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American Gods' Ricky Whittle explains why he wants to play Green Lantern

By Bryan Cairns
Ricky Whittle in American Gods

Ricky Whittle can't deny the sheer power of social media.

The 37-year-old actor gained a cult following thanks to his role as Lincoln on The CW's post-apocalyptic TV series, The 100. As a result, when it was announced Starz would be adapting Neil Gaiman's epic novel American Gods for the small screen, fans of the book championed Whittle for the lead, Shadow Moon. He subsequently nabbed the coveted part and will soon be seen in Season 2 of the show.

The latest campaign on behalf of Whittle involves the big screen. DC Comics devotees, along with former American Gods co-showrunner and Logan screenwriter Michael Green, have been rooting for Whittle to portray Green Lantern hero John Stewart in the long-rumored Green Lantern Corps feature film. Hal Jordan tends to be the character most associated with Green Lantern – and the one Ryan Reynolds embodied in 2011's disappointing Green Lantern movie – but John Stewart comes in a close second in the eyes of fans. Now, it's his turn.

"The character Green Lantern needs to be reborn," Whittle told SYFY WIRE on the American Gods set last June. "Even Ryan Reynolds came up with that when he killed himself in the Deadpool credits, which was hilarious. I'd love to be a part of that universe, whether it be John Stewart or Simon Baz, maybe. They are both characters I would be honored to play.

"We know that Green Lantern Corps is coming out," he continued. "I've had conversations, and to be in the conversation is a big honor. That's all I can really ever ask for. Lots of fans have been campaigning for me. If they can get me Green Lantern, too, we are going to have to do something special. I'm going to have to start doing tours in full costume and go and watch with all the fans. But, yeah, I would love to be a part of that world. Hopefully, they do it justice this time."

John Stewart, Green Lantern

The Green Lantern Corps movie promises to focus on the intergalactic police force and, quite possibly, John Stewart's origin. Geoff Johns has been tapped to pen and produce the project. He previously chronicled the Green Lantern Corps' comic book adventures with a long stint as writer beginning in 2005. Whittle notes John Stewart "would be the dream."

"It's a fantastic character, and an important character, if you read the comics in terms of human society and race and different issues that we are engulfed by in at the moment in America," Whittle offered. "You never know. If Geoff Johns is reading this, I am definitely up for it. I'm a huge fan.

"What I like is they are taking their time with it," he added. "They are not rushing it like with the first one. They are taking their time and doing it right, which is how it should be. It's in good hands with Geoff. Fingers crossed. Whatever he does, I'll be watching it, no matter what."

The Green Lantern oath serves as the team's creed, the code by which these Emerald Knights live by. The ultimate fanboy and good sport, Whittle even recited a portion of the sacred pledge.

"In brightest day, in blackest night

No evil shall escape my sight

Let those who worship evil's might

Beware my power, Green Lantern's light!

"I have to learn the rest," Whittle concluded with a chuckle. "I'm still human. I am not Green Lantern…. yet."