There was a time when Hollywood actors tended to steer clear of superhero movies, despite the studios' commitment to casting only the most established stars to bring iconic comic book figures to life. That was also the time when casting discussions and contract negotiations were confined to the boardroom - an era that has clearly come to an end, now that actors are outright campaigning for roles to garner studio attention - a theme already in place for WB's upcoming Green Lantern reboot.
It was Fast & Furious star Tyrese Gibson who first got the ball rolling, claiming to be "on a mission" to play the DC Comics icon after fan art put him into the emerald suit. He has almost definitely blazed a trail for any actor seeking to land a hefty multi-picture blockbuster contract (we imagine there are more than a few), but may have to deal with some direct competition for the part of John Stewart as a result.
Now it seems that actor Lance Gross (Crisis) has thrown his hat in the ring for the Green Lantern Corps film series, taking to Instagram with the superhero's logo and first line of his power-giving oath. In the past, such a post would have indicated that Warner Bros. was preparing to officially announce that the one-time contender for Marvel's Luke Cage series (a role that eventually went to Mike Colter) had signed on to actually play a member of the Lantern Corps on film. But it now seems just as likely, if not more so, that Gross is pointing to his professional ambitions, not his finalized contract.
At present, every fan of DC Comics knows to take news or rumors surrounding Green Lantern with a major dose of skepticism: Tyrese Gibson has confirmed that meetings have taken place with Warner Bros., but the subject of those talks or progress is unknown - despite the actor previously implying that "the Oath had been taken" already. And above all else, the studio's intentions for their live-action Green Lantern Corps series have never been more clouded.
The struggle with selecting just one star for the series - Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner - seemed to have been addressed when WB implied they would be relaunching the series with several Lanterns, not just one. Yet that still leaves John Stewart's future in the Justice League universe unclear: will he take up the mantle as a certified lead, co-lead, or simply act as a supporting character?
Depending on the answer, Tyrese's blockbuster success as just one member of an ensemble cast may help his case, or his inexperience anchoring a big-budget film could make him an unlikely choice. Lance Gross may be less well-known, but his involvement in potential casting also hinges on just how large a role for the character WB and DC Entertainment have in mind. Whatever the case, we can guarantee that fan art for these and many other actors will continue to pour in with little prompting.
What do you make of the ongoing campaigning or hints at Green Lantern Corps casting? Are you interested to see if either of the actors could really land the part, or are you waiting for official confirmation instead? Be sure to share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.
Batman V Superman:Dawn of Justice will hit theaters on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016, Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017, Justice League on November 17th, 2017, The Flash on March 23rd, 2018, Aquaman on July 27th, 2018, Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14th, 2019, Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020, and Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020.