6 Actors Who Should Play The Next ‘Green Lantern’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated October 1st, 2013 at 2:12 pm, This is a list post.

Green Lantern Actors Justice League

Even if a Justice League film is far from being made by Warner Bros. and DC Comics, there's no question the studio wants the movie to become a reality at some point. Before that can happen, the Green Lantern casting situation must be resolved - whether or not WB follows our 5 Ways To Save Green Lantern 2. The choice is to bring back Ryan Reynolds - after a critically-panned first outing - or recast the role, possibly even following a different main character. We've explained in the past why sticking with Reynolds could work, but the actor might make the decision much easier for all involved, now claiming to have "little interest" in repeating the same mistakes. A Justice League movie will be including a ring-slinger, so here are 6 Actors Who Could Play The Next Green Lantern.

Common

Common Green Lantern John Stewart Assuming DC and Warner Bros. attempt to simply say goodbye to Hal Jordan's origin story and bring in a completely new Lantern, then John Stewart is the obvious solution; thanks to DC's many animated films and TV shows, the character has already been introduced to an entire generation. The studio knows that Stewart has plenty of supporters, since rapper Common was cast as the Lantern in George Miller's failed Justice League: Mortal film. If Stewart is making a return, Common must be one of the frontrunners; a fact that makes plenty of sense given the character's history. While cartoons may have downplayed Stewart's ethnicity, his comic book origins did not. As one of the first African-American superheroes without 'black' in his moniker, Stewart gave a voice to the issues and realities of black America. If the studio wants to do the same in live-action, Common is good pick - evidenced by his work on AMC's Hell on Wheels

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum Green Lantern Guy Gardner

If the studio is unable to decide the future of Reynolds' hero by the time Justice League actually gets moving, a ringbearer other than Hal could be seen in his stead. Not to launch a sequel, but provide support. And that, comic fans, is a role clearly made for Guy Gardner: the embodiment of a confident, steak-eating, beer-drinking American male. A stereotype to be sure, but actor Michael Rosenbaum has several roles under his belt - not just Smallville's Lex Luthor - that called for being obnoxious, smart-ass, and yet likable; all qualities needed to make Gardner work. DC's New 52 version has Gardner as a washed-out cop from a police family, so besides providing some expertise for the League, that backstory would anchor Rosenbaum to an actual character, keeping the wise-cracking (which the Flash voice actor has experience with) from falling into shallow development. That's if Marvel doesn't snag Rosenbaum first.

Alex O'Loughlin

Alex OLoughlin Green Lantern Hal Jordan Australian-born Alex O'Loughlin may not be well-known to movie buffs, but Hawaii Five-0 fans know he's a leading man in the making. With the looks and swagger of a tropical cop, O'Loughlin more than looks the part of Hal Jordan (and was considered for the role of James Bond before Daniel Craig). Playing naval officer-turned-detective Steve McGarrett, O'Loughlin is no stranger to action, given the show's 'new movie every week' structure and style (this is a Kurtzman and Orci joint, remember). Following a star like Ryan Reynolds is a challenge for any actor, but the real hero of Green Lantern was Jordan - a fighter pilot that exudes cockiness, insecurity, and a sense of humor; contradictions more easily said than done, but O'Loughlin pulls it off on a weekly basis. Recasting Hal Jordan could be the riskiest move for WB, but entrusting the job to an actor who is somehow both proven and a relative unknown would definitely help hedge their bets.

Jai Courtney

Jai Courtney Green Lantern Guy Gardner Although we'd still argue that a Green Lantern movie series that doesn't include Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner is missing a great opportunity, a young up-and-comer like Jai Courtney would give the studio plenty of options for solo appearances. After memorable performances in both Jack Reacher (2012) and A Good Day To Die Hard (2013), Courtney is distinguishing himself as a name to know. Possessing the physicality for action and ability to instill fear with a smile on his face (see: his role in Jack Reacher for evidence), Courtney is about as close to a live-action Gardner as any actor we've seen. He may not have proven himself as a reliable action star just yet, but if introduced as part of a team of heroes in Justice League, or even a Green Lantern Corps film, he has the potential to excel. Bottom line: if a movie version of Gardner is written without Courtney's name on the short list, the studio is missing out.

Idris Elba

Idris Elba Green Lantern John Stewart

We're not going to shock anyone by casting Idris Elba as John Stewart, since the British actor has distinguished himself as one of the most underrated leading men currently working, period. With size and skills to convey both physical threat and the intelligence of a US marine-turned-architect, there's no other we would more trust with the role. Elba is currently appearing as Heimdall in the Thor series over at Marvel, and may end up getting his wish of portraying Luke Cage with the studio at some point. But if Marvel deems Cage a poor fit alongside bigger heroes, and Thor 2 is as open to character deaths as rumored, he could be available to don the green ring. Beyond just bringing in the under-20 crowd due to Stewart's role in the animated Justice League, Elba is too good for either Marvel or DC to pass up; in our opinion, we'd rather see him rescue Green Lantern and do Stewart justice.

Chris Pine

Chri Pine Green Lantern Hal Jordan Why even deny that after all these years, we still think Chris Pine would make a perfect Hal Jordan? We were disappointed when the rumors of him being considered for Green Lantern (2011) proved to be for naught, so perhaps fate is conspiring to right a terrible wrong. In the years since, Pine has proven an even more bankable star anchoring not only Star Trek but the upcoming Jack Ryan (2013) reboot, poised to kickstart the espionage franchise if successful. The similarities between James Kirk and Hal 'High-Ball' Jordan are clear to any comic or movie fan, so there's no question he could do the character justice. Granted, two franchises is quite a tall order, but if Jack Ryan receives even moderate reviews or box office returns, the door could be wide open. We still maintain that Pine could also turn in a fitting portrayal of Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash, but if given the chance, we'd still cast him as Hal Jordan in a heartbeat.

Conclusion

Green Lantern Actors Justice League That concludes our list of actors who could pull off the role of the galaxy's most gifted space cop, while also indicating a new direction for the franchise. Whether staying true to the Hal Jordan origin story, bringing in younger audiences and highlighting one of the most well-known minority heroes, or introducing a veritable menace into the League, we think each has its own risks and benefits. What are your hopes for the next  take on Green Lantern? Think Reynolds will return once the studio puts a better director and script in place, or is it best to simply forgive and forget - and move one with a new face? Leave your thoughts (and casting choices) in the comments. ——— Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
TAGS: green lantern, green lantern 2, justice league

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  1. Ummmm… MAL from FIREFLY!!!

    • And Rosenbaum should play FLASH

      • +1! Furtermore, he already has experience doing Flash’s voice in the animated series.

      • I agree, but it depends on the Flash that will be present.
        Wally West= Hell yes!!;Barry Allen= Maybe, but Cooper would be better.

        As for Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Nathan Fillion or Jensen Ackles. If they do not go the Hal Jordan route, my money is on Idris Elba for John Stewart.

    • He definitely does a great voice for Hal(Emerald Knights and Doom) but I’m not sure if he could pull off onscreen, he’s getting up there in age. But hey, I would accept it.

      • It would make me happy to see Fillion cast, but even I’m willing to admit that unless he hit the gym like an addict (while still shooting a TV series) he’s just too old.

        • I was about to say the same thing.

  2. OK, so I grew up thinking of John Stewart as the true Green Lantern(TV animated series) and I am a HUGE Idris Elba fan. Seriously, go check out Luther on netflix, one of the best TV shows out there right now. That would for sure be my dream casting. I also really like Chris Pine, so him as Hal Jordan would be great as well. Can I have both?

    • Chris Pine- Hal Jordan
      Idris Elba- John Stewart
      Nathan Fillion- Guy Gardner

      Perfect Green Lantern movie right there. And then Michael Rosenbaum for Flash in Justice League, we already know he can do it, just look at the Justice League tv series!

    • @ Huntress: Ditto on Luther. Then look at RocknRolla, Prometheus, and hopefully Pacific Rim as evidence that he’s anything but one-note.

  3. GREEN LANTERN SHOULD DEFINITELY BE BLACK!

    • it would be really interesting if they made the green lantern female, not gonna happen but it would be interesting to see how die hard fans and ppl in general would react

      • GL should be a gay black woman, IMO.

        • If you are serious, then you are a gay black woman!

        • +1

        • BUT WHY? WHY???

          -Nobody knows why…but it’s provocative…

          -No it’s not, it’s gross -

          -…it gets people GOIN’!

    • Why should he DEFINITELY BE BLACK?

      • Because it’s a rare and appropriate opportunity and because why not? There were only even 2 choices for black so why are you so up in arms about the concept?

  4. Cast common as GL and they’ll not get a penny from me.

    • +1

  5. Other than Courtenay (I simply know nothing about the actor other than the above brief snippet), I would be quite happy with any of the choices mentioned…I would also be perfectly satisfied if Reynolds returned to the role, since I thought he did quite well as Hal.

    By the way, Andrew, I’m sure it was merely an oversight to call Elba an African-American actor…especially when, immediately after, you correctly identified him as British…?

    • Haha, I noticed that too.

    • Jai Courtney was great in his role in Spartacus. He played Varro in the first season. If you want to see him shine in a role, I would suggest that.

      • @Archaeon: I don’t try to understand what comes out of my mind most of the time, but you are correct.

        I would also be totally on board with Reynolds, since passing up a star of that caliber is always going to leave big questions if the sequel/JL doesn’t work out perfectly.

        @Gordon Bombay: Spartacus i where I first noticed him. And dat hair.

  6. I could possible see Courtney as a kyle rainer, but hal hmm just do not know. I would love to see how Alex would do as a hal jordan…from moonlight to five o really a good actor.

  7. patrick dempsey was my choice for gl. hal is tough to pull off, reynolds failed horrificly

  8. These are all good choices. I’d like to add Jared Leto and Justin timberlake

    • leave this conversation and never comeback

      • +1 begone you heathen!,

  9. I would go with Common as John Stewart and Paul Walker as Hal Jordan.

  10. Jake Gyllenhaal!

  11. Idris Alba as John Stewart
    Rosenbaum as Guy Gardner
    Ryan Reynolds again as Hal Jordan hopefully he doesnt have to be replaced
    Topher Grace as Kyle Rayner

    • Topher Grace should never be allowed near another comic book movie franchise ever again.

  12. Um.. What about Kyle Rayner? You couldn’t spotlight one Latin actor to play him but you did two for each if the other 3 earth Lanterns? How about Gael Garcia Bernal? He’d be perfect.

    • Nothing against Kyle Rayner, but to introduce him would mean shifting to tell the story of why he is called upon to become the Lantern. At this point, taking that leap before audiences appreciate the foundations of the mythology would kill this franchise for good.

      We’re all for seeing that larger story play out at some point, but not until the rest of the core Lanterns are established. Without them, Kyle taking up the mantle lacks a lot of the significance of the comic book.

      • Agreed! Although Kyle Rayner is my fav, I’d very much like the understanding of the green lanter corps to be portrayed in the best possible way :) here’s to hoping for a better sequel!

  13. You forgot one! Actor Michael Jai White. He was gerat in Spawn! He would make a perfect Green Lantern…..

    • Perhaps, but he fits Luke Cage better than the John Stewart Green Lantern, IMO. Idris Elba could go with either Green Lantern or Luke Cage and I will be perfectly happy.

  14. LOL a little pet peeve of mine…but Idris Elba is NOT African American. He is from England.

    • So what is he? African Britain?

      • British, yo.

    • African British! But I really just prefer ‘black’. It sounds like people are being stuffy, politically correct and being too careful to be respectful so they don’t get their heads chopped off. I don’t want it to be so formal – just be casual about it. And yes this is coming from an inside perspective in case you were wondering.

  15. Honestly I don’t think Ryan Reynolds did a bad job, cause I would still like to see him as Green Lantern. I mean it wasn’t his fault that the script wasn’t written up to par, (because they could have done better) and Ryan did the best as he could do. I mean come on, if it was Chis Pine people would be saying that he did a great job, because they wanted him from the beginning. I’m not saying everyone’s bias, but at least give him (meaning the writer’s) another chance with Ryan as Hal. I’m just saying we got our Lantern for now, so we should run with it and see how it goes.
    Now on the other men. They’re not a bad choice, but I’d rather see Michael Rosenbaum play flash like he did in Justice League’s DOOM. And the other’s as different super hero’s. Now I’m not knocking them, because they’d do a fantastic job as the Green Lantern’s, but Common, Alex, Jai, and Chris are not a great fit to me. Now Idris on the other hand: If they do decide to change Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, then they should go with Idris Elba as John Stewart. Now that’s a great fit. Because I grew up with the Lantern being a Black Guy, and every time I see Idris I can see him being that Lantern I grew up to love. So if they do change Hal, then they should pick Idris.

    P.S
    I just wanted to include Nathan Fillion for this list, because he did a fantastic (voice-over) job of portraying Green Lantern in Justice League’s Doom.

    I’ve watched every animated series, every movie, and TV show about the individual superhero’s and Justice League, so I can say that I’m kind of an expert on this.
    But I think that Ryan Reynolds did a good job considering… so we should give him another chance. But if the movie goers and the makers, and the writer’s, and the director’s think that they should change him. Then that’s their choice. I’m not saying it’s a good one, but I’m also not saying it’s a bad one either. Let’s see what happens! I gave my two sense.

    • I’m with you on Reynolds receiving a lot of the blame publicly when Martin Campbell and the writers should be held just as responsible. And ditto on on John Stewart being a perfect fit for Idris Elba.

    • Reynolds was terribly miscast as Hal. He’d be great as The Flash, though.

  16. Depending on which GL chosen, whether black or white or other, I’m not keen on any of the aforementioned, some of which because I don’t see them as fitting or belonging in other roles/franchises. Reynolds I felt would have made a better flash (heart and humor) than Hal Jordan/Flash ~ and I still place more blame on story/art than per say his acting. As for who to pick, IMO, I can’t say because if you’re building a movie francise universe, DC has to pick from a pool of available actors who play well enough in their own solo movies and with each other in ensemble movie(s) ~ chemistry. One might have to stick with Reynolds and hope to have better scripting/directing onhand. Sorry that I don’t have picks, I don’t pay much attention to the current dream actors for comicbook roles anymore ~ when I started that type of listing, Leonardo DiCaprio was prime to play highschool Peter Parker.

  17. Pine should be the flash. perfect smart-***

    Nathan Fillion He is already the voice of the green lantern in the voice overs for most of the JLA cartoon movies and he can act very well.

  18. I like Alex O’laughlin for Hal. And if pine was flash I can see them Havibg that buddy relationship for sure. They seem like they would work.

    Though I’ve been dying to get Elba into a main stream superhero role. He’s great as hemidal but I thik Stewart is his. Common would be cool too. Never thought about it till now.

  19. “the first African-American superhero without ‘black’ in his moniker”

    Pretty sure that title belongs to the Falcon, who was introduced several years before John Stewart.

    • Thanks, I said the same thing in my comment, glad to know I’m not the only one.

      • True, “one of the first.” It’s interesting to see just how strongly WB pushed to make Stewart one of the only black superheroes that even casual TV/cartoon/comic fans can name without hesitating. Also how much that character has changed since his first appearances, some of which were…less progressive.

  20. I’d like to see a Green Lantern movie featuring Kyle Rayner. But I’d be very happy seeing Channing Tatum as Guy Gardner.

  21. COMMON!! John Stewart all the way, forget Jordan.

  22. I like the love for Green Lantern Andrew haha.

    I think Ryan can be salvaged in half-sequel/half-reboot that replace certain events of the first film (Parallax never happened). If the suit and mask were a practical and only enhanced with CGI and effects, I think it will be a huge improvement and facilitate not only Ryan but other actors in playing the role. Ryan, in my opinion, did the best with the material given. One can notice which scenes were filmed in which particular order relative to Ryan’s enthusiasm in his acting. He was doing quite well in scenes that were filmed first, but as production progressed and went forward Ryan came to the realization that the film may not actually be up to par in quality as it seemed at first.

    I think a a great way for a new Green Lantern film is to maybe introduce a re-imagined Hal, Sinestro but add Idris Elba as John Stewart. Give some history between the two, as one the books in Secret Origins actually had the two be participating in a bar fight prior to either being a Lantern. I mean Coast City is a military town.

    • True. I believe they even filmed that bar fight scene for the movie, with Nick Jones, Jr. playing Stewart. There has to be a story for why that was swept under the rug.

      • Nick Jones Jr. huh…that dude definitely looks the part, and he’s actually military. That would be great. And he’s younger too, so he has a lot before him…interesting. I think I’m going to advocate this dude.

  23. only ones from this list i would pick is pine and elba or just stick to rr and not have to worry about recasting

  24. First and foremost, Green Lantern MUST be Hal Jordan. None of the others are as good of characters, and it is still way to early to even consider stepping away from “THE” “ORIGINAL” Green Lantern (original as thought by most, even though the one in the justice Society may have chronologically been around first…but he was a different dimension/universe). next, I would like to see ryan Reynolds stay as Green Lantern, just knock off the cornball humor and be a more serious (not “dark”) superhero. he was not that big of a wisecracker back in the early comics of the 60s and 70s, just “heroic”. As far as the actors above in this article go, Pine or the Hawaii 5-0 guy probably come closest, at least in looks. Closest–that does not mean “close”. No, if indeed a search beyond Reynolds must go on , then look farther. We do not need to be “politically correct”, which means “gotta have a black guy”, which means “gotta have a LIBERAL agenda. Conservative means politically correct to a right-wing repbublican conservative like me, so most people using the term nowadays are looking at only one end of the elephant…now don’t make me indicate which end, just shut up. SO: let’s get the Green Lantern thing settled, and by the way, even though the script, humor, and bedroom scene had faulkts, the first GL movie was an honest first attempt and not all that bad. There is great franchise potential in doing GL #2, with Ryan R. as GL/Hal. Let’s get that done, as well as a Flash movie, with Barry Allen as the Flash (he IS The Flash as far as I am concerned). Then we can move on to the JLA movie, with GL/Jordan and Flash/Barry Allen. There, did the thinking for you all…now carry on!

    • I don’t think it’s being “politically correct” to bring in the character that most fans under the age of 20 identify as THE Green Lantern. Pick up any Green Lantern comic today (or some of the best arc in history) and you’re going to see John Stewart play a role.

      • I’m 55 years young, and hark back to the 60s and 70s comics for my Green lantern roots, so Hal is the main man for GL for me. Looking at subsequent ones (before and) after, I would have to say he was definitely the best and most developed as a character and back-story-wise as well. Nope, gotta be Hal Jordan, hands down, by my book, and probably by a majority of other people’s as well.

    • Holy crapsh*t, I really don’t like this Goldilocks guy.

  25. I couldn’t argue with any of these choices ( shoot if Alex O’Loughlin ( or any of the others) had been originally cast the GL movie might not have flopped so bad. My only gripe with the article is in the part about Common, they say that the John Stewart Lantern was the first African-American hero without “Black” in his moniker….did these guys never hear of Sam Wilson’s FALCON ? Captain America’s sidekick over at Marvel, I believe he was around before Stewart’s GL ( I could be wrong, I often am, but Falcon jumped right to my mind reading that)

  26. Oh and for the actors listed here—no love for Kyle Rayner? But perhaps the reason to no casting choice is that Kyle was really created to replace Hal when Hal became Parralax (or possessed) and to properly stay faithful to his origins you cannot have him without properly developing Hal.

    It will be like introducing Wally West Flash with no build-up and connection to Barry Allen Flash. John Stewart and Guy Gardner were introduced as side, supporting characters with more or less their own story to tell, Kyle is to heavily tied into Hal’s story. Of course that story may not appear on screen soon at all, or approached heavily different (adjusted for the screen and hopefully a cinematic universe), but I think it still stands that Kyle should be introduced sometime but I am more interested in getting the other three done right.

    For the actors listed, Chris Pine seems like a nice back-up to Hal Jordan or a good Barry. Idris would kill it as John Stewart, that would be a nice team up film to re-energize the franchise that never properly started. Rosenbaum is to heavily identified as Flash in my mind either as Barry or Wally, just need to get used to him with hair ha. Common I think can be an okay second choice for John but I would like to view other candidates. The other actors I am not fully aware of who they are to fully make a clear opinion on them. Although Courtney does look like Guy to me.

    • Your reasoning for leaving out Kyle is mine as well. There’s just no way to do that character justice. Having Ganthet appear and tell Kyle he’s going to become the standard-bearer doesn’t really carry as much weight if audiences aren’t already invested.

    • Chris Pine

      And Tom Hardy

      Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner

      • Tom Hardy was the other finalist for Guy!

  27. Out of these choices I would go Chris Pine but I want him for Barry Allen. But really, I think the best thing WB could do is bring back Ryan Reynolds. Him and all ten minutes of Mark Strong Sinestro were the only good things of the that film. Just give Reynolds a better script and story and he’ll be fine. Plus, he’s a very bankable actor and most people will go watch a film with him headlining it. I still believe they need to give Hal Jordan another shot. I love Kyle Rayner and John Stewart. I like Guy Gardner and hell, even Simon Baz is shaping to be a standout but Hal Jordan IS Green Lantern. Batman has to be Bruce Wayne. Flash has to be Barry Allen. Those are the characters that best represent their costumed alter egos. Save guys like John Stewart and Barry Allen for a Justice League International film or something.

  28. I know this is not an entirely proper forum for the casting of Flash, presumably Barry Allen, but since both Chris Pine and Michael Rosenbaum (and to a lesser extent in terms probability, Ryan Reynolds) are favorites to play the Scarlet Speedster, I thought about maybe another actors that can do well- Alexander Skarsgard?

    Personally he could play a variety of roles well in the League and was even a runner-up for Thor, I think. I think even a Green Lantern, maybe Hal or Guy. But I can definitely see some Barry Allen or badass Aquamn.

    • Add Oscar nominated Bradley Cooper as either Hal or Flash. Up and coming actor who is slowly but surely building a career for himself and is bankable and recognizable star in his own right.

      • He is like 32… up and coming isnt correct. More like well established actor who started his career with dud after dud. And his oscar nomination has revamped his career. (Except he is doing another hangover film)

        • Ah I see what you mean. I was mainly referring to up and coming, as he slowly is building a career and becoming an established actor but he is just not quite there yet. But I see what you mean. His films are not entirely all good but he is a capable actor or at least a likable one.

  29. Now as much as I want Ryan to return, how would that affect audience being interested in the role?

    On one side I thought he did fairly well given the circumstances but now hey may be associated with “that underwhelming Green Lantern flick” (to say the least). It is like in another article how it was debated on giving Adrianne Palicki another chance at Wonder Woman. On one hand, many thought she was a fine fit but everything else in that pilot and intended series was wrong and now some would hesitate to bring her back solely due to being attached to that nightmare.

    Would Ryan Reynolds face similar issues even if a proper script and named director-writer-producer came aboard?