Why No Green Lantern In The Justice League Movies Would Suck


Green Lantern fans, get ready for some disappointment. After some hope that Green Lantern was going to be part of the DC Extended Universe and a part of the upcoming two-part Justice League movie saga, it no longer appears that’s going to be the case.

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Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly got to dive deep into the DCEU as part of his feature on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and while doing so, what he discovered in regard to the ring-slinger wasn’t good. Warner Bros. president of creative development and worldwide production told Breznican that Green Lantern “may or may not be in Justice League 2.”

That’s right. Forget the first half of Justice League, which is gearing up to begin filming soon for its release next year. Warner isn’t even sure if Green Lantern will make it into the next movie two years later, which is a nice way of saying it doesn’t look like the character is going to be in the film version of the Justice League at all.

Silverman’s explanation that “we were introducing enough characters” strikes one immediately as weak sauce since there don’t seem to be any qualms about rolling out Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman while also debuting Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg, at least in cameos. It just doesn’t sound like anyone has any idea how to work the Emerald Crusader into the fabric of the DCEU, and that’s a real shame.

In fact, let’s just call it like it really is: It sucks that Green Lantern might not be in Justice League at all, and here’s why.

Green Lantern is a founding member of the Justice League in any incarnation

No matter how many times the Justice League has been revamped or retconned over the decades, some Green Lantern is always part of the lineup. Mostly, it’s been Hal Jordan. During one of its more unique creative periods in the comics, it was Guy Gardner, and when Grant Morrison restored the team to its “Big Seven” glory in the late 90s, it was Kyle Rayner.

You know who hasn’t always been a founding member of the team? Superman and Batman! That’s not to argue against their inclusion in the DCEU team — of course DC’s two biggest icons are going to be front and center. Rather, it’s just to point out that creating a Justice League without a Green Lantern is essentially unprecedented.

There are actually a whole bunch of Green Lanterns

This is pretty obvious, since Warner Bros. is already planning a movie called Green Lantern Corps. Even if you restrict the group to just the ones who usually call Earth home, though, there are plenty of choices.

No one can come up with a story for Hal — or execs are still scared of moviegoers’ bad memories of the Ryan Reynolds film version? Fine. Someone should be able to do something with John Stewart, Guy or even Kyle. All of them are well fleshed-out characters who should be relatively simple to translate to film. Its boggles the mind that no one thinks any of them could work.

The Green Lantern mythos is richer than ever

Maybe a guy with a ring that can do anything but can be stopped by a villain who simply dresses completely in yellow is a little silly. Happily, those days are long gone.

Thanks in large part to the world-building (maybe universe-building would be more apt) efforts turned in by Geoff Johns and his artistic partners in the 2000s, the core concept of the character has been refined and expanded at the same time. Thematically, overcoming fear with willpower is a strong baseline, and when you throw in the other colors in the emotional spectrum, it’s hard to match the breadth of Green Lantern lore.

Would all of that need to be addressed to use GL in Justice League? Absolutely not. But there’s plenty to dig into for writers to find a hook, and besides, how would it look for the defender of the sector of space that includes Earth not to show up if the Justice League is battling Darkseid or some other world-threatening menace?

Next: BSP's Guide to Upcoming Superhero Movies

There’s no question that for fans who love the idea of Green Lantern or one of the men who have worn the ring in comics, it stinks to think he might not be in the Justice League films at all. See you next decade, GL. Hopefully.