Like millions of DC Comics fans, you are probably eagerly awaiting seeing Green Lantern make his big screen comeback alongside his fellow heroes in the Justice League, when the JL movie hits theaters next year. But, as it turns out…you might be waiting till Justice League 2…or maybe even part 3.
We already know that Warner Brothers and DC have a Green Lantern Corps movie on the schedule for 2020, but based on the remarks made by Batman v Superman producer Greg Silverman this week, it will probably be at least that long before we see any of the Emerald Gladiators on the big screen. Silverman told EW the following in regards to when we’ll see a Green Lantern standing alongside his JLA comrades:
“Every beat of the [Justice League] movie is not yet worked out. So there’s the possibility that he may or may not be in Justice League 2. For now, we felt that we were introducing enough characters that the best possible place we could put Green Lantern is some introduction in Justice League 2, or barring that, a movie after.”
So basically, it really could be a potential third Justice League film before we ever see a GL as a member of the team. And as a longtime DC fan, not just of their comics and their characters but of their history, I have to say, this just won’t do at all.
Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are the three heroes who make up what has long been referred to as DC’s “Holy Trinity.” But just what makes these three so special? Well, from the point of view of the publisher, they are the only three characters to be in continuous publication for some seventy-five years. Each are cultural icons that your grandmother can name, and all three are seen as the cornerstone of the Justice League, similar to how Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man are cornerstones of the Avengers for Marvel
But the truth is, DC has more than just a “Holy Trinity” — they really have a “Holy Quintet.” While it’s true that there are only three characters that have been in continuous publication for that many decades, there are two others from DC who came very, very close: The Flash…and Green Lantern. Back in the forties, in the wake of the success of Superman, dozens of heroes came from DC (and its sister company All-American, which would later be absorbed into DC proper). Characters like Hawkman, Hourman, the Atom, Dr. Midnite, Dr. Fate, Aquaman. The list goes on and on. But besides Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, the only two other DC heroes popular enough to get their own comic books with their names on the title were Flash and GL.
When the superhero boom of the forties ended, and both Flash and Green Lantern’s comic book series were cancelled, the first characters to get rebooted by DC a few years later in the mid-fifties were — you guessed it — Flash and GL. Yes, they wore new costumes, and had new secret identities, but the very basic premise for both characters was the same, and it’s why they continue to always work: A person who can run at the speed of light, and an ordinary person who encounters a magic ring that allows them to conjure up whatever is in their head are just inherently cool. Since those characters were brought back in the ’50s, they have gone on to exist continuously at DC comics ever since.
We already know the Flash will be on the roster when the JLA get their movie. Which is why, when the Justice League film finally hits theaters in 2017, it also needs to have a Green Lantern on the team. It doesn’t have to be Hal Jordan. It could be (and probably should be) John Stewart, or even Kyle Rayner. Heck, maybe even go super old school and make him Alan Scott. Point being, Green Lantern, together with Flash, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, are the true pillars of the DC Universe. The Justice League has gone through many incarnations in the comics, but for their first movie outing, the five biggest DC Comics icons should ALL be there to represent.
And what reason would Warner Brothers have for not having a GL in the Justice League’s first ever movie? Only one: Ryan Reynolds’ much maligned Green Lantern movie has Warner Brothers terrified of using the character in anything. The prevailing thought being “let’s let the stink wear off the original Green Lantern movie a little longer.” Look, I get it. The 2011 movie was a box office and critical disappointment. We all wanted it to be great, but it was gutted left and right at the script level (the original scipt, by current DC TV guru Greg Berlanti, is actually pretty decent).
But it’s been nearly five years now since that movie came and went. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but in pop culture terms, five years ago is an eternity. Five years ago the Marvel Cinematic Universe was barely being born…we didn’t know if an Avengers movie could even work. There weren’t six comic book movies in one calander year, much less eleven comic based shows on the air.
If you introduce audiences to a decent take on Green Lantern now, moviegoers will totally forget all about Ryan Reynolds in a CGI costume fighting a giant poop cloud. If your new GL isn’t Hal Jordan wearing the ring, then even more so. The moviegoing public has forgiven Ryan Reynolds for Green Lantern, if the massive success of Deadpool is any indication. Now it’s time for Warner Brothers to forgive Green Lantern for Ryan Reynolds, and let the character take his rightful place with the Justice League from the very first movie on.
Like it or not, Green Lantern is that important to the DC Universe, and if you have a movie with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash all together, his exclusion will stick out like a sore thumb. It’s just going to be like the Beatles minus Ringo. Sure, without him, it might still be good…but it’s just not the Beatles. A Justice League movie without Green Lantern is the same thing.
Do you agree with me, and think a member of the Green Lantern Corps needs to represent in the Justice League film and not be sidelined? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Images: DC Comics / Warner Brothers