With Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice now released, the DC Extended Universe is in full effect. Zack Snyder’s film acted as a springboard into the larger franchise, which brings numerous DC heroes together for the upcoming Justice League film. In addition to the Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, Dawn of Justice featured cameos from characters like the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, introducing them so they can be fleshed out in later appearances. Not only will they have significant roles in Justice League, but each one is also getting their own solo vehicle.
The prospect of seeing DC’s titans unite on the big screen is a tantalizing one, but there is a name missing: Green Lantern. Fans are aware that there is a film titled Green Lantern Corps. due out in June 2020, but Warner Bros. has yet to cast any iteration of the hero for the DCEU. The studio has implied that audiences won’t see the new Green Lantern(s) until Justice League Part Two at the very least, due to all the characters they’re bringing in now. While fans wait for official confirmation, the latest rumors indicate they’ll be seeing quite a few human Lanterns whenever the property returns to theaters.
According to Latino-Review, there will be three human Lanterns that appear in Green Lantern Corp. These allegedly are Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner. While it’s been expected Jordan and/or Stewart would be included, Rayner would be a somewhat surprising, but welcomed, addition. Introduced in 1994 as a successor to Jordan, the character has become a prominent player in Green Lantern comics ever since. His most notable claim to fame is becoming a White Lantern after mastering all seven power rings. Rayner has appeared periodically in other media, including video games and some animated television series.
WB is apparently looking for an actor in the age range of about 45 to play Jordan, and the other two will be younger. This would be a smart way to handle the franchise for the longterm, as it sets up a “passing of the torch” scenario down the road. The elder Jordan can serve as the entry point to this realm of the DCEU, possibly via a role in a Justice League film, before eventually giving way to his colleagues. Should Green Lantern Corp. warrant sequels, the focus could be placed on Stewart and Rayner, allowing them to become permanent fixtures in the franchise as Jordan steps down.
Should this prove true, it would be another illustration of WB’s commitment to promoting diversity in their DC tentpoles. In the comics, Rayner is Mexican-American, meaning that Green Lantern Corp. could potentially feature Caucasian, African-American, and Latino protagonists. Though the controversial topic of “whitewashing” still pops up in Hollywood productions (see: Ghost in a Shell), some studios are making strides in casting a wide range of races to headline their films (Lucasfilm’s handling of Star Wars is a good example). It’s important for these massive films to reflect the world they’re released to, so it would be nice to see this rumor pan out.
As exciting as this sounds, there’s still a long way to go, so viewers are advised to keep their grains of salt handy. WB is still trying to figure out what to do with Green Lantern, as evidenced by his exclusion from the first Justice League film (which is currently in production). Speculation about Tyrese Gibson has been common for the better part of a year, but the studio is in no rush and is most likely still developing the project before moving forward. Considering that even WB president of creative development Greg Silverman views the 2011 film as a disappointment, it’s best they take their time and make sure the reboot is on solid ground.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman onJune 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film onOctober 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19, 2020.