Rumor Patrol: Denzel Washington is Green Lantern in 'Batman vs. Superman'

The Batman vs. Superman rumors will not die, and at the moment the focus seems to be on the continued rumors that the Man of Steel sequel will serve as a launchpad for a Justice League movie by introducing multiple superheroes from the DC Comics universe. We know that the principal players will be Henry Cavill's Superman and Ben Affleck's Batman, but with Fast & Furious 6 actress Gal Gadot playing Wonder Woman, it's clear that two heroes will not be all we get in the next film.

Recent rumors have pointed to additional characters like The Flash, Nightwing, Lex Luthor and Doomsday being all being possibilities for BvS, with actors like Bryan Cranston, Adam Driver, Jason Mamoa, Joaquin Phoenix and even Denzel Washington all rumored to be in consideration for film. Well, one of those aforementioned actors is once again having his name circulated around the rumor mill - albeit for a much different role than originally thought.

Now a few weeks ago we had a rumor that Denzel Washington was up to play Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman. That rumor set off some massive waves of fanboy (and really general pop-culture) debate about whether Washington was a fit for the role, if Luthor's racial identity should be altered, etc. It was an intriguing notion, if nothing else. However, according to Nuke the Fridge's sources, Denzel isn't up for the role of a villain, but rather a hero: Green Lantern (and former marine) John Stewart.

Rupert Wyatt directing Denzel Washington in The Equalizer
Denzel Washington as John Stewart?

Many people outside of fanboy circles know Stewart as THE Green Lantern, thanks to the popularity of DC Universe's Justice League cartoon. In fact, it was actually a point of confusion for many non-comic book fans when the 2011 Green Lantern movie tried to introduce longtime comic book Green Lantern Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) into the DC movie universe. The lukewarm response to that film left Warner Bros. in a strange place with the franchise, not confident enough in the brand to launch a direct sequel, but still stuck with an incarnation of GL that was fresh in fan's minds (but not in a good way).

Ever since Man of Steel hit theaters and the never-ending Justice League movie rumors really started to circulate again, it's been a looming question of how DC/WB would fit characters like Batman and Green Lantern - both of whom had major films in the last five years - into a rebooted continuity. We got our answer to the Batman issue with the casting of Ben Affleck, but Green Lantern (a much less popular character in the mainstream) has been a big question mark.

The introduction of John Stewart, then, would make sense, logistically: new Green Lantern for a new continuity. Not just a new GL, but one who is already widely known and one who brings some much needed ethnic diversity to the table (without having to "race switch" a white character). The role also makes sense for an actor of Denzel's caliber; John Stewart's story arc (as a marine, then an architect, then a Green Lantern) is layered and complex, the character himself is deep, noble and complicated, and his military background (combined with his architect precision) makes him one hell of formidable and inventive Green Lantern. In short: not only would this casting offer something sweet for Batman vs. Superman, it would be a strong foundation for a later film franchise centered around the character.

Could Green Lantern 2 Feature More of the Green Lantern Corps?
The Green Lantern Corps

For now though, this is all RUMOR. Fans have certainly had other ideas about who should play Stewart (rapper/actor Common was given the role in the late '00s Justice League movie that never happened, while Idris Elba's name gets nominated for it every other week); but the one thing that is generally agreed upon is that the character needs to be included in the film universe at some point. If there is any merit of truth to this (either the exact casting or simply the reality that the character will be introduced) then the next question will be whether or not Ryan Reynolds' version of Hal Jordan is gone for good, or could he be re-introduced somewhere down the line? (In the comics, Hal and John work together often.)

Finally, this rumor is no doubt going to continue to spark fan criticism that this Man of Steel sequel is turning into a "low rent Justice League movie." However, I have never believed that all of these characters being introduced would be a major part of the film; if I had to guess, the movie will focus no the two poles of the DC Universe (Bats and Supes) and then, near the end, use their union as the call to other heroes like Wonder Woman or Green Lantern to unite in a Justice League. And if that's indeed the case, DC will come in and score the greatest "button scene" moment of all time.


Batman vs. Superman will be in theaters on July 17, 2015

Source: Nuke the Fridge

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