Painkiller will star Jordan Calloway, reprising his role as the eponymous character. The planted pilot spinoff will air as the seventh episode of Black Lightning’s fourth season, which will premiere in February 2021. Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil will write, exec produce and direct.
It marks the first pilot based on a DC Comics character for this broadcast development season and is the CW’s latest planted pilot development. Last year, the network planted potential spinoffs of Arrow and The 100.
Calloway plays Khalil Payne, a 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 his. 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.
The Painkiller spinoff is from Warner Bros Television. Berlanti Productions, which produces Black Lightning and all other DC series, is not involved.
Painkiller, who first appeared in comics in 1995, is based on characters created for DC by Tony Isabella with Eddie Newell.