Ryan Reynolds pulled one of the better superhero pivots of all-time moving from Green Lantern to Deadpool. The recasting was nearly a complete 180 in terms of both popularity and critical reception. That he’s now associated almost completely with the raunchy and grotesque (but loveable) Deadpool is a testament to not being stuck in one failed character for a lifetime. But that doesn’t mean his time as Green Lantern is totally over. New rumors have it that Reynolds might be returning as Green Lantern in an upcoming DC movie.
Reynolds hasn’t distanced himself completely from the Green Lantern character, a guilty pleasure he’s probably afforded because Deadpool was such a resounding success. And now with Zack Snyder going through reshoots on Justice League, rumors have it that Ryan Reynolds could don the green suit and power ring for a cameo in that release.
Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern was an original member of the Justice League in the comic books and a notable omission when the movie came out three years ago. Having Ryan Reynolds join the cast would make a lot of sense if operating from the original canon and would likely add a much-needed comedic adrenaline shot to a dire and somber cast. And though some recent rumors had Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau entering the fray in the Green Lantern suit, it appears Reynolds has been the frontrunner all along.
2011’s Green Lantern movie was a bomb in every respect of the word. Critics panned it and rightfully so. The special effects were ridiculous and over the top casting Jordan’s powers as cartoony rather than cool and it led to a visually off-putting film. The story lacked any true depth and Ryan Reynolds’ devil-may-care attitude toward the character didn’t work in the same way it did for Deadpool.
The movie was a flop at the box office as well, eventually scraping out $219 million on a budget of $200 million. With the doubly-brutal bottom line, it appeared the end of the line for the character and the franchise as a whole. Maybe until now. Even with massive expectations at the time, the film has been relegated to the dustbin of comic book movie history, gone and forgotten.
But if there was ever a time to reboot the Green Lantern with a new lease on life, now is it. DC news has been coming fast and furious lately with news that Ben Affleck would be returning to the screen as Batman in an upcoming HBO Max series. Plus, James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is in the hopper as well with massive additions to the cast and a story that will likely diverge somewhat from the original David Ayer version. These are just a few of the ways DC is looking to reshape its image and add to the universe. They have a long way to go to (ever) catch Marvel, but apparently, they are at least giving it a puncher’s chance with big names, talents, and productions scheduled for the next few years.
But the real gem we have coming is the aforementioned and much-anticipated Zack Snyder version of Justice League. In addition to these recent Ryan Reynolds casting rumors, much is already known about this version. Jared Leto has already signed on to appear as the Joker in the updated version. Plus, the villain focus will shift to Darkseid.
This, seemingly, had been Snyder’s plan all along. But the original was confusing and universally panned after rewrites and disagreements on the final cut. This stemmed from Joss Whedon entering the fray late in the game when Snyder left following the death of his daughter. Whedon altered much of the original vision of the movie, removing big chunks, changing the antagonist, and shifting some character focus.
Besides just a possible Ryan Reynolds sighting there’s still plenty of time to add to the excitement around this new version. We are still about a year away from it hitting screens with a scheduled release on HBO Max on September 5, 2021. The plan is to release it in four, one-hour parts over the course of a month. That means more characters could emerge and additional story arcs could get an in-depth treatment. And the good news is that there’s almost no way it can underperform what we saw on the screen three years ago. Adding a character (in every sense of the word) like Ryan Reynolds would only add to the excitement.