The CW is officially not moving forward with its Black Lightning spin-off. As the DC series has wrapped up its run, it has been confirmed that Painkiller, a spin-off series centered on Jordan Calloway's character of the same name, has been passed on by the network. Though the show may still find life elsewhere, potentially on HBO Max.
This news comes just as the Black Lightning series finale aired on The CW. With that, this corner of the ArrowVerse has closed up shop. Jordan Calloway, taking to Twitter, shared a video confirming that Painkiller was passed over by the network. Calloway, despite the news, had a positive attitude. Here's what he had to say.
"For those of you that have not heard, Painkiller will not be going any further, so let's rip that Band-Aid off now, okay? Now, what I wanted to do was just, very quickly, make a video saying thank you. Thank you to the fans, thank you to the supporters, thank you to CW, to Warner Media for affording me the opportunity to even do a spin-off. And, also, thank you most importantly to my cast, my crew, and of course, to my God."
While The CW has said no, several reports have confirmed that Warner Bros. TV intends to shop Painkiller around to other suitors. HBO Max is listed as a possible destination. And it's easy to see why. The streaming service has become a hub for DC content since launching last year. And with the streaming wars heating up, having another superhero show that stems from a well-liked show such as Black Lightning probably couldn't hurt.
Black Lightning executive producer Salim Akil had been heading up the spin-off. It would have focused on Khalil Payne/Painkiller, who first appeared in Black Lightning season 1. The seventh episode of season 4, titled Painkiller, served as a backdoor pilot for the potential series. Speaking further, Jordan Calloway reiterated his gratitude.
"I can't put into words how grateful I am. From the experiences that I've learned, from the relationships that I've made, it's been a blast, it's been phenomenal. So, as we lay this character to rest and we move on to the next chapter, I just wanted to say thank you guys. You are amazing."
The CW has tried several times in recent years to make spin-offs using backdoor pilots. Supernatural had not one but two spin-offs that didn't go forward. Additionally,Green Arrow and the Canaries, an Arrow spin-off, was passed over by the network as well.
This means the ArrowVerse has lost yet another show. Arrow ended its run last year, Supergirl is set to conclude with its current season and Black Lightning is now in the can. But Superman & Lois has already been picked up for a second season. Additionally, Ava DuVernay's Naomi, another DC Comics property, has officially been picked up to series. So, even without Painkiller, The CW seems intent on keeping its slate of DC programming full. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.