One of the more exciting projects Warner Bros’ DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has in the works is a new Green Lantern film. Despite the disaster that was 2011’s Green Lantern, Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns is far from finished with the Emerald Knights of Oa. Near the end of 2019, Johns had announced that he was wrapping up a script for a film titled Green Lantern Corps. Speaking as someone whose been a fan of the Green Lantern comics, I have the utmost confidence that Johns is going to justice to the source material. This man has been writing Green Lantern comics as far back as 2004. He has done more for the character of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps than any other comic book writer. In a sense, this Green Lantern Corps film is his baby.
As the creative architect behind the DCEU, Johns is capable of making key creative decisions that could decide the fate of the franchise. With a Green Lantern Corps film, Johns has an amazing opportunity to enrich the lore behind the DCEU and tell great stories that encompass characters both within and outside the Green Lanterns. He could lift the franchise out of Snyder’s blackest night and bring it into the light of a brand new brightest day!
To Infinity and Beyond
As seen in 2011’s Green Lantern, this intergalactic corp of will-powered peacekeepers are not a single race. Rather, they are thousands of noble warriors from across the universe, united by a common cause. Each member of the Green Lantern Corps is assigned a sector of the universe to patrol and guard. In 2017’s Justice League, we see a brief glimpse of Earth’s Green Lantern participate in a battle against Steppenwolf and his Parademons. Battling alongside Earth’s gods and inhabitants to ward off an invasion, before dying in combat. Right after his death though, we see his ring take flight and travel off to find a new worthy host for its power.
The world of the Green Lanterns is a rich and fascinating one. Their origins are tied to the beginning of the universe and to the emotions of all sentient life in the DCEU. Long ago, the leaders of the corps, the Guardians of the Universe discovered the Emotional Spectrum. A range of powerful energies fuelled by the emotions of all life, one that could be harnessed and used. Among all the emotional energies, the Guardian chose willpower, personified in the colour green. Thus, they created light-based weapons that would allow their wielders to create constructs and projectiles, limited only by their imagination.
Earth’s sector, 2084, has multiple Green Lanterns. The first human Lantern and the greatest is Hal Jordan, portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in 2011. The one most people recognize, probably due to the popularity of Cartoon Network’s Justice League animated series is John Stewart. An African-American marine who went on to become a founding member of the Justice League. There’s more to the Green Lantern mythos, though than Power Ranger colour schemes and cool rings. If developed properly, Green Lantern Corps has the potential to be Warner Bros’ answer to Disney’s Star Wars franchise. An epic space fantasy involving alien armies clashing on foreign worlds with a lovable cast intergalactic police officers. Fun fact: Krypton also had a Green Lantern who attempted to warn Superman’s people of their imminent destruction.
Indeed, there’s more to the DCEU that just the planet Earth and the hellish world of Darkseid’s Apokolips. Things get even more interesting when the Green Lanterns learn that there are other Lantern Corps who can tap into the power of the Emotional Spectrum. Hal Jordan’s longtime mentor/nemesis Sinestro used the yellow power of Fear to create the Sinestro Corps. An alien terrorist, Atrocitus, formed the rage-filled Red Lantern Corps. In 2011, there was a massive conflict that engulfed nearly the entire universe, the War of Light. A titanic struggle that ravaged planets and even brought Earth’s heroes into the fray. Seeing that the DCEU is focusing more on creating standalone films right now, a Green Lantern film saga would be the perfect candidate for a contained series. With room to grow, of course.
The Key to Cinematic Crossovers
A Green Lantern Corps film series doesn’t have to stay in its own separate box, though. There are a lot of ways in which these Emerald Knights could cross paths with the Justice League. The easiest way, of course, would be to have one of them join the Justice League. Fans of the old school DC cartoons would undoubtedly love to see John Stewart on screen! We’ve already seen a member of the corps appear in a flashback of Justice League and at the end of the film, Wonder Woman implied that there’s always room for more members. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see a Green Lantern joining the team.
Regardless of whether it’s Hal Jordan or Stewart, a Lantern would definitely provide the team, and audience members, with greater insights into DC’s cosmic landscape. He could also be a gateway to the League’s next big villain: Nekron. A being who draws upon the power of the Black Lantern, the living embodiment of death within the DC universe. In an event known as “Blackest Night”, Nekron reanimates the corpses of fallen heroes and villains in a bid to destroy all life in the universe. It took the combined might of the Lantern Corps and the Justice League to take him down. Definitely a big bad worthy of a Justice League sequel.
Beyond being a potential bridge to future crossovers with the Justice League, a Green Lantern Corps film could also a lead into multiple DC films in the works. As an army of space cops, the Green Lanterns run into their fair share of different alien species. Perhaps, Hal Jordan might make contact with a certain Martian during his patrol and bring him into the League. Thus, giving us a great segue into a Martian Manhunter film…in lieu of simply cramming him into Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Last year, we heard the news that Warner Bros was keen on developing a film based on an intergalactic outlaw bounty hunter named Lobo. A hilarious, vulgar space biker who’s had plenty of run-ins with the law, which includes the Green Lantern Corps.
Where things get really interesting, though, is when we talk about the New Gods, a race of godlike beings outside of the Multiverse. A race that the infamous Darkseid belongs to, and one that has had frequent interactions with the Green Lanterns. Above all else, Darkseid is consumed by his singular desire to find the Anti-Life Equation, a power that will allow his reshape reality and free will. This threat goes beyond the confines of Earth and has ramifications across the universe. A Green Lantern Corps film could be a stepping stone to an Avengers: Endgame level crossover film with Earth’s heroes teaming up New Gods and Green Lanterns!
Geoff Johns has his work cut out for him, with an entire comic book film franchise at this fingertips. I know the DCEU can be a bit of a mess sometimes but it’s not beyond redemption. It simply needs some light and colour to breathe new life into it. Rest assured, we can’t wait to hear what new exciting details await us with Green Lantern Corps. Till then, we’ll keep watch.