The fates of Naomi and Painkiller have been decided.
Deadline reports the former has received a series order from The CW. Based on the DC Comics character created by Brian Micheal Bendis, David F. Walker and Jamal Campbell, the project comes from filmmaker Ava DuVernay and former Arrow writer Jill Blankenship. The series will follow a teen girl’s journey from her small northwestern town to the heights of the multiverse. When a supernatural event shakes her hometown to the core, Naomi (Kaci Walfall) sets out to uncover its origins, and what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes.
In her hometown, though, the program will be populated by Barry Watson as her adoptive father, Greg, Mouzam Makkar as adoptive mother Jennifer, and Mary-Charles Jones as Naomi’s best friend, Annabelle. Other actors in the program include Aidan Gemme as Annabelle’s boyfriend, Jacob; and Daniel Puig as Nathan, a “high school jock who briefly dated Naomi”; Alexander Wraith as tattoo parlor owner Dee; Cranston Johnson as Zumbado, a used car salesman Naomi tries to avoid; and Camila Moreno as Lourdes, a potential Season 1 love interest.
The program joins All American spinoff, All American: Homecoming, and The 4400 remake as its three new programs for the 2021-2022 season; although some other shows are still in consideration.
One show definitely not joining the slate, though, is the Black Lightning spinoff Painkiller. Set to star Jordan Calloway as his Black Lightning characters in a technologically advanced Louisiana city “came in really solidly,” according to Warner Bros TV Group President Channing Dungey. At the same time, it clearly did not fit the requirements of an Arrowverse show. Deadline claims it is unknown if the series will be shopped to HBO Max, the seeming future home of all things DC. That said, considering all the time Black Lightning gave to the Painkiller concept, it seems like a waste in retrospect. Nevertheless, we hope Calloway gets the starring role he deserves.
With productions still catching up from the COVID-19 shutdowns, it is unclear when the new season will begin or when Naomi will join the lineup — although the network will announce its fall schedule sometime tomorrow. For the moment, we’ll presume it will take the place of Supergirl following its finale in November or join the Arrowverse in the mid-season.