I’m already on the record doubting that any version of the Green Lantern shows up in Justice League. But, last night The Big Bang Theory introduced the “Geekstakes” in which a fan can win a trip to the Justice League premiere. The game involves clicking on a wheel which features the symbols of the members of the Justice League, and Reddit quickly glommed onto the inclusion of Green Lantern’s symbol, and began wondering if this means The Big Bang Theory just spoiled the arrival of a Green Lantern in Justice League. While it would be hilarious—and peak 2017—for a sitcom to ruin what would be an incredibly well-kept movie secret via an online game, I remain unconvinced. I just don’t think they could keep the casting of Green Lantern a secret, even for just a cameo.
But there is some evidence Green Lantern might have been included at some stage of development. For one thing, Green Lantern is a marquee member of the Justice League, so it’s natural to assume some version of the character would be in the movie. Then the first image of Aquaman, released way back in February 2015, had the tagline “Unite the Seven” on it, which everyone assumed was the seven members of the Justice League (and not like, the Seven Seas, since he’s the King of the Seven Seas). However, when official posters started rolling out, the tagline had been changed to “Unite the League”. And there were some rumors a few years ago that Warner Brothers/DC was attempting to cast a Green Lantern character, but nothing ever came of it.
Then there are all the internet conspiracies. Besides the poster swap, there is another Reddit rumor that the Justice League soundtrack will include an Imagine Dragons song called “Unite the Seven”. That is based on an alleged song listing from the movie’s IMDB page. Just one problem: That page is blank. There is nothing listed as of this moment right now on the Justice League soundtrack page. While I can fully believe Imagine Dragons will write a terrible song for this movie, we don’t know yet know who is on the soundtrack, or if there even is one, beyond Danny Elfman’s score. And this BBT Reddit spot makes a leap to “secret character” while totally ignoring that Sheldon loves Green Lantern shirts. Maybe Green Lantern’s symbol is on the game because that’s a classic character often referenced in the show.
It’s entirely possible Green Lantern was originally slated for an appearance in Justice League. It’s just as likely he was eventually cut from the roster. We know from the trailers the Lantern Corps will be referenced at least, and I won’t be surprised to see Green Lantern Easter eggs tucked into the movie, teasing excitement for the Lantern movie slated for 2020. But the character himself? In any form? It’s a lot.
The problem with the DC movies has been shoe-horning too much into them, making them bloated and unwieldy as they try to jumpstart their cinematic universe without earning any of it. Cutting Green Lantern from Justice League would actually be a sensible decision, streamlining the movie and saving the work of rebooting the character for another time, when the narrative ground is a little firmer. And, again, given the attention on comic book movies in general and this movie in particular, how would they ever keep the casting quiet? So which is more likely? That Warners has managed to keep a secret this big, for this long, with this much scrutiny, or that they had planned on Green Lantern being in the movie, only to ultimately cut his appearance and save it for another day?
Attached - Ben Affleck leaving a recovery meeting in LA yesterday.