Today, Warner Bros. announced a huge slate of DC superhero movies, and among them was a reboot of Green Lantern set for 2020. The 2010 adaptation [correction: the movie was released in 2011] was a failure, and one that Warner Bros. would clearly like to forget. It was an opportunity to not only launch a new franchise, but also stand apart from anything else in the superhero marketplace by introducing cosmic elements. Marvel, through the power of branding, was finally able to get audiences into that kind of cosmic superhero movie with Guardians of the Galaxy, but for some reason, Warner Bros. seems a little skittish about capitalizing on that movie’s success. Is it really necessary to provide nine years of distance between Green Lantern movies, especially if you’re going to introduce a new Lantern (presumably) in Justice League Part One? What’s the holdup? And in a post-Guardians world, he certainly seems like an easier sell than Aquaman, who gets his own movie in 2018.
A new Green Lantern also provides the opportunity to go with the protagonist they should have gone with in the first place: John Stewart. Hit the jump for more.
I know comic book diehards will continue to push Hal Jordan as the true Green Lantern, but they and Warner Bros. should keep three factors in mind. First, the animated DC universe hasn’t shied away from bringing in John Stewart, an African-American superhero, and kids have embraced that iteration of the character. Secondly, this ten year gap pretty much erases any memory of the Ryan Reynolds version. Kids in 2020 won’t even know that movie exists, so it’s not like there will be a lot of confusion. And third, if you’re worried about confusion, you can clear it up by casting an actor who looks nothing like Ryan Reynolds.
Warner Bros. announced a lot of DC superhero movies today, and that’s troubling because it feels like an arms race with Marvel rather than anything resembling a well-thought out plan. But if you’re looking for a silver lining, Warner Bros. has also stepped up to deliver a movie led by a female superhero (Wonder Woman in 2017) and another led by a black superhero (Cyborg in 2020). Marvel continues to drag its feet on any superhero that isn’t a white guy, so Warner Bros. should take the opportunity to be progressive in their thinking. More importantly, John Stewart is an interesting character, and no disrespect to Hal Jordan, I’d be more excited to see his story on screen.