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SYFY WIRE Green Lantern

'Green Lantern' series on HBO Max being retooled with smaller budget, focus on John Stewart

After three years of development, Green Lantern is going back to the drawing board.

By Matthew Jackson
Green Lantern: John Stewart - A Celebration of 50 Years

After three years of development, plans for a live action Green Lantern are getting a major overhaul. 

The HBO Max series, which hails from Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti, is reportedly seeking a new writer and a new star as it shifts its focus to center on an entirely different Green Lantern character than the heroes who made up its original premise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Though the show was originally developed to center on the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott, and the fiery Green Lantern Guy Gardner, word is the show will now be retooled to focus on John Stewart, the Black hero who took over for Hal Jordan in the 1970s and remains a fan-favorite Lantern among DC Comics readers and longtime viewers of the DC Animated Universe. 

Seth Grahame-Smith, who was set to showrun the series and had already overseen the creation of an entire eight-episode run of scripts, has departed the show amid the shake-up, as have stars Jeremy Irvine and Finn Wittrock, who were set to play Scott and Gardner, respectively. Grahame-Smith reportedly left amid ongoing leadership changes at Warner Bros. Discovery, while Irvine and Wittrock could potentially reappear as their characters in a future incarnation of the series, which is now back in "early development" after it was once greenlit and fast-tracked as a major new HBO Max genre series. 

The report was also clear in noting that the shake-up isn't related to James Gunn and Peter Safran stepping in to lead the just-announced DC Studios, as their jobs don't officially start until next month. It's not exactly clear who gave the final word to pull the trigger on tis complete overaul, but THR's report notes that the new direction for the series also likely comes with a reduced budget as WBD executives continue to work to cut costs at the company. Originally, the series was being pitched as one of the most expensive shows attempted to date, right up there alongside those Game of Thrones budgets. Now? Expect those alien worlds and space adventures to be a bit more reined in.

At the moment, Berlanti and his company, Berlanti Productions, is the only firm talent in place to guide the project, as Green Lantern sets out to apparently seek new writers, a new star, and a new direction. That means we have no idea when we'll finally see a series based on the DC Comics property. When and if we finally do, though, it'll look very different than the one we very nearly got. 

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