Three Actors Join Black Lightning’s Painkiller Spinoff on The CW

At this point, we still don’t know if The CW’s Painkiller spinoff will actually go to series and fill the void left by Black Lightning, which wraps up later this year. But this isn’t stopping the show’s producers from fleshing out the potential supporting cast. According to Deadline, Sibongile Mlambo, Alexander Hodge, and James Roch will play key roles in the backdoor pilot for Painkiller. This episode will air as the seventh installment of Black Lightning’s final season. If network execs like what they see, the actors will formally join the new show as series regulars.

Mlambo (Netflix’s Lost in Space) has been cast as a character named Maya, a “natural leader who immediately gives the impression that she is someone who expects results and is not to be messed around with.” Physically, she’s “a strikingly attractive woman,” but she’s also “icy and mysterious.”

Meanwhile, Hodge (HBO’s Insecure) is playing Philky, a formerly homeless alcoholic who lived on the streets of Gotham City. Despite this, he’s managed to turn his life around. He now works as an “inconspicuous bartender” and uses his tech skills to help Jordan Calloway’s Khalil Payne/Painkiller. Philky is also “ruggedly handsome with long raven hair, ink art on his body, and one born from a strong and honorable Chinese lineage.”

RELATED: Three Actors Join Black Lightning’s Painkiller Spinoff on The CW

Finally, Roch (NBC’s The Night Shift) will star as Cousin Donald, an ex-Marine medic. Donald’s character breakdown describes him as a “larger-than-life, gentle giant” who relates to Khalil in a way others can’t. He also “wears a distinct uniform – head-to-toe leather with matching boots – a juxtaposition of his military past.”

The Arrowverse has played around with the backdoor pilot model in the past. Previously, The CW launched The Flash and Batwoman by introducing those characters on other series before giving them their own starring vehicles. However, it still doesn’t guarantee that the show will actually get picked up. The network recently passed on a Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff after airing a backdoor pilot as the penultimate episode of Arrow’s final season.

Showrunner Salim Akil confirmed that the Painkiller pilot is currently shooting in an interview with SYFY Wire published on Sunday. He also hinted that the new show would continue the adventures of Black Lightning mainstays Jennifer and Anissa Pierce, a.k.a. Lightning and Thunder.

The CW still hasn’t announced an airdate for the Painkiller episode.

Are you looking forward to the series’ backdoor pilot? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Black Lightning: Year One (New Edition)

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