‘Black Lightning’ Spinoff ‘Painkiller’ Adds Sibongile Mlambo, Alexander Hodge And James Roch

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Dino-Ray Ramos
·3 min read
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EXCLUSIVE: The cast for The CW’s Painkiller is coming together as the Black Lightning spinoff has added Sibongile Mlambo, Alexander Hodge and James Roch.

Painkiller is planned as a planted pilot spinoff that will air as the seventh episode of Black Lightning’s fourth season which is currently airing on The CW. Jordan Calloway will reprise his role as the titular character while Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil will write, exec produce and direct. Mlambo, Hodge and Roch will assume their roles should Painkiller be greenlit for production.

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Mlambo is set to star as Maya, who is described as a “strikingly attractive woman yet is icy and mysterious”. She is a natural leader who immediately gives the impression that she is someone who expects results and is not to be messed around with.

Hodge will step into the role of Philky, a “ruggedly handsome with long raven hair, ink art on his body, and one born from a strong Chinese lineage.” The character has had a rough history, who was once a homeless alcoholic from Gotham but now works as an inconspicuous bartender and an exceptionally gifted tech wiz helping Khalil.

Rounding out the trip is Roch who will play Cousin Donald, a “larger-than-life, gentle giant who wears a distinct uniform – head-to-toe leather with matching boots – a juxtaposition of his military past.” He was a medic in the Marines and knows medicine well but also has the ability of talking perspective to others. There is a duality about Cousin Donald, which is why he understands Khalil better than others.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Mlambo’s passion for the arts was ignited after being cast in the international feature, Kini & Adams. She went on to be feature in local commercials and expanded into dancing and modeling. Her credits include Lovecraft Country, God Friended Me, Lost In Space, Siren, Dark/Web, Macgyver, Teen Wolf and Black Sails. On the film side, film credits include Message From The King, Under the Silver, The Last Face and Honey 3. She will next be seen in the short Blackout and is currently shooting a recurring role on Roswell, New Mexico.

Mlambo is repped by The Gersh Agency and 11:11 Entertainment

Hodge is best known as Andrew in HBO’s Insecure. He recently wrapped production on the forthcoming untitled Netflix rom-com from Alicia Keys which also stars Christiani Pitts and Jay Pharoah. His credits also include Tommy, Modern Family, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Bull, High Maintenance” and the feature film ABE.

Hodge is repped by Innovative Artists and Station Three.

Roch’s first major TV role was in NBC’s The Night Shift. On the feature side, Roch starred opposite Tika Sumpter in Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. He has also done extensive motion capture work for Electronic Arts’ highly successful Madden franchise, and was the lead character, Devin Wade, opposite Mahershala Ali in Madden ’18: Longshot and opposite Ron Cephas Jones in Madden ’19: Longshot Homecoming. He recently wrapped the Eoin Macken-directed indie ensemble drama Grey Elephant.

Roch is repped by McKeon/Myones Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman

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