Green Lantern Being Retooled at HBO Max

The long-in-development Green Lantern series from executive producer Greg Berlanti is being "redeveloped" at HBO Max, and has lost writer Seth Grahame-Smith, who had already written a full eight-episode season before deciding to abandon the project. Grahame-Smith, best known for his book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, was one of the biggest voices on Green Lantern, which was supposed to star Finn Whitrock as Guy Gardner and Jeremy Irvine as Alan Scott. He joins Berlanti and his frequent collaborator Marc Guggenheim, as well as veteran Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns.

The new series will reportedly center on John Stewart, who is one of the most recognizable members of the Green Lantern Corps due to his appearance in the Justice League Unlimited animated series. The character recently headlined Green Lantern: Beware My Power, an animated feature film in which he was played by Black Adam star Aldis Hodge.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the news, both Whitrock and Irvine are now out. Their contracts were predicated on the idea that the series as it stood was going to be fast-tracked and would have been in production by now, but the new plan is to essentially completely redevelop the series, on what THR describes as a slower, more "HBO-like" timetable.

While not an outright cancellation, this roadblock is the latest in a string of disappointments for fans of the comic book franchise. In 2011, a big-budget take on the film starring Ryan Reynolds hit theaters with a wet thud, disappointing fans and critics and sending Warner Bros. back to the drawing board on the concept. When the studio announced their full slate of planned DC Films in 2014, Green Lantern Corps was there -- but that movie never got very far before puttering out, and HBO Max's Green Lantern is supposed to take the "prestige TV" approach to salvaging the franchise.

Yesterday's announcement of new management at DC may have been the final straw for Grahame-Smith, who signed on to write and showrun Green Lantern in 2020. In the time since, Warner Bros. was bought out by Discovery, who had to massively leverage their own company to do so. As a result, the CEO has gone on a cost-cutting spree that focused heavily on HBO Max, leading to constant upheaval at the streamer. Now, the third part of the Green Lantern equation, DC, has new management, too. That said, the THR story indicates that the management change did not precipitate the overhaul, suggesting it was already in place before the latest round of changes.

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In addition to Grahame-Smith, Guggenheim appears to have left the project, with the article saying that even before the overhaul, he was not involved with the project. You can also probably expect it to be a lot cheaper than originally advertised, due to management changes at Warner Bros. Discovery. DC's other big series, the anthology Strange Adventures, was killed almost immediately after the Discovery deal closed.