Everything there is to know about HBO Max’s upcoming ‘Green Lantern’ series

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HBO Max’s Green Lantern series found its first director in Lee Toland Krieger, and with it, it’s starting to take shape as one of the best shows in DC media.

The upcoming HBO Max series, Green Lantern, will explore the history of Earth’s guardian angels, starting with Alan Scott, a secretly gay FBI agent, to the hulking, hyper-macho Guy Gardner — a human embodiment of 80s culture in America.  

The project has piqued the fanbase’s interest for some time, with the announcement of “Celeste And Jesse Forever” director Lee Toland Krieger taking on the first two episodes of the show.  He has worked on the high-budget CW series, “Superman & Lois,” and many other dramas like “Riverdale” and the Netflix original series, “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

It was announced earlier this year that Jeremy Irvine will play the popular gay superhero Alan Scott, aka. the first Green Lantern who tried to hide his sexuality in 1940s America.  

In whatever way, the choice faced heavy backlash as it revived the old debate of whether straight actors should portray gay characters in film and television. 

This was not the first time Jeremy has been in the heat of controversy after taking on the main role in the 2015 “Stonewall” film that depicted the LGBT riots of 1969.  A police raid at the Stonewall inn — a social gathering of the LGBT community in the 60s — incited the riots. They lasted for almost a week, spreading nationwide awareness over how the community has been treated.  

The film was accused of whitewashing the original riots, as many of the characters were not clear representations of the historical event.  Jeremy Irvine played the lead role in the movie as Danny Winters, a young man who embarks on a journey to find the Stonewall Inn and quickly involves himself in the riots.

 “I don’t think any of us expected it to get the attention that it has. But now how many people have heard the name Marsha P. Johnson, opposed to never having heard it before? Wow,” Irvine said about Stonewall (2015). “I was out last night and had a few groups of people come up to me and wanted to talk about the film. They wanted to know if Marsha P. Johnson was going to be a part of the movie and I was like, ‘Yeah! But also, how cool that you are all talking about that.”

The most recent example of the infamous sexually bonded casting debate is Ewan Mcgregor’s involvement in Netflix’s “Halston” — which goes over the life of 1970s fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick and his rise to fame in the industry.  

Ewan was hesitant about playing the role as many people do not believe in sexually bonded casting, but it did not turn him away from the part.  He addressed that, in his eyes, the character is more than his sexuality: “ I felt like it was just one part of who he was.”  

While the film did not face as much hate as the 2015 movie, it still brought up the question as to whether or not actors should portray characters who do not align with their current sexuality.  

“The movie business has a lot of history, and it has a lot of history of doing things one way and the same way, and breaking that structure is taking more time than it has on the TV industry,” Russell Boast — a casting director and co-president of the Casting Society of America — told CBS News in January of 2021.

Jeremy Irvine made his acting debut in “War Horse:” a Steven Spielberg-directed film surrounding a horse and his prideful owner during World War 1.

Finn Wittrock — nominated for two Emmys for his work on “American Horror Story: Freak Show” and for “Versace: American Crime Story” — is cast to play the hyper-patriotic Lantern: Guy Gardner.  

His character is the cocky alpha-male Green Lantern of 1984 — alongside half-alien Bree Jarta — while Alan Scott will police the planet in 1941, earlier in the show.

The news of Wittrock landing the role came from Deadline, in an article published on Apr. 30, 2021.

He is prominently known for his part in “American Horror Story,” which he has performed on for multiple seasons — including its 10th that just wrapped filming.  He’s worked with mega-producer Ryan Murphy for the past 7 years exclusively on television — repped currently by CAA, Weissenbach Management and Schreck Rose Dapello.

Other people tied to the project are Seth Grahame-Smith (screenwriter of “Lego Batman: The Movie”) and Marc Guggenheim (co-creator of “Arrow” and screenwriter for “The Legends of Tomorrow). 

The Lantern series will be HBO’s biggest series to date, bringing back several well-known characters such as Kilowag and Sinestro, while also introducing new heroes to the corps.  

It was greenlit back in 2020 to air up to 10 one-hour long episodes.  While no information about who will appear in the show has been currently leaked, it was confirmed by Warner Bros. that Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz will also appear alongside Gardner and Scott.  However, surprisingly enough, Jon Stewart and Hal Jordan are not expected to make an appearance on the show for reasons unknown. 

Starring Wittrock and Rickman, HBO Max’s Green Lantern series will be produced by both Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, and is expected to release sometime in 2023 and beyond.  

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