‘Green Lantern’ is set to become the DCEU superhero version of ‘Star Wars’

With news today that Warner Bros. Discovery with a long gestation The Green Lantern With the HBO Max series being completely overhauled with a planned new main character and the loss of the showrunner and main cast, it’s the perfect time to revisit an important point regarding the future of the DCEU on the big screen: the The Green Lantern [Corps] could and should become a sprawling sci-fi space opera equivalent to DC’s own version of star wars.

The departure of showrunner Seth Grahame-Smith and cast members Finn Wittrock and Jeremy Irvine is due to a decision by the studio to reverse the course of plans for the The Green Lantern streaming series, including a different lead character and a much smaller budget. Intended to span multiple decades and generations of Green Lanterns, the show would have introduced a large cast of alien characters, but would have specifically avoided portraying a key Green Lantern character in the comics – John Stewart, among the most popular and well-known. of the whole tradition of the series.

Now, however, John Stewart is the main character planned for the HBO Max show, according to Lesley Goldberg at The Hollywood Reporter. Greg Berlanti’s production company — responsible for launching the hugely successful Arrowverse collection of DC superhero shows at The CW – will remain attached.

But I think it’s time to give Berlanti a shot on the big screen for his DC projects, as someone who has proven his ability to develop elaborate and complex storytelling in a growing shared universe that is both able to strongly appeal to the fan base. like broadening the appeal to a wide mainstream audience. The Green Lantern is the perfect vehicle for Berlanti’s company to transition from TV/streaming to the DCEU big screen, with a huge cast of characters and deep source material to tap into for multiple trilogies with overarching narratives.

Think about the star wars movies, especially the prequel trilogy and its biggest entry Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. Remember the epic scale of planets, cities, space battles, sets of alien characters and robots. Think double crosses, nuanced shots and plots and subplots, relationships between characters and foreshadowing plot twists. Jedi and Sith are basically superheroes and supervillains, with superpowers that vary in type and strength from character to character, use amazing technologies, and engage in a variety forms of combat.

Now consider transferring those best elements and the super-scale of space opera to a DC superhero movie saga like Green Lantern Corps.

Consider the idea of ​​an Earth-based young man like John Stewart who one day learns that he has a greater destiny among the stars, when a veteran space soldier with superpowers – Hal Jordan – returns on Earth after years of waging a secret war across the universe to recruit Stewart to join him, to train as a Green Lantern, and to eventually replace Hal Jordan as leaders of the Green Lanterns in their quest to protect the Earth. universe and save existence from the forces of evil.

Imagine, for example, the phenomenal performer Stephan James or John Boyega as John Stewart, a soldier of extraordinary moral strength and courage, who has already dedicated his life to fighting the good fight and protecting the humanity. Then imagine Tom Cruise or Bradley Cooper as Hal Jordan, the grizzled space veteran returned to Earth after too many years in the trenches (so to speak) and desperate to find a new champion to stand by his side. and take command of the Green Lantern Corps. Imagine loose adaptations of the best The Green Lantern comic book stories (including what I’ve long argued to be the best Lantern Tales of all time – and some of the greatest comic book stories – by Geoff Johns).

Imagine the big budget show and the power of each Green Lantern Corps movie in a bigger trilogy similar to how star wars is a series of great trilogies. Imagine if Steven Spielberg might be tempted to direct the first movie (he’s long insisted he’d never make a Star Wars movie because they’re George Lucas’ beloved IPs, but maybe he’d like get the chance to sink your teeth into your own version of a space opera like this), alongside Jeymes Samuel aka The Bullitts, Ava DuVernay, Antoine Fuqua, Chloé Zhao and F. Gary Gray as full directors of two trilogies.

It’s the kind of cinematic legend, the kind of approach that could spawn one of the biggest and oldest superhero franchises in movie history, if done right. And it’s a far superior approach than insisting on a cut-budget streaming series on a service that’s been increasingly crippled by cuts and writedowns and completely changed studio planning to reverse the trajectory of building a huge major streamer. Until WBD management is keen on spending more and planning for the future of HBO Max (and all PR talking points aside, that’s frankly what WBD reported repeatedly), a The Green Lantern the streamer-focused series will continue to linger and slow its way to a less ambitious vision.

But that’s not the fault of the creators involved, who will inevitably find themselves hampered by the limits placed on their artistic desires, and so there is a much better option available to them and to the The Green Lantern IP itself if James Gunn and Peter Safran, new co-CEOs of DC Studios take the bold step of asking Berlanti to redevelop his project as a massive film franchise spanning multiple trilogies with star wars as a major source of spiritual inspiration.

When The Green Lantern was announced as a long-form series for HBO Max, I was excited because I love long-form storytelling, I think Berlanti had an eye for making the series as large-scale and iconic as possible, and I hoped everyone the signs pointed to a big-budget commitment based on the leadership of former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, whose enthusiasm for making HBO Max a top streamer seemed destined to deliver a wonderful, high-quality stable of greats. IP movies and series.

Now, however, it’s become abundantly clear that WBD isn’t going to invest the bulk of the IP like The Green Lantern like a streaming series, and as much as I like the Arrowverse I feel The Green Lantern needs a much larger budget commitment and creative freedom to reach its full potential, which is simply no longer possible with a low-budget HBO Max show under the current demands of the management of WBD.

In that case, I would much rather see – and hope fans and audiences will pick up the chorus to ask – a The Green Lantern The project made it to the big screen, attempting to fully deliver on the promise of the characters and franchise premise, focusing on a wish list of potential talent to create and star in the films. It’s also the kind of move that would signal new leadership and plans for the DCEU that are seriously considering exploring the absolute greatest potential for all of their IP, whether they “go big or go home.” “.

So WBD, DC Studios, if you’re listening: Green Lantern Corps is your star wars. Any Green Lantern will tell you to be fearless, accept no limits to your imagination, and have the will to make it happen.

Kimberly B. Nguyen