation.
According to the early synopsis released along with the news that Fox had ordered Black Lightning to pilot, the series will follow the DC superhero's alter-ego of Jefferson Pierce, who hung up his suit and hero identity before the show kicks off. However, with his daughter "hellbent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang" Jefferson Pierce will be drawn back into the fray as Black Lightning. It's unclear whether the daughter in the Fox series will be one of the characters from the comics - both Anissa Pierce and Jennifer Pierce adopted superhero identities: Thunder and Lightning, respectively.
As for Jefferson Pierce, it remains to be seen how Black Lightning adapts the character; in the comics he initially received his powers from belt that generated lightning bolts, but he was later revealed to be a metahuman with that capability of generating lighting all on his own. Of course, with the Black Lightning pilot potentially gearing up to start production, it's likely casting news will begin to surface, not only concerning the lead role of Jefferson Pierce, but supporting players like his daughter and the "star student".
That said, without confirmation from Fox or anyone involved with the Black Lightning series, it remains to be seen if this production start date report turns out to be true. But, if Black Lightning is going to have a shot at debuting during the 2017- 2018 television season, the pilot will certainly need to start production in the coming months. So, it's likely we'll learn more about Fox's Black Lighting series over the next few weeks.
We’ll keep you updated on Black Lightning as development continues.
Source: My Entertainment World