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Summary

Tom Cruise is a rumored frontrunner to play a veteran Hal Jordan in Lanterns coming to HBO
Bradley Cooper could be a very dynamic actor to play Jordan’s Green Lantern alongside a newly recruited John Stewart.
John Krasinski is a dead ringer for Hal Jordan, and the DCU could provide his superhero redemption after the MCU with Mister Fantastic.

Warner Bros. and HBO are officially moving forward with the DCU’s Lanterns series. However, it’s not yet known who will be playing Hal Jordan, one of the greatest human Green Lanterns in DC Universe. As such, the role is going to require a very particular type of actor, one who can project a high level of courage and confidence alongside a fair share of recklessness where others would express caution or fear.

The DCU’s upcoming Lanterns series will be part of the newly rebooted universe from DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. Chris Mundy has been attached as series showrunner (True Detective: Night Country, Ozark) while the show itself will be written by Damon Lindelof (Watchmen, The Leftovers) and DC Comics legend Tom King. It’s also been reported that “new recruit John Stewart and Lantern legend Hal Jordan into a dark, earth-based mystery as they investigate a murder in the American heartland”. Keeping that in mind, here are 10 potential actors who could be cast as Hal Jordan in the upcoming Lanterns series.

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10 Tom Cruise

A Rumored Front-Runner

Tom Cruise has long been rumored as a frontrunner to play Green Lantern Hal Jordan. This is partly due to Cruises’ recent deal with Warner Bros. to produce original and franchise content for the studio. As such, perhaps playing a veteran Hal Jordan will become one of the first results of this new partnership.

Regardless, there truly is no one better than Cruise to play Hal Jordan. A military test pilot following in the footsteps of his deceased father, Jordan’s ability to overcome great fear made him a prime recruit for the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps and a member of the Earth-based Justice League. Eventually becoming the greatest of the Green Lanterns, one could easily see Cruise playing an older Jordan training John Stewart as a new recruit, a role that would basically mirror his role in Tom Gun: Maverick (just with a really cool green ring).

9 Bradley Cooper

Longtime Collaborator With James Gunn

Bradley Cooper is a longtime collaborator of James Gunn’s, having provided the voice for Rocket Raccoon in the MCU (most notably in Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy). That said, the opportunity to see Bradley Cooper playing an iconic superhero in live-action would be very exciting. After all, he certainly looks the part of Jordan, especially one who will seemingly have a glowing service record with the Green Lantern Corps.

Bradley Cooper joining the DCU would certainly be a very cool addition. Likewise, Cooper has gone on record saying that he’d “follow Gunn anywhere”. To that end, the chance to provide a dynamic and compelling Hal Jordan could prove to be an intriguing role for Cooper, especially in a series that will likely be more grounded with more dimension than the widely-panned 2011 movie.

8 John Krasinski

Superhero Redemption In The DCU

Back in 2022, it seemed as though John Kransinski was poised to become the next Mister Fantastic in the MCU, leader of the Fantastic Four. This was due to his appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness where he was revealed to be a Reed Richards from another reality apart from the main MCU. Having been perfectly cast and looking exactly like Reed does in the comics, many were sad to see Marvel Studios going in a different direction for their upcoming Fantastic Four (despite Pedro Pascal still being an exciting option for Mister Fantastic).

Now, perhaps the DCU’s Lanterns can provide some redemption for Krasinki should he be interested. Although he’s certainly moved behind the camera in recent years, a bearded Krasinki is similarly a dead ringer for the primary artwork of Hal Jordan that Gunn and Safran have used to promote the Lanterns show thus far (cover art from Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 2). Likewise, Krasinski is no stranger to television by any means (The Office, Jack Reacher).

7 Jensen Ackles

Maybe Batman Isn’t Meant To Be

Jensen Ackles had long campaigned to play a live-action Batman. He’s also already voiced animated versions of both The Dark Knight and Jason Todd’s Red Hood for Warner Bros over the years. However, one could argue that Ackles could just as easily portray DC’s greatest Green Lantern when and if the Caped Crusader doesn’t end up working out.

Having most recently played Soldier Boy in Amazon’s The Boys (a satire of Captain America), Ackles has proven his ability to play an older superhero (even one as corrupt and irreverent as Soldier Boy). As such, one could easily see him bringing a veteran Hal Jordan to life in Lanterns. He’d also get the chance to have some stronger morals, while still portraying Jordan as the brazen rule-breaker he’s known to be in the comics.

6 James Marsden

Forget Cyclops, Become A Space Cop

When it comes to the superhero film genre, James Marsden is best known for playing the first live-action Cyclops in 20th Century Fox’s first X-Men trilogy. The team leader of the X-Men, Scott Summers was a no-nonsense hero who was largely underutilized on-screen. As such, a role like Green Lantern would hopefully allow Marsden to truly shine as a superhero in the DC Universe. He’s certainly had other roles that have proven his dynamic charm would be perfect for Hal Jordan.

5 Jake Gyllenhaal

A Chance To Finally Be A Superhero

Since the early 2000s, Jake Gyllenhaal has nearly played two of the biggest superheroes of all time. First was when he almost replaced Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. The second time was when he got quite far in the casting process for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, only for Christian Bale to get the role instead. That being said, Gyllenhaal did end up playing the Spider-Man villain Mysterio in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home.

However, perhaps Hal Jordan could finally be the role that makes Jake Gyllenhaal a movie superhero. He certainly looks the part. Likewise, the idea that Lanterns may mirror a True Detective-type procedural is the kind of project where Gyllenhaal could certainly thrive.

4 Josh Duhamel

The Right Look And Age

Best known for his role in the Transformers franchise as Captain Lennox, Josh Duhamel could certainly play an officer type where more fantastical/cosmic elements are at play. He also recently played the superhero known as the Utopian in Netflix’s Jupiter’s Legacy, as well as providing the voice of Harvey Dent/Two-Face in the two-part animated Batman: The Long Halloween. When all put together, Duhamel could easily play a superhero with military experience in the DC Universe.

3 Chris Pine

Maybe A Different DC Comics Pilot Will Work

Chris Pine could play a veteran Hal Joran in his sleep. After all, he’s already played a similar pilot from DC Comics. In the DCEU’s Wonder Woman movies, Pine played Captain Steve Trevor who crashed his plane on the island of the Amazons known as Themyscira, eventually becoming the love interest of Princess Diana aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot).

Having also voiced a version of Spider-Man in Sony’s animated Into the Spider-Verse, Chris Pine is no stranger to roles in the superhero film genre. As such, it could be very interesting to see him in a more prominent role in the new DCU, one that would see him paired with new recruit John Stewart. He’d also have great chemistry with Nathan Fillion who’s already been cast as the Green Lantern Guy Gardner in James Gunn’s Superman.

2 Boyd Holbrook

He Could Finally Play The Good Guy

While there are exceptions, Boyd Holbrook has more often than not been cast as the bad guy in franchise projects (Logan, Sandman, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny). As such, to see Holbrook in the role of a superhero as good and as fearless as Hal Jordan could be very compelling. That said, one could also see Holbrook being perfect when and if Hal Jordan were to face some sort of corruption as he famously did in the comics with the fear entity known as Parallax.

1 Ryan Reynolds

Second Time’s The Charm?

While very unlikely, one has to wonder if Ryan Reynolds could ever be convinced to return as Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern for the DCU. Having played Jordan in the 2011 Green Lantern movie, Reynolds has gone on record saying that it was one of the worst films he’s ever been in. Likewise, hilarious Green Lantern jokes were made at the DC’s movie’s expense in both of Reynolds’ Deadpool movies (perhaps there will even be a third in the MCU’s Deadpool and Wolverine).

That said, there’s no denying that it would be a huge draw if all parties were in agreement, and Reynolds actually agreed to take another crack at the role. Lanterns will likely have a far better and more dynamic narrative with far better visuals and a stronger execution than the 2011 film. Likewise, many have agreed that Reynolds’ casting as Jordan was never the problem, and was in fact the movie’s greatest (if only) strength.

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