When you’re James Gunn & Peter Safran, the new co-heads of Warner Bros. Discovery’s DC Studios who are charged with breathing cohesive life into the DCU, we can only imagine that you’re never lacking in folks looking to offer you all sorts of “advice” on that “one thing” that will turn everything around. Other times, you have folks taking a scalpel to every word you say or thing that you post, attempting to read the tea leaves to divine some kind of hidden scoop about the DCU. Except that a ton of those times, that “scoop” is nothing more than either a misread by some folks or not keeping up on current pop culture news. A perfect example of that came our way on Thanksgiving after Gunn kindly posted a DC Comics image to everyone in honor of the holiday.
In response, someone claimed (we’re hoping jokingly) that the lack of Green Lantern in the image meant that Gunn & Safran had “no intention” of integrating the character into their vision of the DCU (expected within the next few months) and that this was a “scoop.” Gunn responded, “Probably not a good scoop! Happy Thanksgiving!” which was then taken to be a form of a “scoop” since it appeared to affirm that the character would join the DCU. Again, it’s tough to tell if this was a legit exchange or something more in the “wink-wink, nudge-nudge.” category. If it is, you can stop reading. But if it’s not, then I have to ask how something can be a “scoop” when it was announced in October 2019 and has still been in active discussions as a WBD “tentpole” moving forward over the past three months. Just to be clear? Gunn and Safran pretty much have the power to go “clean slate” if they want to once their plans are unveiled, so the series could always end up making the cut, but here’s the timeline on Green Lantern recently that still has the series (and the character) in the DCU:
August 2022: HBO & HBO Max CCO Casey Bloys sends out an email that lays out the changes that will be taking place on the executive levels moving forward. While describing HBO Max Head of Original Content Sarah Aubrey, Bloys says they will be working with Joey Chavez, EVP Programming, to build up “tentpole IP series such as ‘Peacemaker,’ ‘Dune,’ ‘The Penguin,’ and ‘Green Lantern.'” Those series would include James Gunn‘s John Cena-starring Peacemaker; the upcoming “Dune” prequel series, Dune: The Sisterhood; Matt Reeves‘ Colin Farrell-starring “The Batman” spinoff, The Penguin; and Greg Berlanti‘s Finn Wittrock-starring Green Lantern. You can check out Bloys’s email in full here).
October 2022: Though Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO Max remain committed to Greg Berlanti and his Warner Bros. TV-based Berlanti Productions’ take on a Green Lantern series, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the series was going through a ground-up refocusing that saw writer & showrunner Seth Grahame-Smith departing the project after having completed scripts for a full, 8-episode season (with Grahame-Smith reportedly choosing to depart after leadership changes at the multimedia company). The series will now focus on John Stewart and not on Guy Gardner (Finn Wittrock), Alan Scott (Jeremy Irvine), or the ensemble of Green Lanter Corps characters as originally envisioned. The decision was said not to be connected with the recent news that Gunn and Safran were set to lead film, TV, and animation at DC Studios.
November 2022: In an interview, Aubrey also stressed how Warner Bros. Discovery IPs were as an essential part of the streamer’s future, having this to say about Green Lantern: “We remain very excited by the opportunity to make a big four-quadrant space opera with Greg [Berlanti] and Sarah [ Schechter] for HBO Max.”