Why the next Green Lantern shouldn't be Hal Jordan

Rumor has it that Chris Pine (Star Trek, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) could be announced as the new Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. That gives Zack Snyder plenty of time to squeeze him into Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice before its March 2016 release, effectively laying the complete groundwork for Justice League in November 2017. With Ben Affleck's Batman, Henry Cavill's Superman, Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa's Aquaman, Ray Fisher's Cyborg and presumably Ezra Miller's Flash, what's one more cameo to fill out the team? That said, could Warner Bros. have gone with a less inspired, middle of the road choice than using Hal Jordan again? He had his shot. Now, it should be John Stewart's turn.

Hal Jordan Already Crashed A Justice League Movie Before It Even Started

Ryan Reynolds' turn as Hal Jordan in 2011's Green Lantern was so disastrous, it's the sole reason audiences won't see a Justice League movie until six months before Marvel puts out its third Avengers flick. To put it another way, putting Batman and Superman in a movie together is guaranteed to print money, but Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern was rejected so demonstrably by audiences that Warner Bros. was terrified to pull the trigger on putting its two flagship characters together until after Marvel's 12th movie. About Ant-Man. That's how badly Hal Jordan messed things up.

John Stewart Is Green Lantern In The Fan-Favorite Version Of Justice League

The animated Justice League series, expertly helmed by Bruce Timm, was a popular, critical success. To younger generations, it's the definitive version of the Justice League. The Green Lantern on its roster? John Stewart. It's over eighty episodes of proof that someone besides Hal Jordan can wield a power ring on DC Universe's premier superhero team and audiences will eat it up.

Marvel Chickened Out On Miles Morales

With the casting of Tom Holland as the third cinematic Spider-Man, Marvel went the safe, boring route of sticking with Peter Parker despite giving him five movies across two franchises that eventually crashed and burned. If it wanted to be bold and take a risk, Marvel could've gone with Miles Morales, the black, Latino Spider-Man from its Ultimate Universe who has made his way to being the flagship version of the character in the Marvel Universe proper. Instead, Marvel stuck with an outdated mandate that Spidey on film must always be a straight, white male. This was DC's opening to stand out by putting an African-American Green Lantern on its roster with John Stewart. That'd be a welcome addition on a team anchored by Batman and Superman, two white, prominent superheroes. Their risk was far more minimal than Marvel's, and yet DC got cold feet.

The Comics World Is Moving Full Steam Ahead On Diversity

If you visit any comic store in America today, you'll see a black Captain America, a female Thor, Miles Morales as Spider-Man, a team of Robins comprised of a diverse group of street kids, a female Wolverine, and John Stewart headlining his own Green Lantern comic. The fanbase that will pay to see these movies in droves is open to diversity, and possibly even hungry for it. Not only is reflecting a more diverse world the right thing to do, but it's not as big as a risk as you'd think it is.

Denzel Washington Would Kill It

At one point, rumors were floating around that Denzel Washington might play John Stewart in the DC Cinematic Universe. Who wouldn't want to see Denzel play a grizzled, old space cop who has to deal with Superman and Batman constantly bickering at each other? Think Man On Fire, but instead of a gun, Denzel hits people in the face with a magic space ring. Why would you pass that up for Captain Kirk playing a part that set plans for a Justice League movie back over half a decade?