Fox Lands Black Superhero Drama From Greg Berlanti, Salim and Mara Brock Akil

Black Lightning - DC Comics - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of DC Comics

Fox may soon be adding another DC Comics character to its roster.

The network has given a pilot production commitment to Black Lightning, the black superhero drama from prolific superhero series producer Greg Berlanti, and The Game's Salim and Mara Brock Akil, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

One of DC Comics' first major African-American superheroes, Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden and debuted in 1977. The hourlong drama will center on Jefferson Pierce, who hung up his suit and his secret identity years ago. However, 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.

The Akils will write and exec produce the project with Berlanti and his producing partner Sarah Schechter. Their respective banners, Akil Productions and Berlanti Productions, will produce in association with Warner Bros. TV.

Should Black Lightning be picked up, it would be one of the first broadcast series to feature an African-American superhero as its lead. Netflix, of course, has Marvel drama Luke Cage premiering at the end of the month.

Black Lightning could potentially join the Fox's other DC Comics-inspired drama, Gotham, which centers on a young Bruce Wayne and features other characters from the Batman comics including Catwoman, Penguin and Poison Ivy. Fox also has sophomore drama Lucifer, which is based on a character from DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.

Fox's other projects this development season include Camelot, a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend as a police procedural; the Adam Scott-Craig Robinson comedy Ghosted; and a comedy centered on stand-up comedian Ms. Pat.

Berlanti is no stranger to the superhero genre. He also exec produces Arrow, The Flash, DC's Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, which all now air on The CW. In addition he has the Archie comics-inspired Riverdale slated to bow midseason on the network. Berlanti also has Criminal and Raised by Wolves at ABC.

Black Lightning is one of the first sales for the Akils under their new overall at Warner Bros. TV, the other being Documenting Love for ABC. Their credits include The Game and most recently Being Mary Jane.