HBO Max lasts longer Green Lantern The TV series is changing gears.
The drama that has been in the works since late 2019 will now focus on John Stewart, one of DC’s first Black superheroes. This series, from exec producer Greg Berlanti, should have revolved around Guy Gardner and Alan Scott and had already cast Finn Wittrock (Ratched) and Jeremy Irvine (Treadstone) as Green Lanterns.
As part of the creative overhaul, writer and showrunner Seth Grahame-Smith has left the series after completing the script for a full season of eight episodes. Sources say Grahame-Smith, who signed on as writer and showrunner the following year Green Lantern announced, decided to leave the project after dealing with a number of management changes at HBO Max, its parent company, producers Warner Bros. Television and now DC Comics.
Revision option Green Lantern arrives at a critical moment for DC. Sources say that John Stewart’s character was off the table for the producers who envisioned the show focusing on the original Green Lantern, openly gay Alan Scott, and Guy Gardner as well as “many other Lanterns – from comic book favorites to immortals.” – heroes before they appeared.” With the recent departure of Walter Hamada’s DC Comics, the decision was made to start over and build the show around John Stewart, a character who first appeared in the early 1970s and was imitated by Sidney Poitier. It is worth noting that Green Lantern The creative shake-up has nothing to do with the news this week that James Gunn and Peter Safran have been tapped to direct film, TV and animation at DC Studios in a role similar to what Kevin Feige is doing at Marvel. (Gunn and Safran don’t start their new jobs until November 1.)
In the past, only Berlanti and his Warner Bros. TV-based Berlanti Productions remains attached Green Lantern. (Friends executive producer Marc Guggenheim, who was set to co-write the pilot alongside Grahame-Smith, recently became unattached to the show ahead of the reboot.)
When HBO Max announced plans for Green Lantern in October 2019, Berlanti described it as “the biggest DC show ever,” with plans for the series to take off. Insiders at the time said it was poised to be the most expensive DC has ever made and easily the biggest HBO Max with an estimated budget in the $120 million range. (House of the Dragon, by comparison, it costs less than $200 million.)
The show’s budget going forward is expected to be much lower as HBO Max, under David Zaslav’s combined Warner Bros. As part of the move to find an estimated $3 billion in cost savings, Zaslav and his division executives dropped several projects including one proposed by Berlanti. Strange Adventures anthology for HBO Max, JJ Abrams’ HBO original series Demimonde and it is already finished Batgirl film film. (Because Demimonde, HBO reportedly balked at Abrams’ budget request north of $200 million.)
WBD said in an SEC filing this week that it expects to take $2 billion to $2.5 billion in tax write-offs related to its content. Eight finished Green Lantern the documents are expected to be included in the tax write-down as the sources maintain that it was not Grahame-Smith’s design that destroyed the original composition of the exhibition but instead the cost of tea.
As for Wittrock and Irvine, no one remains signed Green Lantern. Sources indicate that Berlanti Productions wishes to work with both actors when and if the project, which currently has a script-to-series commitment, moves forward. In spring 2021, when Wittrock and Irvine were cast, the show was still in the running and was supposed to start shooting the same year. The project is now on a slow, more HBO-like, development track under Bloys and Warner Bros. TV star Channing Dungey. A new line-up has yet to be determined as the project is back in early development.
Reps for HBO Max, Warners, Berlanti Productions and Grahame-Smith declined to comment.
The HBO Max take is Berlanti’s second take on the Green Lantern universe. He previously wrote the screenplay (along with Michael Green, Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg) for the 2011 DC-produced Ryan Reynolds thriller. The movie was met with negative reviews and was considered silly. It made $219 million against a $200 million budget.