Following Green Lantern’s notable exclusion from the lineup for the first Justice League live-action movie, it’s recently come out that DC and Warner Bros. are moving forward with their previously announced Green Lantern Corps movie.
The DC Extended Universe Green Lantern film reportedly revolves around both John Stewart and Hal Jordan, with screenwriters David Goyer and Justin Rhodes attached to handle the screenplay. A potential casting shortlist for Hal Jordan specifically has now been unveiled, too.
According to The Wrap‘s Umberto Gonzalez, the casting shortlist for Hal Jordan, has been narrowed down to six potential candidates: Tom Cruise, Joel McHale, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Armie Hammer, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
[UPDATE: We Got This Covered is additionally reporting Westworld’s James Marsden is in the mix of Hal Jordan contenders. According to their source, “I’ve heard one more name, too. Ever since Westworld Marsden has been pretty hot around here. They’ve discussed him for Hal as well.”]
Needless to say, Tom Cruise is one of the biggest shockers here. The 54-year old actor has seen his career revitalized recently with some big action roles, and Hal Jordan is admittedly a fit for him – especially if the DCEU goes the Ben Affleck route of introducing a more seasoned Green Lantern. Even so, Cruise has never been a part of a superhero production before, so his inclusion would definitely bring more casting controversy to the DCEU.
Joel McHale is another somewhat surprising addition, but it’s not hard to see the Community star’s wise cracking style translate well to Hal Jordan. While McHale has the look and personality necessary to bring Hal Jordan to life, Green Lantern Corps would be by far the biggest production he’s ever been involved in – much less led. Given the concerns after the failure of the character’s last live-action outing, many fans might be looking for a more tried and true leading man.
Bradley Cooper is another expected candidate. The voice of Rocket Rackoon previously auditioned for the role of Hal Jordan in 2011’s Green Lantern, so DC/WB clearly liked what they saw enough to give him another look. Cooper’s profile has definitely grown in the time since his last consideration, and his participation in the MCU will trigger questions of conflict in the DC vs Marvel debate. Still, he has the look – and the acting chops – to bring Hal Jordan to life.
Armie Hammer has been rumored to be in talks for the DCEU’s Hal Jordan role recently, and he may lead the pack as one of the fan-favorites. His previous consideration (twice) for a live-action role as Batman gives Hammer a lot of credibility. His last big-budget outing, The Lone Ranger was a significant box office flop, but few would fault Hammer for its failure.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s talent is undeniable. When it comes to the credibility of his talent, he’s right up there with Bradley Cooper and Tom Cruise. Like Cruise, Gyllenhaal has yet to participate in a superhero project, although he was offered a role, which he turned down, in Suicide Squad. The reappearance of his name in another DCEU project shows a good relationship with DC, suggesting they have a strong desire to get the actor into the DCEU one way or another. He’d be a great addition, even if it isn’t as Hal Jordan.
Ryan Reynolds’ inclusion might be one of the most intriguing parts of this casting list, as he already played the Emerald Knight in the near-universally derided Green Lantern in 2011. His stock as a superhero may have skyrocketed after his turn as Deadpool, but does his inclusion here mean DC is considering maintaining continuity from the first film, or would this be a reboot with Reynolds once again playing Hal Jordan?
The other big question here is, given recent rumors, does the emergence of this casting list mean one of these actors might have a brief appearance in Justice League? The DCEU isn’t holding back on the crossovers, with the past two installments (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad) including multiple cameos from non-starring heroes, so Hal Jordan could see the limelight well before Green Lantern Corps arrives in 2020.
There’s also no word yet on the other Green Lantern slated to appear in Green Lantern Corps – John Stewart. If the Hal Jordan casting really is only happening now to fit him into Justice League at the last second, then Stewart’s casting may not be announced for a while yet. Still, if the July 2020 release date is to be maintained, it won’t be long before the rumor mill gives Green Lantern Corps even more attention.