Warner Bros. is still teasing us with the details of who will be cast in George Miller's Justice League of America, but one piece of rumored casting is of interest to Jack Black. The actor Common has been rumored to be playing Green Lantern, a role that nearly had been Black's several years back. Talking to MTV Movies Blog, Black discusses the Green Lantern movie that never was.
"I really liked the script that a friend of mine wrote," he remembered of the comedic take on the character. "But nobody wanted to make it; it was too weird."
The script focused on a common man who finds himself the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps - an intergalactic police force created by the Guardians of the Universe. Each Green Lantern is assigned a sector of space to patrol and a power ring that allows the bearer to create anything the user can imagine, so long as he has enough willpower. In the comics, Earth has had several Green Lanterns, including Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, Jon Stewart and Kyle Rayner. The Green Lantern who is slated to appear in Justice League of America is Jon Stewart, an African-American ex-marine and architect, while the one who may be the focus of the film directed by Greg Berlanti will be Hal Jordan, former test pilot.
The 2004 script was closest to the origin of Kyle Rayner, a down on his luck artist who was given the last (at the time) power ring. In this vision, the character played by Black would be an overweight hero who used the power ring in comedic ways. "I was going to be making all kinds of stuff," Black said of the ring. "I was going to be capturing bad guys with green, giant prophylactics," Black remembered of one scene in the script. "Some funny stuff."
The Jack Black vision of Green Lantern was shelved due to the combination of severe negative internet reaction and the poor reception of Halle Berry's Catwoman. The lesson learned by Warner Bros. and DC was that the key to successful superhero films was treating the characters with respect, and retaining as much of the spirit of the comics they came from.
Black reluctantly agrees. "It would have been a comedy, and I don't know, maybe they didn't want to go that way with the character," he sighed. "You don't see a lot of the superheroes as comedies. Batman, Superman, Spider-Man - they're all pretty straight-up."
Expect to see the Jon Stewart Green Lantern in Justice League of America, which should come to theatres in 2009, and to see the Hal Jordan version in Green Lantern, currently scheduled for a 2010 release.