Before the current round of superhero movies, titles that make up the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC’s Extended Universe, two franchises that have done pretty well for themselves in recent years, comic characters had a rough time making the transition from print to celluloid; in fact, some of them straight up tanked.
Fans will never get back the hours they spent watching Catwoman (2004), Batman & Robin (1997), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), or Daredevil (2003), four crimes against cinema DC and Marvel are still paying for – or should be. However, the most disappointing failure has to be Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern, a film that came out in 2011.
Hal Jordan’s alter-ego occupies arguably the most fertile universe for storytelling in the entire DC canon, incorporating the nine different Lantern tribes – from the bloodthirsty Red Lanterns to the necromantic Black Lanterns – spread across hundreds of different worlds, dimensions, and timeframes, and including countless different species.
It’s admittedly a difficult task to pull a single, compelling story from a nearly eternal landscape but, with almost six decades of lore behind the character, there’s plenty of inspiration. After all, a similar set up worked perfectly for Marvel’s expansive adventure Guardians of the Galaxy – and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War film promises to be even bigger.
Green Lantern doesn’t get much love from DC. Even in the video games industry, where Batman has a back catalogue to rival classic characters like Sonic the Hedgehog, Hal Jordan didn’t get a solo title until 2011’s movie tie-in. The same is true of casino websites, where slots are frequently branded with Marvel and DC superheroes. For example, both Batman and Iron Man are listed as two of the best online slots out there by top Canadian review sites.
It’s not unusual to find even lesser characters in DC’s stable making the rounds on casino sites too. Catwoman, Batgirl, the Penguin, and Mr Freeze are just a few of the superheroes featured in the free online slots available at Casino.com, another brand that’s well thought-of in the online gaming community.
Green Lantern is a conspicuous absentee from DC’s upcoming (2017) Justice League film, along with fellow founding member Martian Manhunter, a female version of which is currently doing the rounds in the Supergirl TV series. However, writer Geoff Johns recently indicated that Green Lantern could be a late addition to the roster. It’s a more essential bit of business than it might appear, given that Jordan and fellow Lantern John Stewart are penciled in for 2020’s Green Lantern Corps.
So, with all the above in mind, what can fans expect from David Goyer’s (Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman) upcoming super-flick?
First things first, it’s almost definitely going to be an origin story – if not for Jordan, then for Stewart, the new kid on the block in the Extended Universe. It will also take place partially in space, given that the Green Lantern Corps are a force concerned with intergalactic security, though the fact both Stewart and Jordan are human suggests they’ll be trying to head off something intended to obliterate the Earth.
There are plenty of great storylines the film could poach from the comic books, if need be – the Massacre of Sector 666 (the antagonists, the Manhunters, are a good potential adversary, if an obvious one), Blackest Night, and the Rise of the Third Army – so there’s still room for optimism for DC’s greenest superheroes.
There is a spanner in the works though. According to Cinema Blend, the film could include a third Green Lantern – Kyle Rayner, a character who succeeds Jordan as the titular hero in the comic books. Immediately, there’s potential for a story based around time travel or parallel dimensions. Jordan may also play an older, wizened “mentor” character akin to Ben Affleck’s Batman.
Perhaps the biggest question that still needs answering is who will play the two lead Lanterns? Ryan Reynolds isn’t out of the running for Jordan (the actor wasn’t at fault for the lackluster Green Lantern movie of 2011), despite jumping ship to Marvel for 2016’s Deadpool and the earlier X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
The above makes sense from the perspective of the hypothetical “older Jordan” scenario too. Chris Pine, an early favorite, opted to star in Wonder Woman (2017) instead. As for Stewart, Tyrese Gibson from Transformers and 2 Fast 2 Furious is a shoo-in but rapper-turned-actor Common has also expressed interest in the role.
As a closing point, an announcement regarding Jordan’s presence in this year’s Justice League movie can’t be far off now, though it’ll still be a long three years before the superhero gets another shot at breaking Hollywood.