The buzz that Tom Cruise might be the Top Gun choice to play Hal Jordan in Warner Brothers’ ‘Green Lantern Corps’ movie, followed by the reveal that apparently, Mark Wahlberg had been selected to play the same role in ‘Batman V Superman’ got me thinking. Neither seems right. Cruise proved that with ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ he still has the physical ability to star in an action role, but it’s hard to look at him and not see TOM CRUISE. And while he still has the dexterity for a physical role, he is 56 years old. He broke his ankle making ‘M:I-F’ and if he were to sign on for a comic book role, he’d be locked in for probably ten more years worth of movies. Is he in THAT great shape?
And Wahlberg is just wrong. He has excelled at action and comedy, so he has that balance right, but has he ever done a movie where his character wasn’t obviously from Boston? Or at least somewhere on the East Coast?
In the Justice League, Hal Jordan’s role has sort of been established as being the laid back West Coast dude. He doesn’t take things as seriously as Batman and Superman, and he can come across as something of a crass frat boy. As a test pilot, he has the swagger of Cruise’s ‘Top Gun’ character, Maverick, which may be why WB is considering him.
But in ‘Green Lantern Corps’, the Hal role is as an experienced senior member, saddled with an untested new partner, John Stewart. This sort of flies in the face of the comics, where ex-Marine Stewart is more even-keel than Jordan. But then again, the movie may turn convention on its head. Maybe newcomer Stewart is more by-the-books, while his mentor is a bit of a goof.
But considering that I don’t think either Cruise nor Wahlberg is right for the part, it got me brainstorming as to who might be. Keeping in mind that ‘Green Lantern Corps’ will include an older Hal Jordan, here’s my list:
10. David Boreanaz
Pro: For starters, Boreanaz provided Hal’s voice in the animated movie ‘Justice League: The New Frontier’. Boreanaz has a smoldering intensity while still being likeable. His most famous role was as Angel, the tortured vampire in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and continues to take on roles that balance toughness with tenderness.
Con: He’s mainly a TV actor.
9. Luke Evans
Pro: While he hasn’t proven to be that funny, Evans is an ace when it comes to action roles (the ‘Fast & Furious’ movies). He also has a tendency to be intense, which would fit an older mentor saddled with a disobedient upstart. He did show the proper cockiness and even a lighter side in ‘Beauty & the Beast’.
Con: Is that enough? He almost always comes off as extremely intense and is often a villain. But maybe this would be the perfect chance to change that perception.
8. Kyle Chandler
Pro: Chandler’s style could fit someone who is laid back and comfortable in his role. He tends to play paternal roles as well (‘Friday Night Lights’, ‘Super 8’), making him a fitting mentor. He reportedly just lost out to playing Cable in ‘Deadpool 2’ which indicates he’s game for playing a superhero. He is starring in the two upcoming ‘Godzilla’ movies which could cement him as an action film lead.
Con: His style might be a little too subtle. While he seems likable, he’s never really been funny, which is something Hal is known for.
7. Karl Urban
Pro: Urban’s hustle game is on point. He doesn’t seem to turn anything down, having starred in two huge franchises, ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Star Trek‘ plus ‘RED’, ‘Riddick’, ‘Dredd‘, ‘Pete’s Dragon’, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and on the TV series ‘Being Human’ and Amazon’s upcoming ‘The Boys‘. He has cemented the fact that he can play older and grumpy, if that’s what ‘GLC’ is going for. He has intensity but tempers it with a sense of humor, which is a must.
Con: Despite the fact that he has been working so steadily over the years, he isn’t a household name and probably isn’t enough to draw ticket buyers. He’s also been hard-to-recognize in some of his roles, like in ‘Ragnarok’.
6. Jason Bateman
Pro: Bateman is an ace playing the appalled straight man in hilarious comedies, most notably on the series ‘Arrested Development’. He’s taken on a darker role in the Netflix series ‘Ozark’, but he’s still very likable. He can be hilarious and intense, which makes him a great fit for Hal.
Con: I don’t think he’s ever done an action role, which makes me wonder if he’d even want to do it.
5. Nathan Fillion
Pro: ‘Firefly’ fans have been banging the drum for Fillion to play Green Lantern for years now, and like Boreanaz, he has voiced Hal in several animated movies and even on ‘Robot Chicken’. Since ‘Green Lantern Corps’ features an older Hal, time may have actually worked in Fillion’s favor as he’s a quite a few years older than he was, when he played Mal Reynolds. His sense of humor, swagger and just a little bit of bad boy edge is the perfect mixture for Hal.
Con: Like Boreanaz, so far, Fillion has almost only worked on TV.
4. Armie Hammer
Pro: Hammer is just. So. Handsome. At 6’5″, he’s absolutely begging to be turned into a comic book hero and he nearly had his shot, having been cast as Batman in George Miller’s ‘Justice League: Mortal’ which was scrapped at the last minute. He also played proto-superhero ‘The Lone Ranger’ but let’s not talk about that. Hammer is engaging, charming and did I mention good looking? Also, he could be reunited with his ‘Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ costar Henry Cavill.
Con: He might be too good looking. It’s almost off-putting. He also might be too young to play an older experienced Green Lantern. Like Chandler, he has never proven to be outright funny.
3. Joel Edgerton
Pro: Edgerton is an under-the-radar great actor. He turns in some amazing performances but hasn’t really been given the chance to reach a wider audience. He tends to play second fiddle to the likes of DiCaprio (‘The Great Gatsby’) and Johnny Depp (‘Black Mass’). When he steps into the central role, it tends to be in low-budget dramas like ‘Warrior’, but the fact that he did ‘Bright’ indicates that he’s not above doing a movie that could be popular, without being too particularly substantive.
Con: Not many negatives to casting Edgerton, but if WB is considering Cruise, they may be looking for a big name, which unfortunately doesn’t describe Edgerton.
2. Timothy Olyphant
Pro: From his first major film role in ‘Scream 2’, Olyphant has balanced darkness with a sometimes goofy sense of humor. He’s no longer that twenty-something heartthrob, which actually helps his case. He’s still young enough that he could handle an action film, but just old enough to take on the senior role to a younger actor.
Con: He’s never been a box office draw, but he is recognizable, even if it’s in the “Oh that’s that guy that was in that thing” kind of way. Once again, though, he tends to mainly work in TV.
1. Bradley Cooper
Pro: Back when the first ‘Green Lantern’ movie was being put together, two names were at the top of fans’ lists as to who should star. One was Ryan Reynolds and the other was Bradley Cooper. Had Cooper starred, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. Reynolds doesn’t appear to have had any sort of creative input on that movie. It is believed that Reynolds was chosen because at that time he was a bigger name. But now? Cooper’s a pretty huge deal. And after playing Rocket Raccoon in the Marvel movies, he has superhero cred.
Con: With his directorial debut, ‘A Star Is Born’ coming up, it looks as though Cooper might be transitioning away from popcorn movies into a more highbrow material. But other than that, there aren’t many downsides.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Any better choices?