‘Black Lightning’ Spinoff ‘Painkiller’ In Development
by Erik Amaya
It seems Khalil’s (Jordan Calloway) story is far from over.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the seventh episode of Black Lightning‘s fourth season will serve as a backdoor pilot for Painkiller. Calloway will return as Khalil Payne, the traumatized and augmented metahuman who must contain a vicious killer persona in his head. Though he left Freeland at the end of Season 3, the Painkiller pilot sees him arriving in Akashic Valley and attempting to find some peace. But as injustice is rampant all over the world, circumstances force him into action once again.
Black Lightning executive producer Salim Akil wrote the pilot and will direct the episode. He will presumably serve as EP on Painkiller should it go to series. Of course, that is very much up in the air as CW backdoor pilots have a history of faltering. Just ask anyone involved in the two Supernatural spinoffs that series attempted to launch through the years. Then again, extending brands seems to be the network’s modus operandi these days with the Arrowverse still dominating much of its schedule and a Nancy Drew spinoff in the works.
And since we’re talking CW Arrowverse spinoffs, we’re going to assume Green Arrow and the Canaries is dead.
As it happens, Calloway has been a network favorite since he appeared in several first season Riverdale episodes. He soon transferred to Black Lightning, where Khalil became a interesting recurring character, even when it seemed his story was done.
Black Lightning returns February 8th on The CW.