While the DC Entertainment movies slate is constantly being juggled in the aftermath of Justice League, Suicide Squad and other films, the fate of the cinematic universe beyond this year’s Aquaman and next year’s Wonder Woman seems to be greatly uncertain. It is well known that Flashpoint will be a refresh button for the DCEU, letting Ben Affleck’s Batman to exit with grace, and also paving the path for other changes. However, none of that is confirmed.
Warner Bros. habit of taking risks is also akin to an open question; various Joker and Harley Quinn movies have been talked about, however, they all remain doubtful. There is enough reason for hope though because the Nightwing film announced last year is likely to enter production soon, indicating that the producers are aiming at solo heroes beyond the iconic DC characters. For this era of DC heroes on the big screen, there is another option which might strike a stronger chord with the audiences, a character which has for long been a comic book favorite, however, has been mostly overlooked in the pop culture until now.
That’s none other than Guy Gardner. The Green Lantern Corps film scheduled to release in 2020 will be the ideal time for him to debut on the big screen.
Why Not Hal Jordan
Why Guy Gardner and why, not the better-known Lanterns such as Hal Jordan and John Stewart? Everyone has so much to recommend him, however, in the end, the rebellious Guy Gardner is the best bet to bring home the galactic cops into the modern life.
Hal is iconic, probably the most renowned Green Lantern, and the obvious choice to feature in a film based on the Green Lantern Corps, just as we saw in 2011, a character played by Ryan Reynolds. However, Hal’s problem is that he’s a cipher. Before he got the ring, he used to be a test pilot, which is quite a heroic job, and Abin Sur, chose Hal in particular because he is “entirely without fear.” That’s quite an inspiration, and not a bad thing at all, we are supposed to idolize Hal, because we all want to be like him.
However, that’s not sufficient to keep viewers interested in him for more than two hours, especially taking into account the fact that for some reason writers for the comic books and the movie versions haven’t yet managed to showcase a humble humanity trait of Hal. His relationship with Carol Ferris was not as appealing as the one between Clark and Lois or Barry and Iris or Wally and Linda etc. Moreover, he has almost never been on the blue planet, which sets him back. Hal is a legend, and such a character can be a part of any Green Lantern film, but, not as the core of the movie.
DC is presently running a comic series called Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, starring John Stewart. The underlying message is: Hal is not good enough to lead another film.
Why Not John Stewart
Frankly, John Stewart might be worthy of a Green Lantern film based on him. John is also extremely popular, courtesy his appearance in the Justice League cartoon. His backstory is fantastic, and that could be utilized for the movie, and as an expert military brain and an architect, there is a great scope for a particular angle of the superhero genre.
But, John also has some issues to feature as the lead star of the movie. To begin with, John is the leader, which compels him to follow some rules and regulations. He has to report to the Guardians (in a way), and it might lead to conflict, however, generally the best play comes from guys who are more rebellious. Take Guy for example! John has to think about the big picture, and he has to be central to all the Corps missions, which doesn’t make him the best option.
Also if we put focus on John’s military prowess, as is the case with the comics for the last 15-20 years, then the film might turn out to be another action movie like the scores of movies we have already seen. While there is no problem with the military background heroes, and they can be a part of great stories, however, when it comes to trying something out of the box, we should go for it. The Green Lantern Corps is already a military force, thus, depicting a hero from such a background wouldn’t be as fascinating as featuring someone who is not.
If you want to focus on his architect side, then we will back it; as long as the film is called Green Lantern: Towers.
Why Guy Gardner
There are a lot of reasons why we should not expect a Guy Gardner Green Lantern film. He is not as famous among the non-comics fans compared to Hal or John, probably even not as much as Kyle Rayner. He doesn’t represent the scope that John provides of featuring a leading African American superhero into the DCEU world. He has a terrible haircut.
However, what works for Guy is a superbly developed, classy origin story which might bring forward a very different superhero film. He has been a teacher and a cop. He has even run a superheroes bar! There is ample scope in that itself. Guy also has a rowdy, stubborn attitude and a tough posture which he softens only for the select few close to him, such as is girlfriend Ice. He belongs to a hostile background, but, he doesn’t mention that. He is more rounded off as a character compared to Hal and has a funny side too. He is tough and caring for his friends in ways he doesn’t even express.
Above all, he considers himself to be totally American.
That’s where the most fascinating story scope is available in this highly divided era. While we might be as liberal as any, Guy is certainly a Trump faction guy and a favorite character. We won’t say that he is a Trump voter because he is a blue collar guy, but, considering his attitude and his actions of his initial days with the ring, it is evident that he echoes with Trump’s words. However, the case with Guy is that, despite holding a lot of tough-guy theories, he won’t hesitate to stand against such theories if that happens to be the right thing to do at a given time, and he won’t even mind the difference because he doesn’t believe in differences. His faith is in justice, and he believes in standing up for people and doing what he thinks is right. That’s his core and means more to him than anything else.
Therefore, Guy comes up with a very unique scope for a DCEU film. He is an action hero like John McClane, with a strong background and a moral fabric that dominates his apparently rude, stubborn outward appearance. He is a guy who will be backed by people irrespective of their origin, and he offers a united vision without delivering a “message.” It has to be done with great skill, and it might even be against the grain of Warner Bros. thoughts for a Green Lantern movie. Still, it is obvious that a great deal of people would complain, but, that’s going to happen no matter which way you make a Green Lantern Corps film. However, we believe that among the given options, the best one is the one that has the maximum intrigue. Risks might not pay always, but, in this era of superhero films, playing safe almost always fails.
Guy Gardner’s story is the story of the underdog emerging victorious, of a guy prevailing despite his background, even when he stays loyal to his roots. It is the saga of a man who is rough and obnoxious, but, also kind and compassionate in ways that make a difference. He has terrible ideas, but, righteous efforts. To sum it up, Guy Gardner is DCEU’s best shot at creating a truly remarkable Green Lantern Corps film.