Is Black Lightning Headed For A "Flashy" Future? Talking Crossovers

Let's kick things off by saying that this will be a spoiler-free article about The CW's Black Lightning ending its run after four seasons on Monday night. Instead, it's going to be about series showrunner Salim Akil, series star Cress Williams, and what could've been when it comes to crossovers- and what could still be. As every avid Arrowverse viewers know, Jefferson Pierce (Williams) aka Black Lightning was a major player in the massive, five-part "Crisis on Infinite Earths" mega-crossover event that brought his universe in line with the rest of the Arrowverse via Earth-Prime. Of course, this would make a crossover that much easier- but COVID-related production delays would keep that from happening. But the showrunner has some ideas on what would've worked- and he shared them with EW.

Is Black Lightning Headed For A "Flashy" Future? Talking Crossovers
Black Lightning — The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

"The Flash": "In our minds, it seemed like the Flash and Black Lightning had really connected ["Crisis"] and we certainly wanted to have something with the Flash. We also thought it would be interesting to, in some way, have Flash and his wife, Iris [Candice Patton], come to dinner and Barry reveals he was raised by a Black family. To finally see some of that come out, we wanted to have someone say like, 'Hey, Barry, go put on some music,' and Barry puts on some of the deepest soul you can find and they think, 'Oh, maybe he's trying to impress us.' So fun things like that and then we [would find] out some deeper things about who he really is. Of course, crime-fighting and that sort of thing."

"Batwoman": "We even thought about Thunder and Grace having a crossover with Batwoman. We thought that could be interesting. At that time, we really throwing out a lot of stuff."

But for Williams, the future may find him holding onto the supersuit- at least for a little while longer. "I have had people from 'The Flash' reach out, asking if I'd come do some work with them. So they had kind of tentatively reached out months before we shot the finale," Williams revealed to EW. In fact, his move back to California would make guest appearances much more practical than returning for a series full-time. "We're moving back to California, and so Vancouver, for short stints, to pop in and do something and pop back out, is not as challenging for me and it doesn't require packing up and moving my whole family. I wouldn't be able to suddenly join another show that's not in California. So there's that logistical thing," Williams explained.

But "Crisis" gave Williams an itch for more crossover action. "I really enjoyed the crossover last year. Specifically, I think me and Grant [Gustin], we're just very like-minded in how we approach the work, and we had really great conversations. One of my favorite scenes of doing this character was the scene between me and him in the library [in "Crisis"] So the thought of being able to go back and do an episode here or an episode there? Oh yeah, no, I'm down for that." That said, viewers shouldn't be marking any dates down on their calendars quite yet.

The Flash -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three" -- Image Number: FLA609b_0412b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): John Wesley Shipp as Flash 90 and Cress Williams as Black Lightning -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Black Lightning — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

"Just in the talk phase. I was really surprised because it was months ago, I think in the fall when they first approached me about, 'Hey, do you, would you do something with us next season?' And so I initially said yeah, or my representatives said, 'Yeah, we're interested, but you know, that's quite a ways away, and who knows where we're going to be at that point.' And they just kind of came back saying, 'Hey, we'll work around your schedule. We just want to know if you're interested.' Then probably about two months ago, they came back with like, checking again and saying, 'We're thinking about a couple of episodes, and these are the months that we're thinking about and want to just, again, see if you're into it.' And basically, we said the same thing, like, 'Yeah, yeah.' So I imagine at some point the next thing will be something a little bit more final."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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