It’s time to prepare for DC’s Green Lantern movie to star Tom Cruise as Hal Jordan. Fans may still have a hard time believing Warner Bros. is moving forward with ANY movie adaptation of Green Lantern, let alone the proposed Green Lantern Corps ensemble. At a time when the future of the DCEU is uncertain, trying a second swing at the superhero Ryan Reynolds still takes shots at sounds like folly. But then, the new leadership of DC Films isn’t going to win over fans by sticking to safe bets. Not that a star of Cruise’s stature is a “risk” at this point.
There’s more evidence than that tying Tom Cruise to the role of Hal Jordan. In fact, the new reports of WB looking to the current Mission: Impossible director for a Green Lantern movie may reveal more than most fans realize.
When you connect the dots, this potential star and director seem to make perfect sense for DC Films – and Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Not just on the set of such a big sci-fi blockbuster… but behind the scenes, giving it the best chance at giving DC another winner. Whether or not the rumors prove true, it’s a sign that the initial word of Tom Cruise being sought was more than just Hollywood gossip.
When the first reports surfaced of the studio’s top picks for Green Lantern, it was obvious they would make waves no matter the choice. With Tom Cruise on the Green Lantern shortlist, and apparently joined by Ryan Reynolds reprising his role, the idea of casting a young up and comer or lesser known actor went out the window. The return of Reynolds made sense to hope for, but with his schedule filling up with Deadpool sequels (and his bad experience the first time around) he was a long shot. Cruise, on the other hand, suggested that Warner Bros. hoped to hedge their bets with a risky property by casting one of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Now comes the report that – separately, it seems – the studio had an interest in Christopher McQuarrie to direct Green Lantern Corps. Given McQuarrie and Cruise’s working relationship, seeing their names raised for the same project from separate reports isn’t a surprise. Cruise was a major proponent of bringing McQuarrie on to helm Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (in his capacity as producer as well as star). And after Valkyrie, Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow, Rogue Nation, The Mummy, and the upcoming Mission: Impossible – Fallout, McQuarrie is clearly one of Cruise’s preferred collaborators.
Keep in mind, The Wrap’s shortlist which namedropped Tom Cruise for Green Lantern Corps came from early last year, and our own sources on McQuarrie indicate he’s not currently involved or in talks. This does help sketch out a possible timeline on the dealings behind Green Lantern Corps and are signs that development is, in some way, still moving forward. So can more be read into Cruise becoming WB’s top pick for Green Lantern, development going nowhere for months, and McQuarrie at some point being courted to direct?
After weighing the reports, it seems a stretch to assume the reports aren’tconnected. The most obvious explanation still begins with Warner Bros. trying to convince Tom Cruise to nab the lead in Green Lantern Corps, as previously rumored. The deal would be tenuous based on little more than the fact that Cruise hasn’t made many films with WB. But add in the recent shifts in leadership, and it’s not even clear who Cruise would be working with as star and producer (his usual roles) should he get involved.
Were he to apply the same leverage as he did with Mission: Impossible and move to bring McQuarrie into the deal – to write, direct, and produce – things change considerably. Regardless of the outcome, the most obvious explanation suggests Cruise has yet to formally refuse, or at least lack any interest. But is Warner Bros. willing to give up such creative freedom? That may be a sticking point, considering the rumors of studio meddling in both Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman – and that was before the Justice League movie debacle. Then again, WB may be more than willing to get into business with proven creators.
Would that be enough to convince Cruise to take one of the two starring roles? For the sake of the movie and character, we hope so.
There will be plenty of comic book fans who hear the name “Tom Cruise” in discussions about Green Lantern and simply scoff. But such is the price of undeniable A-lister status, as many balked at Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, noting the actor for his worst roles, not his best. But nobody needs to make the case for Tom Cruise instantly turning Green Lantern Corps from an uphill battle into a serious contender. Not just for his knack at drawing blockbuster crowds, but for the budget and quality associated with projects he joins.
Thankfully, the role of Hal Jordan in Green Lantern Corps could also capitalize on Cruise’s entire range of talent, while bringing an as-yet unexplored structure to the superhero genre.
For those who may not have kept up with Corps rumors, prior reports suggest that Green Lantern Corps will co-star Hal Jordan AND John Stewart. One, the test pilot turned veteran space cop, the other a new recruit and former army sniper. The word of mouth said DC is looking for a star up to the age of 50 for Hal Jordan (they would surely make an exception for the 55 year-old Cruise). The question from a casting standpoint isn’t just ‘which actors could play Hal Jordan,’ but who step onscreen in their first film and sell the idea that they’ve been a superhero for years?
An actor of Cruise’s fame would do it from before the first teaser trailer, in much the same way Ben Affleck eclipsed Henry Cavill in BvS. The biggest opportunity, though, may be in the team chemistry. If fan hopes came true and Corps turned into a full-blown ensemble with a squad of starring Lanterns, Hal would be the one character guaranteed NOT to be overshadowed – which is harder than it seems.
John Stewart? He’s the military man, apparently having his story act as the audience’s introduction. Guy Gardner? The comic relief. Every other human Lantern was created with a clear quirk or archetype. But Hal Jordan? He has to make it just by playing a likable, charming, classical hero – a well-worn role in Marvel’s movie mold. Who better to make that role sing than the movie star’s movie star (and one who puts even Hal Jordan’s charms to shame). Not to mention letting Cruise channel both his Ethan Hunt adrenaline and his sense of humor.
If the studio really wants “constant freshness” in DC movies, there’s no reason Tom Cruise shouldn’t also get to have some fun. If a writer/director like McQuarrie actually did take the job, a star of Cruise’s caliber would simply be a bonus. If they’re both taking time to get it right… fans can keep their fingers crossed in the meantime.