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The CW announced today that they are moving Naomi to series, but the Black Lightning spinoff Painkiller is not. The Naomi series follows a teenage girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the Multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes. Kaci Walfall stars as the title character alongside Cranston Johnson, Alexander Wraith, Mary-Charles Jones, Barry Watson, Mouzam Makkar, Daniel Puig, Camila Moreno, Will Meyers and Aidan Gemme. The pilot is being directed and co-executive produced by Amanda Marsalis with the series written and executive produced by Ava DuVernay and Arrow writer/co-executive producer Jill Blankenship. Based on the eponymous comic book series that debuted in 2019, co-written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker and illustrated by breakout artist Jamal Campbell, Naomi is produced by DuVernay’s Array Filmworks in association with Warner Bros Television, with Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes also set as executive producers. Black Lightning‘s Jordan Calloway also broke the news to his fans that his Painkiller spinoff will not be moving forward at The CW. “Painkiller will not be going forward, so let’s rip that band-aid off now,” he said. Calloway thanked fans, cast members, supporters, and The CW and WarnerMedia for “affording me the opportunity to even do a spinoff.” The spinoff would have seen Calloway reprise his role as the titular character while Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil will write, executive produce and direct. Set to join the cast were Sibongile Mlambo, Alexander Hodge and James Roch. The planted pilot spinoff aired as the seventh episode of Black Lightning’s fourth season.
Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) is a young man ridden with the guilt of his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City, where, as a super-enhanced killing machine known as Painkiller, he was both a member of Tobias Whale’s gang and a weapon of Agent Odell and the shadowy ASA. After attempting to bury the darker, devastatingly lethal Painkiller part of his persona, Khalil has distanced himself away from everyone he knows and loves in a new city, Akashic Valley, in order to find peace…but peace never comes easy for men with pasts like Khalil Payne and Painkiller. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrusted back into action with a new mission - bring justice where he once gave out punishment – but to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side, Painkiller. The episode was written and directed by Salim Akil (#407). Original Airdate: 4/12/2021
Deadline is reporting that The CW has added Sibongile Mlambo, Alexander Hodge and James Roch to the cast of Painkiller, the Black Lightning spinoff. Painkiller is planned as a planted pilot spinoff that will air as the seventh episode of Black Lightning’s fourth season. Jordan Calloway will reprise his role as the titular character while Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil will write, executive produce and direct. Mlambo is set to star as Maya, who is described as a “strikingly attractive woman yet is icy and mysterious”. She is a natural leader who immediately gives the impression that she is someone who expects results and is not to be messed around with. Hodge will step into the role of Philky, a “ruggedly handsome with long raven hair, ink art on his body, and one born from a strong Chinese lineage.” The character has had a rough history, who was once a homeless alcoholic from Gotham but now works as an inconspicuous bartender and an exceptionally gifted tech wiz helping Khalil. Roch who will play Cousin Donald, a “larger-than-life, gentle giant who wears a distinct uniform – head-to-toe leather with matching boots – a juxtaposition of his military past.” He was a medic in the Marines and knows medicine well but also has the ability of talking perspective to others. There is a duality about Cousin Donald, which is why he understands Khalil better than others.
The CW is developing a backdoor pilot around the Painkiller character from the Black Lightning series. The pilot is being written, directed and executive produced by the Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil. The planted pilot will air as the seventh episode of Black Lightning’s fourth season, which will premiere in February 2021. The Painkiller spinoff is from Warner Bros Television. Berlanti Productions, which produces Black Lightning and all other DC series, is not involved. Source: Deadline