Rumor: Denzel Washington is Going to Play Green Lantern John Stewart

on December 28, 2013

There’s some very interesting news to report, John Stewart fans. Rumor has it that Denzel Washington will be playing John Stewart in the upcoming Man of Steel film. Bleeding Cool has the full scoop here.

Denzel was supposedly a candidate to play Lex Luthor. I also heard Idris Elba might take that role. When I heard that news, I thought that perhaps the role that was being cast wasn’t for Lex, but maybe it was for Green Lantern John Stewart. I even debated updating this site with the news, but I opted not to because I had absolutely nothing to substantiate that. However, it seems like I may have been on to something!

I have mixed feelings about this. I really like Denzel Washington as an actor, and would absolutely love to see John Stewart on the big screen, but I feel the 59 year-old Denzel Washington is simply way too old for the role. I know he still has it in him to play action oriented roles, but I wouldn’t want to see John Stewart pushing 60 when the actor cast for Superman is a mere 30 years-old. Heck, regardless of Henry Cavill, I don’t want to see a 60 year-old John Stewart!

I’m still hoping Idris Elba takes the role, and it’s reassuring to me that he was in the running to play “Lex.” If you haven’t heard, Elba has stated more than once that he wants to play his own super hero, and has specifically expressed interest in playing Green Lantern, which was met with many a fangasm across cyberspace (you can learn more about that in this article here).

Let’s keep our fingers crossed, JS fans. I think we’ve got a really good chance at seeing our favorite Green Lantern on the silver screen.

Oa, by the way

Speaking of casting for John Stewart, it’s been kind of a dream of mine to see Selwyn Ward play the character. For those who don’t know, Selwyn Ward plays Theodore Jay Jarvis Johnson (shortened to T.J.) on Power Rangers Turbo and Power Rangers in Space. He’s quite a milestone in the Power Rangers franchise for being the first non-White leader of the Power Rangers, and I’ve been a huge fan of his since I was a small child.

Now, I know casting Ward probably wouldn’t realistically be the best course of action, and I would actually much prefer Idris Elba, but my inner geeky fan also loves the idea of seeing two of my favorite characters, T.J. and John Stewart, in one. Selwyn does already have experience playing a space faring Black man in a colorful costume, so he has that going for him… right?

You can enjoy some of the delightful cheesiness of Power Rangers in the video below, which showcases the very first scene T.J. has. He meets Cassie, the future Pink Ranger (played by Patricia Ja Lee), while on his way to the famed Angel Grove. I was right there in front of the T.V. spending the afternoon with Fox Kids when this originally aired, and I have loved both these characters ever since.

Here is Selwyn some 13 or so years after, giving a legendary interview with Black Nerd. As you can see, he’s aged quite gracefully!

13 responses to “Rumor: Denzel Washington is Going to Play Green Lantern John Stewart”

  1. Hudson FAber says:

    Yeah, I was worried that they were trying for a black Lex instead of John Stewart, but this rumor raises my hopes that we see John on screen.

    I believe Bruce Timm said he based his interpretation of John on Samuel Jackson and Denzel Washington,which makes a lot of sense when you watch JLU.

    But I agree with you that Denzel is too old for the role. My top choices are:

    Idris Elba (41)
    Boris Kodjoe (40)
    Mehcad Brooks (33)
    Lance Gross (32)
    Chadwick Boseman (31)
    Charles Michael Davis (29)

    But I’m sure there are plenty of actors out there who could pull it off.

    • Desh says:

      Yeah. I don’t want to get cocky, but my hopes are even higher that John will be the cinematic Green Lantern, too. If so, then the character will finally get the due he deserves; respectable treatment and recognition in both comics and other media (assuming his role isn’t butchered somehow, which I doubt it would be). I’ve also noticed that this rumor hasn’t raised any controversy regarding using John Stewart as Green Lantern. Most posters I’ve seen are cool with the idea. The only complaints I’ve seen are about how some feel too many heroes are ‘invading’ Superman’s movie (which, honestly, I can kind of understand). If Green Lantern is just given a short cameo at the end, or something of that nature, that will be good enough for me for now.

      • Hudson FAber says:

        Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths was originally called Justice League: Worlds Collide. It was going to star John as Green Lantern and going to bridge Bruce Timm’s Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

        For some reason, they ended up swapping Hal for John, which hurt the film IMO.

        But I wouldn’t mind turning this into a trade, by adapting Justice League: The New Frontier into a modern day, live action film with John swapped in for Hal. Then things wouldn’t feel rushed at all–as you can see by reading the New Frontier story. The director and studio just need a small time skip from MoS to get some time for other ehroes to emerge. It’s not hard to pull off on a conceptual level.

    • Petunia says:

      I agree! Boris Kodjoe will make a great John Stewart Green Lantern.

  2. Hudson FAber says:

    Best comment in the BleedingCool thread:

    “It is telling, I think, that when Ryan Renolds got the part of Green Lantern, many people said ‘why is he white?’

    Thanks to Phil Lemars wonderful turn as John Steward in the Justice League show, that most people think that he’s the original!”

  3. Aktivizz X says:

    This is kind of a mixed bag for me. I for one am dying to see GL John Stewart on the big screen as soon as possible but Denzel……… maybe about 10-15 years ago. He would have been GREAT as John 15 years ago but not right now. I would prefer Idris Elba or another good Black actor to portray John Stewart.

    Side note I believe that people might be jumping the gun with this casting. I’m sure that Denzel will portray a character named “John” but it might not be Stewart. He will probably be introduced as someone named John then at the end or in a post credits scene he will be revealed to be the Martian Manhunter. Again this is just my guesstimate.

    • Desh says:

      If Denzel is cast as John Stewart, then I’d be worried about the character dying and his ring going to Kyle Rayner or someone, which is something that I do not want to see. Spinning off a superhero film franchise with a 60 year-old man is totally stupid. The only way it would work is if that character somehow passed on the legacy to another character. If an old John Stewart appears as primarily a stepping stool for a younger protagonist, I’ll be quite disappointed.

      I don’t think any of this is happening, and I don’t think Denzel Washington will be John Stewart. I am hoping there is at least some truth to this rumor and that WB is casting for John Stewart, maybe even intentionally getting the rumor out to see how fans react and to keep buzz going on.

  4. Hudson FAber says:

    Either the Rock has been asked to play John Stewart, or he likes to fan rumor flames.

    It’s possible Denzel could be playing Silas Stone.

  5. GL Fanboy! says:

    Hi Desh! I’ve been following your site for a while and I’ve been wondering about your thoughts on Kyle Rayner. He’s my favorite DC character so it would be interesting to hear your opinion. 🙂

    • Desh says:


      Thanks for following the site. About Kyle Rayner… I think when he was written by Ron Marz in Green Lantern and Grant Morrison in JLA he had some really good and interesting stories. I’m especially fond of the issues building up to Green Lantern (vol. 3) #100 – around the time of the “Future Shock” storyline. I thought that was really cool, and a highlight for the Green Lantern franchise. I think the unfortunate thing about Kyle Rayner is that, other than the two writers mentioned, I don’t think any others have really gotten the character good. And even, Marz has had some bad times, namely the Ion: Guardian of the Universe maxi-series. Although, the current New Guardians writer, Justin Jordan, shows a lot of promise with the character. But there’s an issue to that.

      I think that while Kyle Rayner as the White Lantern has gotten closer to his roots (when the character was at his best), being set apart from the Green Lantern Corps, and a special torchbearer type character, he’s also gotten farther from them, in that a lot of what made the character work best isn’t there anymore, and by that, I primarily mean setting. I believe the hardcore space sci-fi approach Justin Jordan is doing is cool, but at the same time, I think many fans yearn for something a bit closer to the old days with him living in New York. But, the idea of him doing that as the White Lantern is kinda’ silly.

      So, in a nutshell, I think that when the character was in his early days, he was pretty interesting and cool, even though I think the idea of his coming about is really controversial. I do really love Hal Jordan as Parallax, though! He looked cool, and was all around way awesome! I think Kyle’s tenure as the only GL went on too long, and the stories started to get dull, due both in part to the concept just naturally running dry and the writers not being that inspired.

      Thanks a lot for reading the site!

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