The momentum has been building up to the day when we finally learn who will be cast as Green Lantern(s) for the upcoming Justice League and Green Lantern films. While nothing official has yet been announced there has been a stream of rumors since January which leads to July’s San Diego Comic Con where it’s presumed that Warner Brothers will be “uniting the seven” on stage at Hall H. Or will that be “uniting the eight” as recent rumors suggest. In anticipation of what will either be a joyous moment or a great let down here’s a review of what we’ve heard so far before I join the number of sites weighing in the subject itself.
January 2015 – Tyrese Gibson, apparently motivated by fan casting photo manipulations, begins publicly rallying behind the notion of him playing John Stewart on film. Gibson implies that he has a meeting with Warner Brothers on the role, but nothing is announced officially. Coupled with an unsubstantiated rumor that Zack Snyder wants a war weary Hal Jordan potentially handing the ring on to his successor the Internet reports that John Stewart will be THE cinematic Green Lantern.
February 2015 – Internet rumors start up again as not only does Tyrese Gibson continue trying to rally public support for his casting but comic websites start the unsubstantiated rumor that his fellow Fast and Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez is being considered for the role of Jessica Cruz, a DC character who has just recently become Power Ring, Rodriguez quickly shoots down the rumor while telling Hollywood to create original racially diverse characters rather than “stealing white people’s superheroes”. Website Moviepilot also claims that Hal Jordan has been stealth cast by a virtual unknown, actor Dan Amboyer, as an Easter Egg as a drone pilot in Batman v Superman. Convincing publicity shot in which Amboyer bears a striking resemblance to Hal Jordan aside, industry insider Umberto Gonzalez dismisses the rumor as Amboyer being nothing more than a featured actor with enough lines to warrant a screen credit. Fans also began getting behind the idea of Arrow actor David Ramsey’s character, John Diggle, secretly being John Stewart on the television series. Ramsey admits that there were conversations on the subject but that WB “has plans” for the character. And Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posts a message on Twitter which fans interpret as him being in the running for the John Stewart role
March 2015 – Umberto Gonzalez from The Latino Review reports that all of his sources keep pointing to actor Chris Pine as being cast for the role of Hal Jordan. Gonzalez would later report that after he broke the rumor the trail would go cold before he could get confirmation of the casting. Dwayne Johnson is announced as taking the role of Black Adam.
April 2015 – Tyrese Gibson speaks less and less on the role of John Stewart while the Meet the Movie Press show reports that Warner Brothers has begun actively looking for someone to play John Stewart on film.
May 2015 – Variety reports that Chris Pine is the front runner for the role of Steve Trevor in the upcoming Wonder Woman film and that Warner Brothers is actively pursuing him for the part.
June 2015 – Rumors emerge that Warner Brothers has something monumental planned for Hall H at July’s San Diego Comic Con – bringing the entire Justice League cast on stage. Collider reports hearing that, while the Green Lantern 2020 movie is still in early development, the current plan is to focus on two or three Green Lanterns in the film rather than just one, presumably Hal Jordan, John Stewart and/or Guy Gardner. The Latino Review followed up the story with their firm belief that Warner Brothers really does plan to reveal the Justice League cast in July and that Warner Brothers may have pulled a page from J.J. Abrams’ book by releasing the Chris Pine as Steve Trevor information to take the wind out of the Green Lantern rumor. Umberto Gonzalez, now with his own venture called Heroic Hollywood, addresses the same on social media, agrees saying it was an effective way to squelch the rumors. Tyrese Gibson, promoting his new album, further stirs the pot by addressing the Green Lantern rumors with Entertainment Tonight, saying, “You never know, I might be there on the other side of an announcement. You never know.”
My thoughts? Well, I have been saying since last February that the best thing Warner Brother can do in my opinion is to soft reboot Hal Jordan in the Justice League films before introducing John Stewart in the Green Lantern film in 2020. Some doubt has been thrown on the roles being cast so far in advance of a film that is five years away, but given that the first Justice League movie is scheduled for 2017 it’s not unrealistic to think that the casting has to be completed for that, particularly if the rumors are true that Green Lantern appears briefly in the 2017 film and if WB’s San Diego plans are what we hear. Combined with how many actor’s schedules are filling up with projects so far ahead I do believe that Warner Brothers has been working hard behind the scenes to lock in actors who they want to be a part of their DC Comics cinematic universe.
I also think that Chris Pine is ripe for the role of Hal Jordan. He’s been a popular choice among fans for some time and I really believe that Warner Brothers has made fan interest a priority, especially when Green Lantern didn’t perform as well as everyone had hoped. I think it’s suspect that since the May report in Variety no official announcement has been made and the reliability of sites like Latino Review and Heroic Hollywood indicate that it will be Chris Pine playing Hal Jordan.
As for Tyrese Gibson I’m not so sure. It seems that if he were going to be playing John Stewart that would have been locked up in January if Warner Brothers had confidence in the choice otherwise we wouldn’t have heard more about a search being done in April. Film casting is a funny thing and perhaps Gibson is the man for the job. I firmly believe that a Hal and John buddy space cop film is truly the best way to go and would help unite a fanbase which has been fractured of late. While Guy Gardner could be a fun addition I don’t think it would be wise to include him in the first outing as both Hal and John need significant screen time and crowding the screen with another main character may be too much. Time will tell how this all plays out, but for now all eyes are on San Diego.