Take cover! Warner Bros. and DC Comics have left no superhero property untouched today, announcing their entire slate of upcoming films at today's investor meeting. The good news for fans of the existing DC films is that Green Lantern is among the films set to grace theaters in the coming years. The bad news for fans of Ryan Reynolds' portrayal is it will apparently be a clean reboot, and a new start for the hero in the shared movie universe.
It had seemed for some time that the safest bet was for Warner Bros. and DC Comics to do their best to sweep the critical flop that Green Lantern proved to be (even if we argued the film's origin could still be salvaged), and today WB chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed that would be the proposed plan. And as of June 19, 2020, comic book fans will have a new Green Lantern to see in theaters.
The remaining questions now sure to be discussed among comic and movie fans alike is not just who will be cast to play the space cop, but which version of the hero it may be (although we've got plenty of suggestions for both). It's not technically impossible to see Ryan Reynolds reprise his role, with however much or little of his previous outing maintained as the studio sees fit. But with Reynolds less than enthusiastic about returning, and all parties looking for a fresh start, it seems a long shot.
So, will Warner Bros. choose to stick with their golden boy, and take a second swing at Hal Jordan, or hand the reins off to one of his successors, be it Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, or perhaps most likely given the character's role in DC's animated universe, John Stewart?
Only time will tell, but the emerald ring-slinger won't be the only Justice League member to appear in their very own film that year - whichever incarnation he may be - as it was also announced that a solo Cyborg movie would be released months earlier on April 3, 2020. It will, as reports claimed, star Ray Fisher in the lead role, although more details are scarce. It's also been difficult to decipher just how much the studio is willing to reveal in regards to these heroes' place in the upcoming two-part Justice League event.
There has been next to nothing said about Fisher's portrayal of Vic Stone a.k.a. Cyborg in Batman V Superman, with most assuming that the character (like Aquaman, now officially played by Jason Momoa) would play only a cameo role in the film, saving his full transformation into his superhero identity in a future Justice League film. Without confirmation, we would still assume that's the basic plan, but how much exposure the hero will get between Dawn of Justice and his solo outing in 2020 is a mystery.
Speculation over how Zack Snyder may introduce the hero into his Justice League universe is sure to begin immediately, especially if he will be elevated to the level of importance a solo movie tends to bring. And given that the hero would go on to become a pivotal member of the Teen Titans, imagination can run wild on just how ambitious the studio's long term plans may be.
What do you think of these announcements? Are you happy to see that Warner Bros. and DC are giving themselves plenty of time to get their plan for Green Lantern in order, or would you have liked to see Ryan Reynolds return to the role (conflict with his upcoming Deadpool be damned)?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on May 6, 2016. Cyborg is scheduled for a release on April 3, 2020, with Green Lantern to follow on June 19, 2020.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for Green Lantern updates, as well as TV movie and gaming news.