Way back in October 2019—which feels like it was several lifetimes ago—HBO Max announced it was developing a series based on the popular DC Comics hero Green Lantern. Though a lot of fans immediately pointed to John Stewart as the character they wanted the show to focus on, the studio decided the project would move through time and follow the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott, and ‘80s Green Lantern Guy Gardner. Ok, not my first choice, but at least it’s not another Hal Jordan origin story. Well, now it seems our original wishes are coming true, as Green Lantern is being reworked and will start over.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series is being repackaged to focus on John Stewart and will start its development process from scratch. Other than executive producer Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), no one attached to the original version will be involved. While the initial budget was estimated to be around $120 million, the new series will reportedly cost much less.
In case you don’t have the origin of every Green Lantern in the galaxy memorized, John Stewart was the secondary Lantern to Hal Jordan, protecting Earth when Hal was off-planet on other missions. His intelligence, integrity and willingness to challenge the authority of other heroes made him a fan favorite. As one of the main characters on the animated series Justice League, he was seen as an equal to Batman and Superman. Fans have been waiting years to get a full-fledged live-action version of John Stewart.
Considering how vocal Warner Bros. Discovery has been about its money-saving efforts, I assumed this show wasn’t actually going to get made. Even when you factor in a COVID-19 delay, for a superhero series, Green Lantern has been in development for an extremely long time. The lack of movement makes it seem like this project isn’t a priority, so as much as I want to be excited about a John Stewart-centered action drama, I have serious doubts about whether this show will ever see the light of day.
Just in case we get lucky and the series is a real thing we get to watch, let’s talk about casting. The obvious choice is David Ramsey, who plays John Diggle in The CW’s Arrowverse franchise. They basically told us the character was John Stewart in other universes, and in an appearance last season on The Flash, he turned down a Lantern ring and chose his family instead. Another name at the top of my list is Tosin Cole (61st Street), who easily moves between drama, comedy and action.
Though I’m skeptical about Green Lantern’s production prospects, it does seem like more care and attention to detail will be involved this time around.