The Justice League Movie – What Does it Mean For Green Lantern?

It’s hard not to get excited about the news that DC is going to move forward with a Justice League film, but then again we’ve been here before so the cynic in many fans has their enthusiasm on hold until they actually see a trailer for the film.  But what’s different this time is the huge success Marvel’s Avengers film and Warner Brothers in a position to either get the DC film universe rolling to turn their back on the notion of cashing in on the characters they own and ceding the superhero film genre to others.  There’s a sense of reality about this one, notions stoked by various rumor that lead me to think that we will get a movie this time and I think that the future of the Green Lantern on film is definitely hitched to the Justice League wagon.

If we are to believe what we’ve all read, Warner Brothers’ plan is to do the opposite of what Marvel did and jump right in with both feet, changing direction on using the forthcoming Man of Steel Superman movie to launch a unified DC film universe which will tie in to a Justice League film to launch a couple of years later.  Following that Wonder Woman and the Flash would spin out of Justice League into solo films.  
Green Lantern, however, is somewhat in limbo with a treatment sitting idly by.  Rumors are both that the studio wants Ryan Reynolds back as Hal to help anchor the Justice League film with Man of Steel star Henry Cavill and that the studio is unclear what direction to move with the character following the disappointing performance of the movie last year.  The question remains whether or not Warner Brothers, who admitted that they didn’t do the best job with Green Lantern, will fault the character or actor for the results or move in another direction as some have hinted to distance themselves from the 2011 film.
Get on with the show, and go big or go home!
First and foremost I think that Warner Brothers needs to really look at the investment that they’ve made in the Green Lantern universe.  All the digital assets are there to move ahead with a sequel and while the effects are often pointed to as a weak point, the script and studio meddling ultimately led to the poor box office.  Reynolds and most of the cast were often cited as the film’s strong point and while many panned the film there’s no sense rebooting a franchise when it would be easier to just move forward. 
If Reynolds is no longer interested in wearing the ring then simply recast the role and move on, a strategy that worked well for the Hulk who in the opinion of many stole the show in the Avengers.  What I disagree with is the notion of simply changing who the Green Lantern is in Justice League by either pretending Green Lantern didn’t exist or writing out the character to make way for one of the other four human members of the Corps.  I like John Stewart and all, but Hal Jordan was a founding member of the Justice League on paper and should be on film.  And don’t get me started on diversity for the sake of diversity.  I get that a lot of people see John as Green Lantern based on the Justice League cartoon, but just as many if not more see Hal based on the movie and the current animated series.  I like Guy Gardner, too, but not in a film with the tone that supposedly this movie will have and Kyle, well, I just don’t see him playing a major role at this early stage of the game.
If we are finally going to see the Justice League on the big screen then Warner Brothers needs to honor comic book history, the material these films are based on is not irrelevant as Chris Nolan would suggest.  Give me the founding members of the Justice League in a team shot like we saw in the Avengers – it’s was the fans deserve to see.  
Whether Warner Brothers uses Justice League to reset the public perception of Green Lantern or whether they throw a strongly executed sequel out there to stoke the fires of interest the studio needs to move forward with establishing DC’s characters without an “S” or a bat on their chest if they have any hopes of really performing in the superhero film arena at all.  My hope is that Warner Brothers will take the long-view approach with Green Lantern and move forward with using the investment they’ve already made and spend more effort on executing a sequel properly.

About the author

Life long Green Lantern fan and co-host of the Podcast of Oa. I’m a Barbecue snob and aficionado of blues music. Hal Jordan is my co-pilot!

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