6 Actors Who Should Play The Next ‘Green Lantern’

Published 2 years 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 Green Lantern John StewartAssuming 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 JordanAustralian-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 GardnerAlthough 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 JordanWhy 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.


Green Lantern Actors Justice LeagueThat 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. Elba is British (as you point out) so therefore he is not African-American. African-American does not equal Black. Quit with the PC crap. He’s British and Black, not British and African-American. (And honestly, he’s just British.)

    • Exactly!!

    • For all of you on all sides of the debate: it does not matter who or what he is, it’s about the character, and Hal Jordan is the one we almost all think of first when we think of Green lantern, irregardless of who our favorites are. This is the first outing for JLA, so we need the main character. Same as with The Flash: we all think of Barry Allen first and foremost, so it’s gotta be him. If you were thinking of Spiderman, you’d think of Peter Parker. Robin? Dick Grayson. Green Lantern has hit the live screen with one movie to try and start the franchise, and it was hal Jordan. It is way too soon to even begin to think of switching horse in mid-stream before the main idea-character has a fair run. Stop tinkering…it rhymes with “dinkering”!

  2. Michael Rosenbaum should be Flash, not Guy Gardner.

    • Chris Pine is my Flash.

    • Chris Pine would be a Awesome Flash Nice choice! He can pull off funny and serious, has the look and a better pick then whos playing him in Bat/Supes.


  4. I think they should give a Kyle Rayner green lantern a shot

  5. I have little interest in seeing Hal Jordan 2.0 so if they are indeed going to replace Reynolds it should be with John Stewart (but PLEASE not Common).

    Also if they use Guy Gardner it should be played by Jason Statham.

    • whats wrong with Common?

    • John Stewart, played by Jon Stewart!

      • In blackface! And take notes from Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder!

  6. @Andrew Dyce

    what about Chadwick Boseman for John Stewart

    • Definitely keeping an eye out for him in ’42,’ even had him brought up in a few conversations before Mackie was cast in ‘Captain America 2.’

    • No. He’s just some black actor but he doesn’t look quite right.

  7. Is it just me, or does that pic of GL look a lot like Mads Mikkelsen? lol He’s not my casting choice by any means. I just thought that it looked like him.

  8. Never thought of O’Loughlin, but I love him on Five-0. I grew up knowing Stewert as lantern and i would love to see all the lanterns eventually but I just think it should be Jordan to start out with the JL. I hope Reynolds works something out, the poor guy just wants a good superhero movie but they won’t give him one (Blade 3, Wolverine, GL)

  9. Pine all the way

    • I’ve been thinking O’Loughlin would also make a good Bruce Wayne/Batman… although he doesn’t have the name recognition yet as an actor.

  10. I prefer Chris Pine to be Aquaman, and to be honest idk why…
    Actually, none of the names here fits the character for me. Idris Elba would be nice, but… still don’t think it would fit.

    • Pine would make a really good Flash as well. Sam Worthington would be my pick for Aquaman.

  11. Chris Pine as Rayner
    Jai Courtney for Guy Gardner
    Bradley Cooper for Hal Jordan

    • I don’t think Rayner and Gardner are as well known to mainstream (non-nerd) audiences. Stewart should be featured before either of them.

  12. Bradley Cooper would have the Hal Jordan persona down pat. He should have been chosen in the first place, rather than Reynolds.

  13. I think Reynolds should do a trilogy, one standalone film against Sinestro, one Justice League movie and then in the 4th film pass the torch to a black dude

  14. I think Green Lantern Corps movie would be cool and get Ryan Reynalds back, Idris Elba as John Stewert, and Chris Pine as guy Gardner now that would be a cool sequel/reboot of Green Lantern

  15. Nice list. Yeah I think the 2011 film should’ve starred Pine, been directed by Abrams, and written by Orci and Kurtzman. So what if it’s the Star Trek crew. Idris Elba would definitely nail the role of John Stewart, and I also think Terrence Howard would be a good pick. Also has anyone been reading the Rise of the Third Army series by Geoff Johns? I really like the new lantern, and I think the plot with the Guardians turning on the Lantern Corps is being really well executed.

    • Rise of the Third Army is awesome.

  16. What about Nathan Fillion?!?

    He has already voiced the character a couple times, he’s a great actor, and totally looks the role.

  17. your reasons for having common as the black GL are pretty sparse, especially since i have yet top see him in a decent movie. i would choose idris elba over him any day since elba has more charisma and has been involved with hollywood for longer.

    this might be a stretch, buti think michael jai white would be pretty cool as GL, he’s got the body, can act well (when paired with a good director and has a good script) and it would be awesome seeing his wreck s*** with the other GL members :D

    • You’ve yet to see Common in a decent movie, but are supporting Michael Jai White….?

  18. NO, Jai Courtney was involved with A Good Day to Die Hard and therefore should be burned.

  19. i want will smith as a green lantern because he can be funny and serious plus he is a great actor he played in Hankok which was a great superhero film

  20. Here’s an interesting tidbit.

    John Stewart was originally supposed to be in the movie,but his brief scene ended up on the cutting room floor.The actor that played him is a guy named Nick Jones.

    A buddy of mine met him before the film was released and he made it sound like he would end up in the movie,but ultimately didn’t.

    Here Jones commenting on getting cut from the film


    Anyway,while I like Elba,I think he’s a terrible choice for GL.Common might work,but I’m just not sure about the other guys.

    Personally,I just don’t think GL works very well on the big screen anyway.After watching that Justice League Doom cartoon,the only thing that I could think about was how corny and childish GL and his constructs looked,and that was coupled with the movie,where they looked the same.

    I know fanboys don’t want to here this,but the only way for Warner Bros. to go it to try to bring there characters into a more grounded universe.Too many of their characters are just too cartoony.They need to make their characters believable while still keeping them true to their abilities,which admittedly,will be a tough task.

    I guess the only thing I can envision is the way Snyder pulled off the characters in Watchmen.If we can get JL characters with that kind of touch,then I think that WB and DC could really separate themselves from what Marvel is doing.

  21. What about Jensen Ackles as Hal?

    • OMG yes!! He already dressed the part on Supernatural and he has just the right amount of swagger and determination to pull off Hal!

  22. Idris Elba as John Stewart nuff said & Common is a great actor on Hell on Wheels, just because he’s a rapper doesn’t mean anything.

  23. I think Pine or Oloughlin for Hal. Two movies then “Fall Of The Emerald Warrior ” Movie number three has Jordan replaced. With Stewart. No Gardner or Raynor. Two many lanterns spoil the stew. Also, slowly over several movies introduce The Elders, Oa, The GL Corps etc..

  24. I’m all for Nathan Fillion

  25. Someone mentioned Bradley Cooper for GL. Not too long ago someone recommended Cooper for The Flash, and I agree. No Cooper for GL.

  26. Hal: Taylor Kitsh, Alex O’Loughlin, Jensen Ackles, or Bradley Cooper
    John: Idris Elba, Morris Chestnut, or Omari Hardwick
    Guy: Michael Rosenbaum or Logan Marshall-Green

  27. As long as they bring back Mark Strong as Sinestro and we get to see Arkillo, I don’t really care who ends up playing Green Lantern.

    • Haha I…may also be on your side. ;)

  28. They will probably do another Batman movie before Green Lantern after the financial massacre the last one was. I can just someone pitching another GL movie at Warner and getting tossed out of a window….

  29. My picks would be

    Elba= John Stewart/Green Lantern
    Michael Rosenbaum=/Flash – Barry Allen or Wally West version
    Jon Courtney= Hal Jordan/Green Lantern
    Alex O’ Loughlin= Hal Jordan/Green Lantern

    No to Common & Chris Pine.