DC Just Managed to Save One Justice League Hero from HBO Max Cuts
The sudden axing of Batgirl has raised many questions about the future of DC Comics adaptations at HBO Max. But according to insiders, Green Lantern and several others have excaped the executioner's sight.
For many observers, the sudden shelving of the nearly-completed Batgirl movie was the harbinger of a crisis at HBO Max. With the long-running Arrowverse coming to an end as The Flash completes its ninth and final season, that film seemed like a pariah, a sign that some shows will live, some shows will die, and nothing will be the same. But early reports indicate that most current series and some in production are still going forward.
Chief among these is Green Lantern, the ambitious show about three generations of space cops. Created by Arrowverse architects Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim and The Lego Batman Movie writer Seth Grahame-Smith, Green Lantern demanded a budget to rival those of HBO’s prestige programs, such as Game of Thrones. With such high costs, Green Lantern seemed exactly like the type of show new Warner Brothers CEO David Zaslav wants to eliminate as he works to reset DC properties and better compete with the MCU.
But according to anonymous insiders who spoke to TVLine, Green Lantern remains “very much alive” and “definitely moving forward.” The series will operate almost as an anthology, focusing on three different heroes in three different timelines. Finn Whitrock has been cast as Guy Gardner, the macho GL of modern times. Best known for his signature bowl-cut and getting knocked out by Batman with one punch, Gardner is a fan-favorite who also received attention in the underrated Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
While we can probably expect straightforward superhero action from Gardner’s stories, the other two offer quite a bit more mystery and possibility. Producers have not yet cast for Bree Jarta, a new character created for the show. As of now, we only know that Jarta will be half-human and half-alien, with no indication of which alien race will be involved. However, given the shared name with UMaraal Jarta, an established minor character from the planet Korugar — home planet of primary GL villain Sinestro — we can make an educated guess.
Of the three, the most compelling may be Alan Scott, played by Jeremy Irvine. Created by Martin Nodell and Bill Finger and introduced in 1940’s All-American Comics #16, Alan Scott was the first character to use the name Green Lantern. But unlike most Green Lantern characters, who are members of an intergalactic police force overseen by the Guardians of the Universe, Nodell based Scott on the myth of Aladdin. With a magical wishing ring powered by a green lamp, Scott had nothing to do with the rest of the corps, and none of the attempts to retcon a connection have stuck.
While TVLine‘s insider remains confident that Green Lantern will make it to screens, the same cannot be said for Strange Adventures, a series featuring fellow space-faring hero Adam Strange. Production on Strange Adventures has stopped, but several other DC series survive, including hits such as Peacemaker, Harley Quinn, Titans, and Doom Patrol. All of these have been renewed for a new season and remain in production. Perhaps most surprisingly, Pennyworth, which chronicles the early adventures of Bruce Wayne’s devoted butler Alfred, not only gets another season but has been moved from Epix to HBO Max for a stronger push.
In short, what appeared to be the darkest night for DC shows on HBO may yet reveal itself to be brightest day.