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What’s going on with Green Lantern in the DCU?

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No, he’s not in Justice League

Cartoon Network/DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. Animation

The Justice League is coming together, but one instrumental character is nowhere to be seen, which leads us to wonder: Where’s Green Lantern?

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Justice League.]

Warner Bros. isn’t trying to ignore that Green Lanterns exist. One pivotal scene in Justice League finds Steppenwolf, in control of the three Mother Boxes that allow him enough power to enslave all of Earth, fighting against four different armies trying to stop him: Amazonians, Atlantians, humans and Green Lanterns. Putting all of their strengths together and creating an unstoppable team, they manage to defeat Steppenwolf and take back the Mother Boxes, hiding them around the world to prevent it from happening again.

Despite the inclusion of Green Lanterns, there’s no mention of Hal Jordan, John Stewart or any of the Green Lantern heroes we know from comic books. The most famous Green Lantern — played famously on screen by Ryan Reynolds in 2011 — doesn’t appear on screen — or, at least, he doesn’t appear in the main movie.

DC Comics and Warner Bros.’ opening banner features numerous members of the Justice League, including Green Lantern. It’s obvious that he’s a part of the DC Universe in some form, it’s just not clear what that form is.

Here’s what we do know: Warner Bros. is working on a stand-alone Green Lantern Corps movie. The studio made the announcement during its Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con in 2015. A report from Deadline earlier this year indicated that David Goyer (Man of Steel) was set to write the script. Although there’s no director attached to the project formally, Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is rumored to be interested in the project.

We also know there are rumors speculating an older Hal Jordan and a younger John Stewart will both star in the movie, meaning we’ll see two iterations of Green Lantern. None of that has been confirmed.

Green Lantern Corps is set to be released in July 2020, but that’s about all we know for certain. The Green Lantern stand-alone movie is three years away, but that doesn’t explain why the hero wasn’t in Justice League. Batman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg’s stand-alone movies are also set to be released within the next two years, but they were all included in Justice League.

That brings us to a very important aspect of moviemaking: casting. We don’t know who will play Green Lantern, but a report from The Wrap suggested actors like Tom Cruise, Bradley Cooper, Armie Hammer, Joel McHale, Jake Gyllenhaal and even Ryan Reynolds were being floated. It’s hard to include a superhero in Justice League if there’s no actor attached to the role.

Still, the inclusion of Green Lanterns from Justice League and the upcoming stand-alone movie should put any worries to bed that Green Lantern won’t be a part of the Justice League franchise going forward.

Justice League will be released on Nov. 17.