Warner Brothers made a splash today at its “Investors Day” event, announcing details about the highly anticipated HBO Max streaming service. Among the information dropped during the event was the announcement of two DC centric original series for the service being produced under the auspice of Greg Berlanti. Berlanti is best known for all of his work with the CW and the Arrowverse as well as his original script work on the 2011 Green Lantern film. The two shows have a cosmic bent with one show being an anthology series called Strange Adventures and the other being “inspired” by The Green Lantern. The $14.99/month service will launch in May of 2020 and there’s no word on whether or not either new show will be ready to debut at launch time. The two new shows will show new seasons of Doom Patrol, which was previously announced as appearing both on HBO Max and the DC Universe streaming platform. No announcement came about the future of the DC Universe service, but it would not be surprising if the service were dropped as some point to shift focus to HBO Max.
Curious in the announcement is that the nebulous statement show is “inspired’ by The Green Lantern. What’s not clear is whether the show is basing itself of the current series due to exact wording of the statement or focusing on the Green Lantern franchise itself. Warner Brothers is throwing a lot of money at the original content being made for the service, which is likely one reason why Green Lantern is showing up there versus on the CW where the production budget may be prohibitive. The obvious question most fans have at this point is who the main character will be on the show, so here’s my analysis of the prospects.
We’ve been waiting for what seems an unreasonable amount of time for any news on the production of the Green Lantern Corps film that was originally slated for a 2020 release. Geoff Johns’ production company, Mad Ghost Productions, still has the film listed as being in development, with imagery of Hal, John and Guy used to represent the film. There’s been a lot of conjecture on potential actors for the role, as well as a rumor from the less than reliable website Cosmic Book News that J.J. Abrams has his eyes on the franchise as part of his new deal with Warner Brothers. Even though there’s been no real information about the film, if Warner Brothers does indeed make another feature film I have no doubt they’d want Hal Jordan to anchor the film. This would line up with the rumor that Hal and John are “hands off” for use in other productions. However, Berlanti does have a lot of pull right now, and he’s certainly played a part in teasing Hal on the Arrowverse shows and has yet to pay off on it, so should Warners have made a decision to shift Green Lantern from the big screen to the small one perhaps a Hal Jordan led series is why we’ve heard so little about the feature film. It’s possible, but my gut says that Hal’s not going to be a part of the show unless they do a cameo to lead up to the feature film. However I do have to point out that we already have two Clark Kents and two Barry Allens, so there really is no reason we can’t have two Hal Jordans!
As stated above, supposedly John Stewart is off limits. However there’s been similar teasing about John Stewart appearing during the upcoming Arrowverse crossover event with David Ramsey donning the ring as his John Diggle character. There was also rumor from another unreliable source, We Got This Covered, that a Green Lantern series was pitched to the CW, showcasing Ramsey’s Arrowverse character. If there was interest there’s certainly the possibility that this show could have been slid to HBO Max. Like Hal, I think John is a possible lead for the new show, but I just think that Warner Brothers is going to reserve John along with Hal for the big screen.
Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner
Kyle has been rumored to be featured on an HBO Max show since August, so the fact that we get this announcement today makes that rumor seem very credible. Personally I think that if it were me and Hal was off the table then I’d have the show feature the Corps with Kyle and Guy Gardner anchoring it. Tonally Guy is good for the show’s chemistry and the two characters work well together. References could be made to Hal and John and help prime audiences for the feature film. John and Guy are certainly well known to the comic book community, but are easy enough to introduce to the uninitiated if you circumvent the baggage of “Emerald Twilight”. I think at the end of the day one or both of them is the most likely possibility of being the show’s feature characters.
Simon, Jessica and the rest
Not to knock the newer characters, but I don’t really see any of them featuring in the new show at least initially. Simon is not really well liked by the comics community, and while Jessica has featured in some DC animation I don’t think she’s quite as popular as people want to believe she is. Jo Mulein is so new I don’t see her as a factor in anything yet. While I’d love to see an all-alien GLC show we all know that neither Warner Brothers or DC is not brave enough to let anything Green Lantern related use non-human characters in a lead role. I could certainly be wrong on all accounts, but I don’t see any of these options as viable ones.