‘Black Lightning’ Spinoff ‘Painkiller’ Starring Jordan Calloway Gets CW Backdoor Pilot Order

Joe Otterson
·2-min read

The CW has ordered a pilot for a “Black Lightning” spinoff centered on the character Painkiller.

The pilot will air as a planted spinoff episode during the upcoming fourth season of “Black Lightning.” Jordan Calloway will star in the series, reprising his role from “Black Lightning.” “Black Lightning” creator Salim Akil will write, executive produce, and direct the pilot.

Based on characters created for DC by Tony Isabella with Eddie Newell, “Painkiller” follows Khalil Payne (Calloway), a young man ridden with the guilt of his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City. 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 his. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrust 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.

Calloway has been on “Black Lightning” since its first season, first in a recurring role before moving up to the main cast in Season 2. He previously appeared on fellow CW show “Riverdale” as well as shows like “Unfabulous,” “The Mick,” “House of Lies,” “ER,” “The Glades,” and “Beyond.”

He is repped by TCA Mgmt, Jordan Lee Talent, and Goodman Genow.

The CW has found great success with its lineup of DC shows. Along with “Black Lightning,” the broadcaster has aired shows like “Arrow” — which recently ended after eight seasons earlier this year — as well as “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” “Batwoman,” and “Stargirl.” It was also announced last year that The CW was plotting an “Arrow” spinoff about The Canaries, which aired as a backdoor pilot during “Arrow’s” final season. The network also aired a backdoor pilot for a prequel to “The 100” during that show’s final season earlier this year.

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