green lantern john stewart

Green Lantern wasn’t the shining beacon for superhero movies that Warner Bros. anticipated when Ryan Reynolds donned the green ring in 2011. Since then, the DC Comics movies have experienced an overhaul with Man of Steel in 2013, and not a word was mentioned of Hal Jordan and his fellow green guardians in the new DC Extended Universe.

But that film wasn’t the last hurrah for the Green Lantern. The name will return not as a single hero but as the Green Lantern Corps, the team of human and aliens chosen by the mystical ring to protect the galaxy. With the announcement of that upcoming DCEU film, the possibilities for multiple Green Lantern heroes expands beyond the hothead pilot Hal Jordan — now fans of the Justice League animated series may even see the Green Lantern they grew up with: John Stewart. And Green Lantern screenwriter Michael Green has the perfect casting suggestion for that character.

Fans were treated with a hint of multiple Green Lanterns in Justice League, during the flashback to thousands of years ago when armies on Earth did battle against Steppenwolf. But curiously, Hal Jordan, one of the founding members of the Justice League in the comics, was nowhere to be seen in the modern day sections of the film.

But it may have been the bad taste that 2011’s Green Lantern left in fans’ mouth that caused the intergalactic hero to be left out of the lineup in Justice LeagueGreen Lantern screenwriter Green, who has since gone on to co-write screenplays for Logan, Alien: Covenant, and Blade Runner 2049, is not the only one to regret the film’s legacy. But rather than look behind, he’s choosing to look at the future of the Green Lantern franchise. In an interview with Yahoo! Movies UKGreen had a casting suggestion for fan-favorite Green Lantern John Stewart:

“I’ll probably get angry texts if I don’t say what’s in my heart which is that Ricky Whittle would make a fantastic John Stewart.”

It’s no surprise that Green would look to Whittle for his choice: Green is an executive producer and writer on American Gods, a Starz series created by Bryan Fuller that adapts Neil Gaiman’s enthralling fantasy novel. Whittle plays the main character Shadow in American Gods, an ex-con who finds himself embroiled in supernatural happenings and an oncoming war when he strikes up a deal to work with the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane).

While Green was evasive on whether he was involved with Green Lantern Corps, he was supportive of the film, which is currently scheduled to open in theaters on July 24, 2020.

“I will say that my partners on Green Lantern, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, spent a lot of time talking about all the potential for subsequent Green Lantern films and I still love every idea that we discussed. I don’t think they will ever come to fruition, not as we imagined them I don’t think. If there’s a Green Lantern Corps to be done, it will be all new fresh thinking.”

Why Ricky Whittle Is a Great Choice

First of all, I present you with Boss Logic’s Photoshopped image of Whittle as John Stewart.

Looks miles better than Tyrese Gibson, right?

In all seriousness, Whittle remains a mostly untested actor — with his main direction on American Gods seeming to be to react to the scene-chewing of his acclaimed costars McShane, Gillian Anderson, and Kristin Chenoweth. (He has appeared previously in CW’s The 100, which I’ll admit I have not seen.)

Shadow is a fairly empty character in the book, a figure upon which the reader is meant to project their own emotions and experiences. But Whittle injects a raw energy into the character, aided by his massive build and hint of mischievousness. While he doesn’t wield quite the gravitas that costar McShane has, there’s a dignified air to Whittle’s performance as Shadow — even when he’s comedically doing double-takes at McShane and Chenoweth’s magical antics.

John Stewart was introduced in the DC Comics back in 1971 as a more somber and self-serious foil to Hal Jordan, quickly shooting to popularity with his portrayal in the animated Justice League TV series in the 2000s. He will likely be one of many Green Lanterns featured in the upcoming Green Lantern Corps from writers David Goyer and Justin Rhodes.

Do you think Whittle would make a good John Stewart?

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