When The CW decided to bring a DC Comics hero to TV audiences, some doubted the staying power of a solo Green Arrow adventure. Despite that, Arrow has proven to be more than just a weekly comic romp, but the first in a shared universe of DC Comics heroes. Arrow soon spawned The Flash, and there are already rumblings of additional spinoffs or even a possible link to CBS' Supergirl.
But some of the fan base has set their sights even higher, hoping to see Team Arrow member John Diggle (played by David Ramsey) take up the mantle of Green Lantern, given his character's similarities to John Stewart, the comic hero most well-known to younger audiences. It might have seemed like a pipe dream, but now the actor himself confirms that the showrunners are "considering it."
The very notion may seem a bit strange to casual comic fans, so allow us to start at the beginning. When Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was first saddled with his new bodyguard, John Diggle ("Dig" to his friends), it didn't take long for the soft-spoken, imposing character to become a fan-favorite. But as his military service, fearless devotion to his deceased brother - and later, his wife and child - became more prominent, the question of whether John could really be John Stewart was raised.
As the successor to Hal Jordan as a member of the Green Lantern Corps in the comics and animated Justice League universe, Stewart shared a similar military past. And with Diggle's middle name still a mystery, fans started to connect the dots, predicting a potentially massive twist in the works.
It seemed like nothing more than wishful thinking - Green Lantern on the small screen? - but when directly asked by ComicBook.com about the rumor, Ramsey gives a shocking response:
"Is John Diggle John Stewart? I cannot say “yes,” and I cannot say, “no.” I’m serious! I do know that there is serious discussion about whether or not this guy becomes John Stewart. But, I mean, I’ll say this: it is top secret. I've asked them and they’re like, “we’re working on some stuff.” If that’s the case, it’s gonna be huge. This is the stuff they want to avoid. I think they don’t want anybody to know yet and they haven’t even told me. But they have told me that they are thinking about it and that they are considering it. But they're not going to release anything yet. That's exactly what they told me. Greg Berlanti told me that. Andrew [Kreisberg] and Marc [Guggenheim] have told me that. I haven’t spoken to Geoff Johns about it. But that’s the word from people directly involved in Arrow- that they’re working on something.
"Here’s the truth of it: if I knew, I would tell you I know the answer to that, but I’m not at liberty to tell you that. I would answer like that. I probably wouldn’t tell you anyway, but I would at least tell you that I know. I honestly do not know."
It may be difficult to truly grasp (and hopefully, Ramsey hasn't landed himself in hot water for admitting) that the executive producers of both Arrow and The Flash have not only heard of the rumors, but are seemingly weighing their potential. For now, it sounds less like online sleuths uncovering the team's real plan for Diggle, and more like a popular fan theory being given its due consideration.
It's worth pointing out that when the announcement of Brandon Routh's 'Atom' and Robbie Amell's 'Firestorm' were made months ago, Arrow star (and DC Comics TV spokesperson) Stephen Amell expressed his own belief that The CW was "creating a Justice League on TV." During that same discussion, Amell was also asked which DC hero would be his next choice to be adapted:
“Now, boy we’ve referenced Ferris Air a lot. It would be really cool to have Green Lantern. Hopefully, that happens. I have no inside information, unless I do.”
Normally, those comments would be tossed aside, given the special effects challenges and mythology changes needed to accommodate a hero like Green Lantern in Arrow's universe. But there's no denying how much The Flash has changed the game, adding metahuman fantasy to the mix (and Supergirl set to follow its lead). Some might scoff at the idea altogether, believing that Arrow fans love the show's grounded approach for a reason - but even the showrunners have softened their stance on superpowers following the wildly-successful Arrow/Flash crossover.
Given the established division between DC's movie and TV universes, these 'discussions' may or may not have an impact on Tyrese Gibson's current attempts to play Stewart in Justice League. Though it's all just talk at this point (as far as we and Ramsey know), the actor is ready to tackle the part, should the writers and network give him the nod:
"I love John Stewart...To answer your question: if Diggle become John Stewart, I would be honored to be playing that character. Honored. The same way that I am honored that John Diggle is now a part of the DC canon. That’s just an incredible honor to me. I would love it because I think that he’s an awesome character. I would love to sink my teeth into it. I don’t know how it would fit into the Arrow Universe, because the Arrow Universe is so rooted in kind of grounded reality... however real people with a bow and arrow can be. I don’t know how a thought-based weapon fits into that world. I don’t know how that fits into Arrow, but yes, to answer that question I would love to play the character."
What do you Arrow fans think of these comments? Would you be more skeptical about a small screen take on John Stewart if Ramsey's Diggle wasn't already such a bright spot of the show? Or would you prefer the writers craft a heroic path of his own, perhaps with a full name of 'John Stewart Diggle' as a nod to the fans?
Arrow airs Wednesdays @8pm on The CW.
Header Image: Erkan Bahadir.