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Casting Green Lantern: 3 Choices to Play John Stewart

Written by Brian Miller

Away from the safety of comic books, Green Lantern has had a shaky entry into the realms of movies and TV to say the least. The 2011 Ryan Reynolds-lead film left fans of the comics disappointed. The funny thing was, many who had only watched the Justice League show had wondered why Reynolds’ character was not black. Despite this, the real point of bringing a successful black hero like Green Lantern John Stewart got me thinking on who would portray him on the big screen.

First, we have to think about the character. This is a former marine who during his time in both the military and the Green Lantern Corps is a man with a chip who will do what he needs to to get the job done.  A veteran who has at times wallowed in regret, the tough exterior of Stewart hides a far more complex character than he lets on. So now that we have this in mind, I’m going to take you through a few choices I had in mind for John when he makes the jump to the DC Cinematic Universe.

3. Omar Epps

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Omar has spent the past few decades all over in terms of his choice of roles. Whether a gangster, basketball star, or a doctor on two different shows, Epps has shown his ability to be convincing and engaging no matter the part. He’s more than capable of providing both serious and tense moments, as well as lightening the mood if it calls for it, much like John Stewart would do on Justice League with the Flash. Omar’s wit and experience make him a fine candidate to wear the ring.

2. Michael Ealy

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Full disclosure, I have not seen Michael Ealy in many films or TV. What caught my eye was the trailer for the film The Perfect Guy. When I saw his natural good looks and charm, I cast him off as a typical pretty boy, but the intensity he showed in the trailer really got me thinking about his potential. At 42 years old, Ealy certainly can look like a war weary veteran; couple that with his natural charm and ability to put a real chip on his shoulder for a part, and Ealy starts to form a good picture of John Stewart from the comics.

1. Idris Elba

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You knew this was going to be here. You were thinking of it the second you read the title of the article. Even if you didn’t know his name, you thought of “that guy from Pacific Rim” or any of the other powerhouse performances Elba has done. I know he’s already in a deal with Marvel. I don’t care. He is the embodiment of John Stewart. He has shown us every facet of John’s character in one performance or the other. Whether it was his badass military man in Pacific Rim, his dry witted criminal in RocknRolla, or the regret raddled detective on the hit BBC show Luther, Elba’s range and presence on screen would make for a truly unforgettable Green Lantern film, for all the right reasons this time.

So what do you think of my picks? If not John Stewart, which Lantern should hit the big (or small) screen next? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Brian Miller

Brian is an aspiring writer and filmmaker. Graduating with a film degree from James Madison University, Brian has been honing his skills in both writing and film production. His focus in pop culture centers around film and television, though comics have always held a special place in his heart since childhood. Brian's passion for superheroes led him here, where he hopes to make an impact with his work.