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Why Idris Elba should be the next Green Lantern

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Two weeks ago I was asked to do a follow up to my article on why Jim Caviezel should be Batman. In the last two weeks we have seen more Batman casting suggestions than anything else in our Facebook newsfeeds, so it got me thinking about a different Justice League member and who I would like to see as the next Green Lantern. At the moment there are many names flying around for the role of the Green Lantern, people have mentioned the likes of Chris Pine and Matt Bomer, among a few others. But there is only really one suggestion that I’m sure we can all agree with and that is Idris Elba.

idris green lantern

Elba is one of the most accomplished actors in contemporary film and media today.

He is a multi-award winning actor and has recently completed his role as Nelson Mandela. Idris is a powerful actor who’s presence is felt on-screen. He would make a great Green Lantern.

Personally, I do not enjoy seeing an actor play multiple superhero characters.

And although Elba is currently playing Heimdall in the Thor movie, he is not the lead or a central character to the movies. His move to DC then, to play the Green Lantern, will not be anything as major as Fassbender (Magneto) playing Batman. When people think of the Thor franchise they immediately think Chris Hemsworths and Tom Hiddleston. They do not think about Idris.

idris elba green lantern

Ryan Reynolds.

Nobody liked Reynolds’ portrayal of the Green Lantern. To erase the sins of the past I feel DC has to abandon Hal Jordan and introduce John Stewart into the Justice League film. If the Justice League goes ahead with Hal Jordan we will see a white wash of a superhero team. Even the Avengers had a person of colour (Nick Fury)…. Well, and they had a Hulk.

There is no one better to step into the role of John Stewart than Idris Elba. John Stewart is a veteran U.S. Marine, and if you’ve recently seen Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim you would have realised that he would do this role justice. His character, Stacker Pentecost, is by far the strongest role in Pacific Rim. We cannot help but respect his commands. Del Toro describes Idris as, “one of those actors that is capable of embodying humanity, in almost like a Rodin sculpture-type, larger than life, almost like a Russian realism statue, you know, big hands, all the turmoil of humanity in his eyes.”

This side of him is also shown in Luther, for which Idris received a Golden Globe. Hal Jordan describes John Stewart as having a “chip on his shoulder bigger than the rock of Gibraltar.” One cannot help but feel that this role is somewhat made for Idris Elba. As a member of the Justice League he will be standing alongside the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, all leaders in their own right. John Stewart will need to have a great physical presence and be able to dish out orders even better than he is able to take them.

Elba

Elba is also somewhat of a real life hero.

In 2009, the Prince’s Trust, appointed him its Anti-Crime Ambassador. Idris credits this appointment with helping him to start his career in the big leagues. Idris oozes the feeling on command and leadership. When he takes leadership roles you can feel it and it feels authentic. He is a perfect match to John Stewart, a character that prides himself on integrity and morals. It is also ironic that John Stewart was jailed and tortured for weeks in South Namibia, which was DC’s equivalent to an Apartheid South Africa, and Idris Elba is currently acting as Nelson Mandela, the man who suffered under the rules of Apartheid South Africa.

We have not seen a superhero of African descent in quite a while.

We haven’t had a black superhero since Michael Jai White was Spawn and Wesley Snipes was Blade! Marvel looks as though they will be adding more colour to their ranks with Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Johnny Storm being made African-American is on the cards too. It would be wise for DC to add a bit of colour into their team. A powerful actor such as Idris Elba taking up the duties of The Green Lantern could provide the minority with a great role model to aspire too.

He has women weak at the knees.

If DC is worried about losing out on the market without Reynolds, they will get an even bigger return if they bank on Elba. Idris Elba was named as one of the Sexiest Men alive last year. He is also a musician and a DJ – we know how the ladies love their musicians. He was even considered to be cast as the first black 007. DC would have a bigger drawing card than the likes of a mid-tier actor like Ryan Reynolds if they bestow Idris Elba with the powers of the Green Lantern.

He could help reboot the Green Lantern franchise.

The first Green Lantern film really sucked. DC needs to focus on repairing all the damage they did to the character in the upcoming Justice League movie. Give the people what they want – a better Green Lantern.

john stewart idris elba

13 Comments

  1. Darryl

    “Nobody liked Reynolds’ portrayal of the Green Lantern.” I disagree. It wasn’t Reynolds portrayal, it was the script, and the script alone. Reynolds is Hal Jordan, through and through.

    What you are trying to do is suggest that DC should bring in a character that has absolutely nothing to do with the green lantern universe. Reason being, is because Geoff John’s wrote it with Hal Jordan in mind. So to start with a character now, that has yet to make any impact in the universe, is a very, very risky idea.

    • Jarrod Saunders

      A character that has nothing to do with the Green Lantern Universe? John Stewart is the Green Lantern just as much as Hal Jordan is. For most people who aren’t white, we grew up believing that the Green Lantern was a black guy. When the new movie came out some of us were like why Hal? We want John Stewart. I don’t care if Elba doesn’t play the character but the next green lantern should be John Stewart.

      • Darryl

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stewart_(comics)

        Please look at that. That gives you the basic rundown on him. Now tell me why Warner Brothers would want to invest in a character who the general public has no clue about. Money is what talks, and I am afraid your theory is flawed due to the popularity, and the stand that John Stewart has in the DC Universe.

        Fact is fact, Hal Jordan plays a far more integral part in the universe, therefore it was an obvious choice.

        • Jarrod Saunders

          To quote wiki (from the link you sent): IGN ranked John Stewart as the 55th greatest comic book hero of all time describing him as one of the first dominant African-American heroes in the pages of DC Comics; IGN also stated that John Stewart has gone from “semi-obscurity in the mainstream to absolute recognition” thanks to his starring role in the acclaimed Justice League cartoons.

          Sure Hal Jordan is more popular. But that doesn’t mean John Stewart isn’t.

  2. Byron

    Growing up i really like Kyle Rayner Green Lantern, then I gravitated towards John Stewart as I got older. Let’s think about this realistically. To think that a John Stewart Idris Elba would get Warner interested is rather absurd, I did not appreciate Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern, it has nothing to do with script. When you pay for Reynolds what you get is Reynolds and he is not near as talented as Idris. Also the Flash can provide comic relief in the JLA film we do not need two comic relief aspects. I think a strong person of colour will do great in that Universe and Idris Elba sells. We cannot have a white wash,, give the young bloods someone to believe in and look up to.

  3. Justin

    Did you miss the entire run of the Justice League and Justice League unltd? That was one of the most recent and undoubtedly longest depiction of the character on screen. not to mention its run during the early to late 2000’s place it right in the forefront of the young-ish audiences who are likely to see this film. Your insistence to the contrary simply makes it seem as if you have some problem with a character of color being depicted in this film.

  4. Blake

    If the Justice League movie is going to be how its formed and founded then no the Green Lantern shouldnt be John Stewart. John Stewart is not, I repeat, is NOT a founding member of the Justice League, Hal Jordan is. If they decide to make the Justice League years after its formed then that would be confusing to others that have no knowledge of comics. Even if thats the case I would rather it be Guy Gardner then because he was actually in the Justice League, not a founding member but was still actually a member later on.

  5. Vishnu

    Your arguments are exactly to the point,but there is one slight problem it is relevant only to those who read comics.Besides John Stewart was pretty cool in the JL animated series.As far as an origin story is concerned John was damn perfect in the secret origins(the first episode of JL animated series).As far as i am concerned Idris Elba is real life John Stewart.I say bring him in and thus bring the much needed starpower into the JLA movie

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