By Martin Lennon
The new Justice League film which will be released this year will introduce a number of new characters to the DC Extended Universe, including Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash. These heroes are all scheduled to have their own standalone films in the years to come, as DC follows a similar model to Marvel studios who have the Avengers along with individual films for characters like Captain America and Iron Man.
What may come as a surprise to some, is that DCE are planning on reinvigorating the Green Lantern character, and reports have confirmed that the hero will be introduced as early as this year.
However, as it stands it is unknown which Green Lantern will be making an appearance. This is because there are hundreds of Green Lanterns in the universe according to the comics, with two assigned to each planet. Reporter Umberto Gonzalez has stated that there will be a Green Lantern in Justice League but he didn’t divulge what the name of the character was. With plenty of comic book versions of Green Lanterns to choose from including Hal Jordan, Alan Scott, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner, this has added an air of mystery as to which character will show up to fight alongside Batman and company.
The reason why DC bringing back Green Lantern is surprising news to some is down to the fact that the last time the magic ring-wearing hero was depicted on the big screen (see video above) with Ryan Reynolds playing Hal Jordan, the film was a total flop. Not only did it receive scathing reviews from critics with an overall score of just 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, it also only managed to make a profit of $19.9 million on its $200 million budget. Reynolds attributed the film’s failure to the fact that it “didn’t know exactly what it was,” so when DC reboots the character they will need to be clear on the direction they want to go in.
Despite the lack of success of the 2011 film, it did lead to a couple of games that have become popular among superhero fans. Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (see video below) has an impressive score of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and has been described as a quality old-school beat-em-up. Moreover, the Green Lantern slot can be found among the slot games lobby of Fabulous Bingo. Arguably one of the best Playtech slots on the market, it is visually stunning with symbols and features based on the film, and also features is a Fear Flight Mission where players get unlimited free spins until they cover the reels with up to eight stacking wilds.
The popularity of these games suggests that a new Green Lantern movie could pull in audiences if it is done right. DC certainly need to set their new version aside and make it clear that it has nothing to do with the previous failed attempt. They can do this by using a different Green Lantern to Hal Jordan, which is the one that Reynolds portrayed. The film which will be called Green Lantern Corps is scheduled for a possible 2020 release date, so there is plenty of time for the creators to work on a strong script and bring in a cast that will attract audiences.
Star of the Fast and Furious franchise Tyrese Gibson has thrown his name into the hat and expressed his keen interest in taking on the role. This suggests that the Green Lantern that DC are planning to introduce is John Stewart, who was the first African-American superhero to ever appear in DC Comics. Gibson could be a great choice to play the lead character, as his comedic performances in the Fast and Furious films have endeared mass audiences to the actor.
With Justice League just around the corner, it would be a well-kept secret if someone as high profile as Gibson was to make an appearance. What DC might be doing is introducing a Green Lantern from a different planet as a teaser, and also as a way to remind people that these heroes are part of the same universe as the Justice League members. Whatever the studio’s plan is, they will need to work hard to make sure this new offering is light years apart from 2011’s failure.