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Idris Elba Wants to Play Green Lantern John Stewart in Future Movies


on November 23, 2013

Idris

If you’ve kept up with any buzz concerning future prospects for Green Lantern on the big screen, then there are a couple things you may be aware of. One, John Stewart is the popular choice for which Green Lantern fans want to see in new films, as was brought out near the bottom of this article. And two, the pick the majority of fans want to see for John Stewart is Idris Elba.

Idris Elba has finally come out and addressed the issue, by saying he’s interested in playing Green Lantern, which has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response. More found on that here.

I think that’s great! Dissenters of having John Stewart appear in film have brought out that unless a big name Black actor is waiting to play the role, they don’t think a John Stewart film is viable… I guess because John is Black and White people wouldn’t want to see a movie with him, or something like that, which is complete hogwash and something I’ll address in more detail in a bit.

But, there you have it! Idris Elba, a very well acclaimed and respected Black actor, who fans all over the internet are dying to see as John Stewart, has specifically said he likes the idea of playing the Emerald Crusader.

I’ve been a fan of Idris Elba ever since I saw him in Obsessed, which features Ali Larter playing a fanatical woman who continually throws herself at him. I later saw him in Pacific Rim, a completely different type of movie, in which he plays Marshal Stacker Pentacost, a military commander. Idris Elba is a brilliant and very well rounded actor, who’s been acclaimed for every role he’s played, and I’m positive he’d do the character John Stewart justice.

However, Grace Randolph, host of the popular internet show, Beyond the Trailer, has put out the idea of using Chadwick Boseman to play John Stewart.

Idris

What I like about this option is it would present John Stewart as a younger character. In Pacific Rim, Elba’s character is a mentor type. I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a “Magical Negro,” but he fits the role of an “Obi-Wan,” right down to his noble death.

That’s not what I want to see from John Stewart in a Green Lantern or Justice League movie. I would like to see John in an attractive leading man role. I’m positive Elba, who has also expressed interest in playing James Bond, can pull that off successfully, but I wouldn’t want him appearing as some kind of mentor beyond his prime, as he is in Pacific Rim.

As for other things I’d like to see, I’d like the movies to establish John Stewart as the Green Lantern, like Bruce Timm’s DC Animated Universe did, which means no buddy cop films featuring Hal Jordan or some other character as a co-star. I’d prefer if the cinematic universe did not make things convoluted by having an overabundance of characters called “Green Lantern” flying around. I’d love to see the aliens, but over-saturating the cinematic universe with Earthling Green Lanterns is a bad idea.

Idris

John Stewart deserves the attention. Have faith in the character and give him a shot, WB! Let him grow and develop on his own. Not in the shadow of some other character. Hal Jordan got a movie all to himself, why should John have to share the spotlight or title of Green Lantern with the lead character from a movie audiences rejected?

I’ve seen some Hal Jordan fans say they’re fine with John appearing, but that Hal Jordan should be introduced first with his own film. I don’t really care what the comic books say (and neither does the audience or the Justice League cartoons), I think that is a terrible idea. WB already sunk a fortune into Hal Jordan and lost all of it. Frankly, the character hasn’t earned the right to another movie, and I don’t think audiences need to be reminded of the last Green Lantern film. Besides, with that set up, it sounds like a sure way for John to be relegated to ‘Black sidekick,’ kind of like War Machine. At the very best, he’d be a ‘buddy.’ It would near completely eliminate any shot at John having a strong, attractive leading role, which is what fans want to see, as they’ve made clear.

I would like to see WB (and DC) give as much attention and care to John as they would one of their most precious leading White characters. Which means I don’t want to see him as a teammate, a sidekick, a buddy, or a supporting character. People want to see this character as THE DUDE! One reason I appreciate the Justice League cartoon so much is because John Stewart is presented on more or less equal footing with characters like Batman and Superman. That’s what we want to see!

What WB needs to realize if they haven’t already, is that, despite the best efforts of the Geoff Johns spearheaded campaign to secure Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, a lot of people see John Stewart as the Green Lantern. There is absolutely no reason why John Stewart should be lingering in Hal Jordan’s shadow, especially after large audiences rejected Hal Jordan and embraced John Stewart.

As of now, it’s going on 2014, and the President of the United States, put there by a country that’s primarily made up of White people, is Black. So, that can happen, but a strong Black lead in a super hero film is a preposterous notion? I’m not naive enough to think racism is dead and gone, but I have more faith in the audience than that, and I’m confident it would do much better than the Hal Jordan movie, with its White lead character.

WB and DC have a chance to capitalize on something that hasn’t been done by any of the recent string of Marvel movies, and that is present a strong Black character who stands on his own with a powerful and storied title – The Green Lantern.

Droves of people have expressed interest in wanting to see it, and an acclaimed, respected actor has expressed interest in playing the role, and who adamantly wants his own super hero film. The ball is in WB’s court. Will common sense prevail? Only time will tell, but we can take assurance in the fact that John Stewart’s role in comics has greatly improved within the past five months, so it seems DC and WB might be finally coming around. It’s a shame that it takes them having to lose 100 million dollars and suffer intense back lash when they try to kill their most popular Black superhero for that to happen… but better late than never, I suppose.

Above Idris Elba/Green Lantern John Stewart fan art by John Catalano.