In light of the recent Justice League news swirling about, we still have not heard any confirmation on the first inclusion of Green Lantern in the DCEU, not even a hint at who the studio might want to cast in the role. "Unite the Seven" seems to be stuck at six (if that is actually a reference to the roster of the JLA). Early rumors claimed the Emerald Warrior would have a brief cameo at the end of the upcoming film to set up a much larger threat, including the inclusion of the rest of the Corps in future projects.
However, as fans, we know that speculation most likely leads to disappointment, so I wouldn't hold much weight on any rumor until Zack Snyder spills the beans himself on who's going to be the man (or woman) without fear. Instead, let's take a look back at five failed Green Lantern attempts that DC was lucky enough to avoid like the blackest of nights.
1. The 1997 Justice League of America Pilot
Some time before the sensation that was Smallville, and in the wake of Lois and Clark, DC had plans to be bring the Justice League to life on the small screen. Since the lineup was not going to include Batman or Superman, one of the leaders of the team was going to be none other than the Green Lantern. Although, having closer features to '90s comic GL Kyle Rayner, the character was going to be the hard-headed semi-douchey Guy Gardner played by Matthew Settle.
CBS was set to produce with showrunner Larry Rapaport, and funny enough it had early incarnations of Ray Palmer (The Atom), Barry Allen (The Flash), and J'onn J'onzz (Martian Manhunter) among others — but hell, why keep talking about it, let's watch some footage:
Anyway, you get the idea: It was universally cheesy. But, it was slightly groundbreaking with the inclusion of certain DC heroes who called themselves the Justice League 20 years before DC finally decided to produce a movie. And for some reason, the bad dubbing makes it all the more hilarious! Alrighty then, let's move on to the jaw dropper.
2. Jack Black
That's right ladies and gentlemen, ever-so-jolly Jack Black almost starred in his very own Green Lantern film. In 2004, when DC would put just about anything on the big screen, they had hired Robert Smigel to develop a Green Lantern comedy. The concept (with Jack Black in mind) was to have the ring intended for Hal Jordan, but get knocked off course and land on a reality show star. The idea wasn't well received by most fans, and I think Jack Black said it best himself.
Nobody's fault here really, the studio just thought they could repeat the success of something like The Mask with Jim Carrey. Ultimately though, it would have thrown DC more off track to a potentially expanded universe, so cheers to this one not finding its way to the big screen. Whereas this project didn't have that much of a chance of getting produced, the next one seriously almost made it to the big screen.
3. Common In George Miller's Justice League
There are many reasons to have mixed feelings about George Miller's scrapped Justice League project back in 2009, one in particular was the casting of Common as Green Lantern. It was assumed that the movie would be adapted from the animated series, and exist entirely outside of the Nolan Batverse, which was happening all at the same time. More or less, it was a hodgepodge idea thrown together to beat Marvel in the space race of having the first on-screen crossover superhero film (well, sort of). They were hoping the movie would take off and build solo films around it (such as the current BvS effect), and in that case Common (as John Stewart) would have replaced the Ryan Reynolds disaster. Instead, Common has been cast as a different character for DC in Suicide Squad.
Originally thought to be playing a classic Green Lantern villain named the Tattooed Man, Common is reportedly going to play a mobster working with the Joker, named Monster T. It still has not been said if he has the powers to create physical manifestations of his tattoos, but you can imagine he'll still have a substantial role. Maybe he will do well in this new part, but with a meek presence I still can't see him pulling off the role of John Stewart. And speaking of people who probably couldn't pull off the role.
4. Justin Timberlake
Mind you, Justin Timberlake has actually had a few good roles in cinema history, but he is simply known as the industry's likable pretty boy. The former N'Sync pop-star was genuinely a final contender for the role of Hal Jordan in the 2011 film, Green Lantern. The only thing I could see more unfit would be having Justin do the entire soundtrack for the film as well. He plays a fine weaselly sidekick, but most of his starring roles were accompanied by box office struggles. And yet, with as bad as the Green Lantern film was, you always wonder what the other outcomes would have been like.
Supposedly the three finalists were Bradley Cooper, Justin Timberlake, and the winner (depending on how you look at it), Ryan Reynolds. Another rumored actor for the role at the time was Chris Pine, but it appears he will be playing Steve Trevor next summer in Wonder Woman, so no ring for him. But assuming DC is trying to get far away from the 2011 flop, maybe J.T. has another shot at GL. Come on, anything is possible, like this most recent Green Lantern rumor right before the release of Batman v Superman.
5. Dan Amboyer In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
It's a strong possibility that you have not heard of Dan Amboyer, in the event that he hasn't had a starring role in any popular films to date. However rumors started flying when reporters found out Dan Amboyer was playing a test pilot in the Dawn of Justice. Ultimately the role was cut from the theatrical version of the film, but has been said to be put back in the Ultimate Edition (which I still haven't had the chance to watch). It would be tough to say if he fits the role, but much like Hemsworth and Thor, just because they are an unknown, doesn't mean the aren't perfect to play the part.
Regardless, we are still a long way away from finding out if he will have more of a significant role in the extended universe. On top of that, the Green Lantern Corps is going to have a number of other will powered heroes, even possibly the golden age incarnation of the character, Alan Scott, or the two newest members of Rebirth team, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. All we have to do is wait until 2020 (or November next year at the earliest).