Green Lantern could have been the Iron Man of Warner Bros’ DC Extended Universe—at least for a timeline in which the underperforming 2011 comic book movie starring Ryan Reynolds hadn’t become a punchline to a generation of genre jokesters, most notably Reynolds himself. Yet, the film’s dubious place in history hasn’t stopped Reynolds from imagining how his hero could have joined the other DC A-listers onscreen in 2017’s Justice League.
While another alternate version of the film, the online-petition-wrought “Snyder Cut” of Justice League, is set to become a reality on HBO Max, Reynolds has taken his own initiative of conceptualizing a brightest day and/or darkest night in which the emerald ring-wielder—per the team’s classic comic lineup—was part of the titular superhero coalition. However, given the fact that this is Ryan Reynolds, and the clip itself is under 30 seconds long, you’d best prepare to laugh at this particular “cut,” especially upon its climactic reveal.
Reynolds prefaced the parody’s release with this tweeted shot across the bow.
Indeed, Reynolds, ever the satirical master, has pulled off quite a feat here in taking yet another shot at his former would-be film franchise vehicle, starting with a revisit to his other famous (literal) shot at said film from his other (actually successful) starring vehicle, 2018’s Deadpool 2, in which his Merc with a Mouth ran some meta-minded errands back in time, notably prioritizing the killing of…well, Ryan Reynolds in order to prevent his attachment to the DC dud. However, while the clip still goes through the motions of showcasing the 2011 film’s origin story of Hal Jordan and his arc of becoming a member of the galactic protectors of the Green Lantern Corps, we are treated to the sidesplitting surprise reveal that, in this particular version, Tom Cruise is Green Lantern, who is later seen with Henry Cavil’s Superman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck’s Batman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg as part of the elite onscreen lineup of Justice League.
We’re not quite sure what Reynolds is trying to say with the clip. Is it another example of his own self-deprecation, imagining a scenario in which Green Lantern had a bankable star with enough gravitas to propel director Martin Campbell’s 2011 comic book movie to successful heights? Or is he simply mocking the most-likely-inevitable oncoming wave of extended cuts that HBO Max’s acquisition of the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League has started? Regardless, it bears the kind of twisted cheekiness that’s befitting of Reynolds’ currently-sidelined onscreen run with the Disney-acquired Fox-Marvel franchise, Deadpool.
Pertinent to that franchise, the status of Reynolds’ red-suited return in Deadpool 3 is still in stasis, with no apparent plans from Disney set as of yet. However, with that franchise being an R-rated outlier for the comic book movie genre, Marvel Studios, specifically head Kevin Feige, is likely taking the appropriate amount of time—especially in the COVID era—to meticulously plan out how Reynolds’ Deadpool can be effectively integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For now, though, Reynolds’ next big screen appearance will see him starring in the concept-driven video game comedy, Free Guy, which is currently scheduled to hit theaters on December 11, although that date is obviously tenuous, given the state of the health crisis.