Unfortunately we have to deliver the news that shelving of Batgirl is not the end of the DC media related carnage coming out of Warner Bros. Discovery. Thanks to our trusted and proven source, we can confirm that the upcoming live-action Green Lantern HBO Max series has been cancelled. The show was still in the development stages, with only a couple of actors publicly attached to lead roles, and sadly it looks like it won’t go any further than that.
The cancellation of the Green Lantern HBO Max series had already been rumored, by industry leaker Greatphase among others. However, thanks to our our source, we can exclusively confirm the show won’t see its Brightest Day. Greg Berlanti first announced the series in 2019, adding that rather than the 2011 flop which focused on Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, the series would more prominently feature the Green Lantern Corps — the intergalactic group of heroes of which Jordan was a part.
Back in June, Jeremy Irvine — who was cast as Alan Scott in the Green Lantern HBO Max series last June — spoke with Screen Rant about the now-cancelled series and some of his words may shed light on the reasons behind the cancellation. He told the site he was “very excited” to make the show, but cautioned “it’s been a project that’s been around for some time. As far as I know, there’s no start date, but when I get the call, I will pop on my green tights and be there.” Irvine added, “I think it’s a very difficult time at the moment to get any project off the ground and I know they want to do that project in a very large scale… I hope it all comes together at some point. But these things, unfortunately, take a long time and they take a lot of different aspects to all line up.”
Everything Irvine told Screen Rant about the Green Lantern HBO Max series sounds like it would be a natural selection for Warner Bros. Discovery to put on the chopping block. Reports have surfaced in the wake of Batgirl‘s cancellation that shelving the movie was a cost-cutting measure. Likewise CEO David Zaslav doesn’t want HBO Max to produce as much original streaming content. Put those two things together, add a streaming series with a “very large scale” whose CGI and practical effects requirements are likely to demand a serious budget akin to a Disney+ Marvel or Star Wars original, and you’ve got a project that Zaslav seems born to burn to the ground.
Last April came the news that Finn Wittrock (American Horror Story) had been cast as one of the biggest jerks (but still a good guy) in the Corps, Guy Gardner. Irvine’s casting as Scott followed a month later. The fact that Scott would be in Green Lantern HBO Max series at all was noteworthy for a couple of reasons. Alan Scott became one of the few DC superheroes to come out as gay in 2012. He would also be a surprising addition to the now cancelled series because while he shares the same codename, in the source material Scott isn’t the same kind of Green Lantern as the Corps members. The rings commanded by Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and others have cosmic-based powers, while Scott”s ring is mystical in origin.
The early death of the Green Lantern HBO Max series marks one more failed attempt to bring the property to live-action in a way that hits the mark. Along with the failure of the 2011 movie, an alien Green Lantern made a memorable appearance in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, there was David Ramsey’s all-too brief flirtation with the franchise in The CW’s Arrowverse, Alan Scott’s faceless death in the premiere episode of Stargirl, and of course the better-off-dead Jack Black movie. It seems like it will take a while longer for Green Lantern to escape its Blackest Night.