Actors We Want To See In A Green Lantern Remake

In 2011, the silver screen debut of Green Lantern landed like a thud instead of soaring like a triumph. The film was dismissed both by critics and wider audiences; one of the more positive reviews was Roger Ebert's middling praise, "['Green Lantern'] intends to be a sound-and-light show, assaulting the audience with sensational special effects. If that's what you want, that's what you get."

Time hasn't been any kinder to "Green Lantern." Star Ryan Reynolds has poked fun at it in both of his subsequent "Deadpool" movies. "Green Lantern" was conceived as the beginning of a larger DC Comics film franchise, meant to rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead, its hero has been persona non grata on film since. Green Lantern is usually a staple of the Justice League but in both versions of that film, the only Lantern who showed up was a cameo.

There have been attempts at a second shot, though. In 2014, Warner Bros. announced "Green Lantern Corps" as one of the DC films they were developing, set for release in 2020. Obviously, it didn't make that date and the project's prospects look slimmer every year. There is also currently a "Green Lantern" TV series in development at HBO Max, featuring comic Lanterns Alan Scott (Jeremy Irvine) and Guy Gardner (Finn Wittrock). While still "very much alive," its release seems a ways off.

Overall, it seems that Warner Bros hasn't given up on "Green Lantern." Between how chaotic the management of their DC films has been and the black mark of the 2011 film, though, the character hasn't been enough of a priority to break through.

If it is just a matter of time until Green Lantern returns to the big screen, then these are the actors we would like to see star.

Glen Powell as Hal Jordan

The most famous Green Lantern of them all, Hal Jordan, was the star of the last ill-fated "Green Lantern" movie. Retreading his origin story or making him the centerpiece, not just one player in the ensemble of the Green Lantern Corps, would be a bad idea. However, he's too vital to leave out entirely.

When he's not patrolling space Sector 2814, Hal is a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft (callsign Highball). He's got All-American good looks — his design was literally modeled after Paul Newman, who had been a neighbor of Hal's co-creator Gil Kane. Hal is cocky, but not in the same manner as Ryan Reynolds' trademark wink-wink smarm; that's one reason the casting went wrong last time. If anything, he should be more foolhardy. You can't wield a Green Lantern ring without courage and that's something Hal has in abundant, maybe too abundant, supply.

The obvious candidate is Glen Powell. He has the face for it and his previous roles are apiece with Hal. He played the astronaut John Glenn in 2016's "Hidden Figures" before gaining greater attention as Jake "Hangman" Seresin in "Top Gun: Maverick."  Between "Maverick" and the upcoming "Devotion," Powell is cornering the market on jet pilot characters. Playing Hal Jordan would knock off one more entry on that bucket list. If he can play Hangman, he can play Highball.

Ricky Whittle as John Stewart

The next Green Lantern who should appear is John Stewart. John has been a Green Lantern since the 1970s, and was one of the first Black superheroes, to boot. However, he's enjoyed greater fame in the 21st century thanks to his starring role in the 2000s "Justice League" cartoon. A performance by Phil LaMarr and his star-crossed romance with Hawkgirl made the DC Animated Universe Stewart into a fan-favorite. It shouldn't be hard to do the same for the DCEU version.

Far from a "Daily Show" host, Stewart is a veteran of the U.S. Marines and a strait-laced man. Pair him with the more sarcastic Hal in an intergalactic buddy cop movie and the script will write itself.

Stewart has almost made it to live-action twice. David Ramsey played a character named "John Diggle" in "Arrow," who was slowly revealed to be a version of Stewart, culminating in him receiving a Green Lantern ring in the finale. Wayne T. Carr also filmed a scrapped scene as Stewart for "Zack Snyder's Justice League."

Who can pull off the third time's the charm? Ricky Whittle. The actor has volunteered himself for the part and those who've seen him as Shadow Moon in "American Gods" know he's a capable leading man.

Jenna Ortega as Jessica Cruz

Jessica Cruz is a recent addition to "Green Lantern." She debuted in 2014, co-created by prolific DC writer Geoff Johns and the artists Doug Mahnke, Ivan Reis, and Ethan Van Sciver. This played into her characterization; Jessica was a rookie Green Lantern not used to the responsibilities of being a superhero. As she fought more and more cosmic threats, though, her pluckiness turned to courage.

This means that Jessica would make a strong POV character for a "Green Lantern" film, being introduced to the Corps alongside the audience. For the role, there's no one else but Jenna Ortega.

The TV actress has graduated to film in 2022 and become a bona-fide scream queen thanks to roles in the fifth "Scream" and "X." In the former, Ortega played Tara Carpenter, the stand-in for Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) as the girl who answers Ghostface's phone call. She's so charismatic that it was a relief when "Scream" broke tradition and spared her. Jessica's character arc — uncertain at first but gains agency — isn't far off from a horror final girl.

Kevin Michael Richardson as Kilowog

The Green Lantern Corps includes members from all over the galaxy, so the main characters can't all be human. One of the main alien Green Lanterns is Kilowog, a pig-like "Bolovaxian," who would make an excellent supporting character in a "Green Lantern" film. A hard-nosed drill sergeant, Kilowog helped train Hal Jordan as a Lantern.

The 2011 film depicted this, where a CGI Kilowog was voiced by the late Michael Clarke Duncan. CGI is the only way to go depicting Kilowog, which means there's greater flexibility in casting him. It shouldn't be a celebrity who voices Kilowog, but a trained voice actor. In fact, there's one who has experience playing Kilowog: Kevin Michael Richardson.

Richardson is one of those voices that's ubiquitous in American animation. He's voiced characters ranging from the sociopathic Principal Lewis on "American Dad" to the Joker himself in 2004's "The Batman." In 2013, he was part of the main cast on "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" as Kilowog, giving the character a gruff, deep voice which perfectly fit. If Richardson has proven himself in the part already, there's no reason not to use him again.

Dev Patel as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow

Wait, what's Green Arrow doing in a Green Lantern movie? Well DC's two emerald-clad heroes have a long history together. During the 1970s, Hal Jordan's comic gained a co-star as "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" (written by Dennis O'Neil, drawn by Neal Adams) traveled coast-to-coast across the United States, solving mundane injustices instead of super-villainous ones. This series is one of the reasons the Bronze Age of Comics (the 1970s to mid 1980s) is credited as turning superheroes more socially-conscious.

While Hal was the small-c Conservative, Ollie was the Liberal firebrand and voice for O'Neil's own politics; after all, Green Arrow is modeled on Mr. "robs from the rich, gives to the poor," Robin Hood. Despite the differences, the two characters' friendship has endured. Green Arrow was a supporting character in "Green Lantern: Rebirth," which marked Hal's return to the title.

Superhero films have become as interconnected/chock full of guest stars as their comic source material. If another hero was to show up in a Green Lantern film, it would be the Emerald Archer. But who would play him? Dev Patel has already proven he can play a Green Knight, so why not a Green Arrow too? He rocks a mean goatee, a prerequisite for Oliver Queen.

Tony Dalton as Sinestro

Now we get to the villains. One member of Green Lantern's rogues gallery stands above the rest: Thaal Sinestro. A former Green Lantern (and mentor of Hal Jordan), Sinestro was expelled when he used his power to create an authoritarian regime on his home planet Korugar. Now Sinestro wields a power ring colored yellow instead of green. In classic comics, this was because Green Lantern rings were ineffective against yellow-colored objects. Geoff Johns added another layer, revealing the yellow energy draws on fear like the green does on willpower.

Like his frenemy, Sinestro was modeled on a Hollywood star, specifically David Niven — this means a good mustache is a requirement for the role. Sinestro was previously played by Mark Strong, who was praised as one the 2011 film's few high points. Who can surpass Strong? Tony Dalton, who stole the show on the last two seasons of "Better Call Saul" as Lalo Salamanca. Dalton is a charisma machine; Lalo has virtually zero redeeming qualities but he's so likable because of Dalton's presence. That doesn't mean he can't be ice cold or scary, though. Plus, his 'stache game is unrivaled.

Normally, I'm reluctant to suggest such talented actors take paycheck gigs in superhero movies. However, since Dalton already played Jack Duquesne in "Hawkeye," that ship has sailed.

Brad Dourif as The Black Hand

Let's round this out with a human antagonist. Taking influence from "Green Lantern: Secret Origin" by Johns and Reis, the 2011 film featured the deformed telekinetic Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard). A reboot could use the other human villain from that series: the Black Hand, aka William Hand.

In the 1960s Silver Age "Green Lantern" comics by John Broome and Kane, the Black Hand was a simple super-villain capable of absorbing energy. Johns reimagined him as a creepier character; even before getting his costume, Hand was a necrophiliac. During the "Blackest Night" storyline, an intergalactic zombie apocalypse, the Black Hand became a vanguard of Nekron, the embodiment of death.

Who can successfully play a character so unsettling? Easy, Brad Dourif. One of the best character actors around, Dourif's most famous roles are still creeps like Charles Lee Ray and Gríma Wormtongue. Chucky is undead and Wormtongue looks like he could be. Plus, the latter role proves Dourif excels as a villain sniveling up to a greater one.