The lengthy Green Lantern series on HBO Max is apparently getting a creative revamp. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the drama series produced by Greg Berlanti has lost its writer and showrunner Seth Grahame-Smith amid office changes at Warner Bros. Discovery. Moreover, the 2019-announced series will no longer center on the openly homosexual Green Lantern member Guy Gardner or Alan Scott, the first to don the ring. Instead, the HBO Max series will be based on the 1970s DC comic book character John Stewart.
Grahame-Smith, according to THR, had written an entire eight-episode season for the previous version, which was based on a “multitude of Lanterns” including Jessica Cruz, Simon Baz, and the aforementioned Gardner and Scott, before stepping down. The writer’s departure follows the silent exit of previous DC Films president Walter Hamada, which prompted the decision to start from over and develop the program around John Stewart, the second black superhero to emerge in DC Comics. There are currently no casting details, nor is it known if Wayne T. Carr will play the role. The actor was supposed to make his debut in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but he was ultimately eliminated from the picture.
Green Lantern program is largest ever, budget is $200 million
The Green Lantern program is executive producer Berlanti’s second effort at the DC character, as he co-wrote the 2011 film starring Ryan Reynolds. The film, which centered on the Hal Jordan incarnation, was poorly received and generated $219.9 million (about Rs. 1,820 crore) worldwide on a reported budget of $200 million (about Rs. 1,646 crore). HBO Max subsequently announced a Green Lantern series for 2019, with Berlanti touting it as the “largest DC program ever” with ambitions to send the heroes into space. According to THR’s sources, the budget is in the area of $120 million (about Rs 990 crore).
House of the Dragon’s just concluded first season on HBO Max cost roughly $200 million, with $20 million (about Rs. 165 crore) allocated per episode. The revamped Green Lantern series will now have a new logline, and the production budget is anticipated to be substantially lower than the first estimate. Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company, has recently been attempting to save costs, even canceling the $90 million (about Rs. 741 crore) Batgirl feature film as a tax write-off and canceling J.J. Abrams’ original series Demimonde.
“WBD stated in an SEC filing this week that it expects to incur tax write-downs of $2 billion to $2.5 billion related to content. The eight previously finished Green Lantern screenplays are expected to be included in those tax write-downs, since sources argue that it wasn’t Grahame-creative Smith’s that eventually killed the show’s earlier incarnation, but rather its cost,” the report states.
Guardians of the Galaxy director will oversee all planned TV series
Green Lantern’s creative transition is unrelated to the promotion of filmmaker James Gunn and producer Peter Safran to co-CEOs and co-chairs of the new DC Studios brand, according to THR. Under the terms of the four-year contract, the Guardians of the Galaxy director will oversee all planned DC films, television shows, and animation projects.
The move follows WBD CEO David Zaslav’s presentation of a 10-year plan for DC Comics films, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a result of the recasting, Henry Cavill will reprise the role of Superman in the sequel to Man of Steel.
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