What Will Geoff Johns Do With 'Green Lantern Corps?'

Since Geoff Johns stepped down as the chief creative officer at DC Entertainment and announced that he will start working with David S. Goyer on a script for Green Lantern Corps, the movie now appears to be a priority for Warner Bros., with fans excited to see Johns behind the wheel.

After all, Johns essentially became comics' top writer in large part because of his Green Lantern run, which injected new energy and new mythology into the long-running DC franchise.

Johns will get essentially a clean slate as it pertains to Green Lantern. Yes, the 2011 movie is still fairly recent and a big enough embarrassment that it is regularly mocked (usually by its star) -- but it predates the shared DC movie universe, and since Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the only sign of Green Lanterns was in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in Justice League. That one was not even particularly recognizable, but a minor player named Yalan Gur.

Johns contributed some big ideas to the Green Lantern mythology, including the "emotional spectrum," which built on the idea of the Green Lanterns's emerald willpower-energy and built a rainbow of emotions around it, each of which had powers that operated a little different from the GLs.

He introduced Atrocitus, a Red Lantern with ill intent and a long history with the Guardians of the Universe (not the Marvel superhero team, that's the Guardians of the Galaxy. The Guardians of the Universe are those little blue dudes who give Green Lanterns their powers) -- a character popular enough to be a major player in Green Lantern: The Animated Series as well as appearing in the DC Films logo alongside dozens of other heroes and villains.

it is distinctly possible that Johns will not go straight for his own properties, though. It is also equally likely that the film -- which has been said to be a "buddy cop movie" featuring Hal Jordan and John Stewart -- might change very much now that Johns is a screenwriter instead of a producer with significant input.

When Johns came to Green Lantern years ago, the first thing he did was to restore the pre-Emerald Dawn status quo and return Hal Jordan to the lead character in the book. Almost immediately thereafter, he took the comic offworld, rarely returning and using Hal's earthbound supporting cast sparingly.

That seems like a likely direction for the film to take: Hal could be training John or vice versa, which would allow for a little bit of establishing the Earth of the movie but a lot of antics in space. The 2011 movie was criticized for this, but it can certainly work -- see Star Trek. The trick is not to have all of the important stuff happen on Earth. When you do that, the space material starts to feel like a distraction.


Johns also managed, during his run on Green Lantern, to ground his big sci-fi ideas in character beats and thematic moments. That means if the story wanted to pull a Batman v Superman and pick up in media res, where the audience is supposed to assume the characters have been doing this for a while, it is likely Johns could juggle the necessary exposition and character beats to do it successfully.

Justice League is now on home video. The DC Extended Universe continues with Aquaman on December 21st, Shazam! on April 5, 2019, Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019, Cyborg in 2020, and Green Lantern Corps in 2020.