*“Being Mary Jane’s” Salim and Mara Brock Akil are teaming with DC Comics specialist Greg Berlanti in hopes of making a weekly series centered on one of the brand’s first major African-American superheroes.
Berlanti, the executive producer of “The Arrow,” “Flash,” “Supergirl” and “Legends of Tomorrow,” is working with the Akils to develop “Black Lightning, “a drama surrounding the black character that made its DC Comics debut in 1977 from writers Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden.
A network is not yet attached, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but the drama is being pitched to networks this development season after being in development at Warner Bros. Television, where the Akils and Berlanti are under overall deals.
Should “Black Lightning” move to series at a broadcast network, the drama would be the first to feature an African-American superhero as its lead. Streaming service Netflix has Marvel drama “Luke Cage” starring Mike Colter due this month.
The Akils will write the script and executive produce alongside Greg Berlanti Productions’ Berlanti and Sarah Schechter.
The Akils’ storyline would begin with Black Lightning’s alter ego Jefferson Pierce, who hung up the 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.
In the comics, Pierce has two daughters who both became superheroes: Anissa Pierce (aka Thunder), a member of the Outsiders; and Jennifer Pierce (aka Lightning), who is recruited by the Justice Society of America.
The Akils, in their first year with WBTV, also have “Documenting Love” at ABC.