Unsurprisingly, the DC Extended Universe is dominating the internet today, after the DC Films Special aired on The CW last night. Hosted by filmmaker and renowned comic book fan Kevin Smith, the show featured DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns discussing plans for movies up to the year 2020, while introducing featurettes about the various projects.
Though each segment amplified excitement for the coming releases, it was the final, exclusive announcement that confirmed the hopes of many fans – that Green Lantern and, more importantly, the Green Lantern Corps will be included in the Justice League Universe.
“We’ve been to the bottom of the oceans, we’ve been to ancient Greek mythology, we’ve been to the past and the future with The Flash, and to the digital world with Cyborg,” said Johns. “We’ve still got to go to space. So the Green Lantern and the Green Lantern Corps will be coming to join the Justice League Universe.”
While there are those of us that are still recovering from the ill-judged and poorly executed 2011 film Green Lantern, the excruciatingly painful memory of it simply fuels the desire to see that terrible injustice rectified. The early Warner Bros. marketing campaign on social media that urged fans to “unite the seven” left many wondering who that seventh Justice League member would be – given that Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg were all confirmed as featuring in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, with an appearance by The Flash also rumoured.
The announcement of a Green Lantern solo movie for 2020 suggested the wearer of the magic ring could fill that slot, but with that release coming after Justice League: Part One, we couldn’t be sure. Now, not only has DC confirmed Green Lantern, but it has also confirmed the Green Lantern Corps – which is a crucial element to the reboot of this character.
The original Green Lantern was created in 1940, as Alan Scott – a young railroad worker who came upon a magical lantern from space that instructed him in the creation of a magical ring that gives him superpowers. Green Lantern was then reinvented as Hal Jordan in 1959 – a man who receives the magical ring from a dying alien – and it is this version that features in the 2011 Green Lantern movie.
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That movie did a great disservice to the character, however, because it entirely sidelined the existence of the Green Lantern Corps – which is arguably the strength of the Green Lantern title. The Corps is essentially an intergalactic police force tasked by the Guardians Of The Universe to patrol through space, ensuring the safety of all who reside in it. The beauty of the Corps in terms of creative storytelling potential is that there are a number of prominent members, each of whom are great characters in their own right.
In addition to Scott and Jordan, other significant Green Lanterns in the comic books include John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and Simon Baz. There are also a number of female Green Lanterns, including the daughter of Alan Scott, Jennifer-Lynn Hayden. The importance of the announcement during the DC films Special is that, as seen in the video clip above, concept art showing Stewart, Gardner, Rayner and Baz can be seen alongside Jordan. In addition, the fact that Jordan and Stewart were most prominent is real fan wish fulfilment.
So, in showcasing plans for the next five years – films that include Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Cyborg and a Green Lantern film including the Green Lantern Corps – DC have officially set out their stall as creators of a cinematic universe that is not only highly anticipated and exciting, but also considerably more diverse than anything else we’ve seen from similar endeavours so far. That alone makes all of these upcoming movies well worth the wait.