DC is making moves, again, and this time all eyes are on the upcoming Green Lantern Corps film. It looks like the movie may have found its director (and honestly, thank goodness it isn’t the first option). According to The Hashtag Show, Rupert Wyatt is attached to the film. Wyatt is best known for helming the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie, but one can’t help but wonder where this decision came from.
The report comes only months after the announcement that War for the Plant of the Apes director Matt Reeves would be helming the solo Batman film. If one’s been paying attention to comics, as of late, they’d also be familiar with a recent crossover between the Green Lantern and Planet of the Apes comics. It would seem that the two universes are simply fated to be intertwined.
Details surrounding the film’s casting ambitions and tone have also emerged, as DC is evidently looking for someone in their 40s to play the role of Hal Jordan while looking to cast someone in their 20s as John Stewart. They’ve described the film as Lethal Weapon in Space.
The older Hal Jordan will be a former military test pilot and a veteran of the Green Lantern Corps. He’s mentoring the younger John Stewart, who was a military sniper. This will be a slight departure from the character’s origins that are tied to the comics. No doubt it’s something that’s meant to separate the film from the previous Green Lantern movie as much as possible and is likely to avoid another origin movie. That begs the question, is this a good thing?
It could be, but it depends entirely on execution. Hal and John are traditionally closer in age, playing more of an equal partner role than that of a mentor and student. Jordan has always been more of the cocky jokester, whereas Stewart plays the role of “The Professional.” He’s the seasoned veteran and oh does he like reminding people. But it could work rather well. The two characters, while friendly, have been known to butt heads and there will likely be no shortage of military banter. If the chemistry is solid, this could work remarkably.
On the other hand, it could be problematic for world-building in the same way that Wonder Woman almost was, with it’s saving grace is that it was set before the information age. Assuming she didn’t really do anything after the war and only resurfaced in Batman vs. Superman, it would make sense that no one really knew about her, but if Hal has been an active Green Lantern for years, it’d lead to some questions.
Hal is obviously not immortal, so how in the world do people not known about a flying green man that can make literally anything with his mind? People did seem notably surprised by the existence of aliens in Man of Steel, but was Hal just not on Earth for any of his tenures as a Lantern? That’d be rather suspect.
Also, people may not be particularly open to the likely radical change that’d come with John Stewart being portrayed as green. His no-nonsense attitude and experience are extremely defining points for him among the other Lanterns. With that in mind, there are a handful of other Lanterns to choose from.
There are the newest members, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. Both characters would take a bit more doing, Cruz perhaps most of all, as she’s heavily tied to significant Justice League plotlines that could make things tricky. The two characters were under Hal’s direct tutelage (until a bit later, anyway) though, so it would fit rather easily.
This could also be a good chance to diversify the DCEU character roster a bit. It’d be nice seeing more women in the DCEU’s roster, now that they know audiences would be cool with that (which they should’ve known from the beginning). A Muslim-American superhero would likewise be a take not yet explored on film, at least not by the big two. They could beat Marvel to the punch if they bring in Simon before they get around to Kamala because, really, Kamala is an inevitability at this point.
The Green Lantern mythos is massive, and there are dozens, upon dozens of other ways to approach it. Possibly pulling a DCAU, and replacing Hal with John outright. Having Hal and John both be mentoring a newer GL, and clashing over methods. The list goes on. This, of course, is all merely opening. They’re possibilities, not probabilities. There’s a small likelihood audience will get to see any of these characters in future Green Lantern or general DCEU films. As for now, DC is set in the current direction. It might be a triumph for them, it might not. Audiences will have to wait and see.