Cress Williams is coming back to The CW … this time as a superhero.
Williams, who played Lavon Hayes over four seasons of Hart of Dixie, is set to become Black Lightning in the pilot which is called, simply enough, Black Lightning.
The CW picked up the pilot earlier this month after Fox decided against it. If the network were to bring it to series and not cancel any of its existing shows based in the DC Comics universe, it would give the company that brought the world Superman and Batman at least half of the network’s total broadcasting schedule.
The show, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is centered around Williams’ Jefferson Pierce, who “made a choice to hang up his suit and his secret identity years ago.”
But with a daughter hell-bent on justice, and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend – Black Lightning.
Williams got his start on the former Fox series Beverly Hills 90210 in 1993 before, believe it or not, he appeared as a Jem’Hadar soldier named Talak’talan in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
His character acting credits have been extensive through the years, with recurring roles in shows like the short-lived ABC series Leaving L.A. with a young Christopher Meloni, the Fox sitcom Living Single, the CBS series Nash Bridges (an early series by Lost‘s Carlton Cuse), Veronica Mars, ER and ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.
More recently, Williams has played Cole Guthrie in the CBS medical drama Code Black.
Williams has a tiny bit of DC street cred already. He made a guest appearance in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman in 1996.
Greg Berlanti, who is in charge of all the other DC-related properties at The CW, will be an executive producer on this series. Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil from The Game will write the pilot.
The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, and first appeared in his own comic series in 1977, set in Superman’s adopted city of Metropolis. In the comics, Pierce is a gold medal-winning decathlete who returns home only to find that his old neighborhood – Suicide Slum – has been ravaged by a gang.
The CW could decide whether to pick up the pilot for series later this spring.
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