Just when you though we couldn’t be introduced to anymore heroes on TV, the news hit that Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightning might be making his way to the DC TV universe. Pierce’s character has been shown as a righteous, easy-going, highly intelligent, and super athletic individual. Those are kind of specific characteristics, so we can only assuming the casting process for his character is going to be a tight one. That being said, we thought we’d make it easier for the casting team behind this show by creating our list of possible candidates to helm the role. This is in no specific order except our last choice, so without further ado, here’s our top 5 picks for actors we’d like to see play Black Lightning.
Tyler James Williams
Our first pick is Tyler James Williams. Most of you may know him from the hit series Everybody Hates Chris, which is the role that really got him started in the industry. Since then he hasn’t really had trouble staying relevant and making something of a name for himself. He was in the 2014 film Dear White People and also appeared in Season 5 of AMC’s The Walking Dead as a recurring star. What’s more impressive is that as well as acting, Williams is a musician and a martial artist.
It wouldn’t be hard to see him playing Jeff Pierce in a TV adaptation. He’s shown he has the action chops to carry a show in the lead role, and his history in martial arts definitely doesn’t hurt his chances at all since he might have to get physical. We’ll keep our eyes opened for him.
Possibly the least well-known name on our list Kofi Siriboe is one of those actors you’ve seen in things but you can never remember exactly what. He’s had small roles in Straight Outta Compton, Whiplash, and more, but never anything to really cement his name as one of the bright young stars African American actors of today. This role could do just that for him.
At age 22, Siriboe is currently starring in Queen Sugar, a drama on the Oprah Winfrey Network. He has no problem taking on roles that evoke emotion. Black Lighting isn’t known to wear his heart on his sleeve, so this could be a good challenge for Siriboe if he was considered for it.
Aldis Hodge was actually on our list of actors that we wanted to see play Black Manta, but we think this role could be a better fit for him. He’s been in a few big films (Straight Outta Compton, Die Hard 3, and next year’s Jack Reacher: Never Go Back), but he’s also a part of the TV slave drama, Underground. The fact that he’s already one of the main stars in another TV show could definitely limit his chance of being apart of this project. We can still be hopeful though, right?
Stephan James is a Canadian-born actor who is pretty fresh on the scene, but is already making some pretty big waves. He’s mostly known for his roles in the films Home Again, Selma, and Race. His resume consist of roles that involve cultural or racial norms being broken or changed, so what better role for him than to join one of the only Superhero shows around with an African American character in the lead role?
Like everyone else on this list, we don’t doubt he would have what it takes to lead a series as Black Lightning. He’s had small roles in other shows, so we know he’s not against being on Television. One thing to note is that he’s currently a part of a Tyler Perry film that’s still in pre-production, so it’s unsure if he’d have an open schedule for what would likely be a time-consuming role.
Shameik Moore is probably the main actor on this list that everyone is keeping their eye on. After staring in his first leading role in Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope, he went on to join the cast of the the Netflix original series The Get Down, where he shows off his musical capability. He’s also had some smaller roles in TV shows like House of Payne, but it’s the former work that’s really jump-started his career
At age 21, Moore is pretty well rounded. He can act, sing, and dance. Not that he’d need those second two to play Black Lightning, but they’re worth mentioning. He gave a pretty Oscar worthy performance in Dope, so there’s no doubt that he’s got the acting chops to pull off the role. Whether or not he’s even being considered is beyond us, but this is currently our number one pick for Black Lightning. We want Moore (yes, pun intended).
In a fair world we’d love to see all of these guys play Black Lightning, but this isn’t a fair world. Also that might get confusing after a while, so we’ll just have to stick to one actor. It’s not garuanteed any of these guys are going to make the cut, but we hope at least some of them are being recognized for their exceptional work. We just hope one of them makes the cut, but we won’t know until we know. Anyway, tell us what you think of our list, and tell us your top pick to play this role in the comment section below!
Black Lightning (official title pending) is still in development, so we’ll be awaiting a release date for a while.