When it comes to casting major superhero roles, studios aren’t exactly going straight to fans for ideas on who to fill the role. For one thing, fans aren’t privy to the script or specific idea for the character, so how could they know who’s best to play this version? There was plenty of outcry over Heath Ledger playing The Joker, but fans couldn’t have known the twisted take on the character that Ledger and Christopher Nolan had crafted. Moreover, there are a number of factors that go into casting a major role beyond “does this actor look like the character?” So fancasting is inherently a little silly.
But that didn’t stop fans from pegging Armie Hammer as a spot-on choice to play Green Lantern in Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe, and Hammer himself was game to play along. The Social Network and Man from U.N.C.L.E. actor had fun egging fans on over social media, taking a “is he/isn’t he” approach to the ordeal as Warner Bros. set about developing the script for the upcoming Green Lantern Corps. And this isn’t Hammer’s first go-around with a superhero property. Before his breakout turn in Social Network, he was cast as Batman in George Miller’s Justice League, a film that was aborted weeks before production began.
So when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub spoke with Hammer at the press day for his new film Free Fire, he asked about the Green Lantern hubbub and if he’s been having fun trolling fans:
“Man, jeez… It was fun for a while and now I’m convinced that everyone’s gonna turn on me so I’m like ‘Oh shit, slowly backing away.’” (laughs)
Hammer’s name popped up on a very early casting “wishlist” for the film that surfaced a few months ago, but the actor admits he’s had no discussions about the role with anyone outside of social media:
“I have nothing to confirm nor deny. The only talk of me being Green Lantern that I have heard in my life has only come from social media.”
And yet, as silly as fancasting can be and understanding that Hammer has had no talks with anyone actually making the movie, you gotta admit he’d make a pretty terrific superhero. Hammer is charming as all get-out and has been turning in some really dynamic performances in films like Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Birth of a Nation, and Nocturnal Animals, and having seen the film at Sundance I can promise you everyone’s going to be talking about Hammer later this year when the sure-to-be-Oscar-contender Call Me By Your Name hits theaters.
So while Hammer admits there’s really nothing to the Green Lantern casting rumors aside from fans suggesting him as a solid pick on the internet, it also wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if Warner Bros. made it official and offered him the part. Green Lantern Corps is admittedly a ways away—they only just started working on the script—so don’t expect to hear any casting news on that front soon. But official or not, Hammer remains a solid choice.
Look for more from Steve’s interview with Hammer and Free Fire director Ben Wheatley on Collider soon.