Black Lightning's Cress Williams on Why His Show Is Unlike Any Other Superhero Series on TV

Cress Williams stars in The CW's latest comic book offering, but this show takes on social issues

By Chris Harnick Jan 16, 2018 6:15 PMTags
Watch: Cress Williams Is "Excited" to Play "Black Lightning"

Black Lightning isn't your typical superhero show. For one, The CW's upcoming series doesn't star a strapping twenty-something that fans have come to expect from the Arrowverse. Instead there's Cress Williams, 47, playing the titular role of Black Lightning aka Jefferson Pierce.

"I am massively excited. I love superheroes, and I get to be one now! Their track record—that's the best place to be. I want to be there for a very long time, and fight crime for a very long time," Williams told E! News at Comic-Con this summer.

It's a dream come true for Williams.

"I'm a bit older so I didn't know if it was really going to happen, thankfully this hero came out of a retirement," he said.

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The show follows Jefferson Pierce, a superhero who retired nine years before the start of the series. Now his family is older—daughters played by Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain and are now displaying superhero abilities—and there's "some trouble" that causes him to "start up again."

"I think it's going to change a lot of things," Williams said of the genre. "Because our show is so different, not just the fact that we're black, but the fact that we are rooted in real-life issues— real-life social issues, family issues. We're a real character-driven drama, so I think it's going to do very, very well."

Christine Adams plays Jeffesron Pierce's ex-wife, but she's still very much in the picture. "I'm kind of like, I suppose the glue that holds them all together, because they're going to be flying off and fighting crime and I'm going to be sort of doing up their wounds," she told us.

Click play on the video above to hear more from Adams and Williams.

Black Lightning premieres Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. on The CW.