Long-running HBO Max production Green lantern TV series change gears.
The drama, which has been in the works since late 2019, will now focus on John Stewart, one of DC’s first black superheroes. The series, from executive producer Greg Berlanti, was originally set to revolve around Guy Gardner and Alan Scott, and has already cast Finn Wittrock (Ratched) and Jeremy Irvine (Treadstone) as the respective green lanterns.
As part of the creative overhaul, writer and showrunner Seth Grahame-Smith left the series after completing the scripts for the entire eight-episode run. Sources say Grahame-Smith signed on as writer and showrunner a year later Green lantern was announced, she decided to leave the project after weathering a number of regime changes at HBO Max, its parent company, producers Warner Bros. Television and now DC Comics.
The decision to reorient Green lantern comes at a crucial time for DC. Sources say John Stewart’s character was for the producers, who envisioned the show focusing on the first Green Lantern, the openly gay Alan Scott and Guy Gardner, as well as “a number of other Lanterns — from comic book favorites to never,” they didn’t mention. – heroes seen before.” With the recent departure of DC Comics leader Walter Hamada, 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 modeled after Sidney Poitier. It’s worth noting that Green lantern creative overhaul has nothing to do with this week’s news that James Gunn and Peter Safran have been tapped to lead film, television and animation at DC Studios in a role similar to Kevin Feige’s at Marvel. (Gunn and Safran don’t start their new jobs until November 1.)
Only Berlanti and his Warner Bros. Television-based Berlanti Productions remain attached from the previous incarnation. Green lantern. (Fellow executive producer Marc Guggenheim, who was originally set to co-write the pilot with Grahame-Smith, was not recently involved with the show before its revamp.)
When HBO Max announced plans to Green lantern in October 2019, Berlanti described it as “the biggest DC show ever made”, with plans to take the series into space. Insiders at the time said it would be the most expensive show DC had ever made, and easily the biggest for HBO Max, with a budget estimated at $120 million. (house of the dragon by comparison, it cost less than $200 million.)
The show’s budget is expected to be significantly lower in the future as HBO Max moves to Warner Bros. under David Zaslav. Discovery is focused on right-sizing its various assets. In an effort to find an estimated $3 billion in cost savings, Zaslav and his division heads dropped several projects, including the planned Berlanti Strange adventures anthology for HBO Max, an HBO original series by JJ Abrams Demimonde and already completed Bat girl feature film. (For demimonde HBO is said to have balked at Abrams’ request for a budget north of $200 million.)
WBD said in an SEC filing this week that it expects to write off $2 billion to $2.5 billion in content-related tax write-offs. Eight previously completed Green lantern The scripts are expected to be included in those tax write-offs, as sources say it wasn’t Grahame-Smith’s creative that ultimately doomed the show’s first incarnation, but rather its price tag.
As for Wittrock and Irvin, neither is signed Green lantern. Sources indicate that Berlanti Productions wants to work with both actors when and if the project, which currently has a script-to-series commitment, moves forward. In the spring of 2021, with Wittrock and Irvine cast, the show was still fast-tracked and set to begin filming that same year. The project is now in slower development, more like HBO under Bloys and TV leader Warner Bros. Channing Dungey. A new logline for the series has yet to be determined as the project is back in early development.
Representatives for HBO Max, Warners, Berlanti Productions and Grahame-Smith declined to comment.
HBO Max is Berlanti’s second stab at the Green Lantern world. He previously wrote the screenplay (with Michael Green, Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg) for the Ryan Reynolds-starrer DC in 2011. The film was met with negative reviews and was considered a flop. It grossed $219 million against a $200 million budget.