HBO’s upcoming Green Lantern TV show will be much darker and grittier than the movie, and more in the vein of the network’s hit Watchmen TV show
HBO’s upcoming Green Lantern TV series will reportedly have a much darker tone similar to Watchmen, according to reports. Watchmen, a nine-episode 2019 limited series based on the popular 1986 DC Comics of the same name, was a massive success for HBO. Developed by Lost co-creator and showrunner Damon Lindelof, the series received critical acclaim for its rich storytelling, interesting characters, and tackling of important social issues, winning no less than 11 Primetime Emmy Awards. Following the success of Watchmen, HBO is looking to adapt other comic books to the small screen, with one of the most notable being Green Lantern.
One of the most popular DC Comics characters, Green Lantern has already had a live-action adaptation with the 2011 superhero film Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds. The lack of box office success, not to mention critical mauling, meant that plans to develop new Green Lantern stories, including any potential sequels (and hopes of a new franchise), were put on hold. In 2019, though, HBO Max announced plans to make a live-action Green Lantern TV show and, in October 2020, the network made a 10-episode straight-to-series order with The Lego Batman Movie screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith brought on board as showrunner and co-writer.
However, it seems that the show will be darker and grittier than the movie was, fitting with HBO as a network, and the kinds of stories they like to tell. As reported by Illuminerdi, the show is expected to focus on the different struggles faced by the numerous Green Lanterns in their personal and professional lives, and this darker than expected tone is sure to be engrained in the storytelling of the show, as it was with Watchmen. With several key human and alien Lanterns reported to be appearing in the series, including Alan Scott, Guy Gardner, and Sinestro, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore darker storylines over the show’s run.
The darker elements of the show will allow for important social issues, such as racism and homophobia to be explored and visited, and this will link with the characters and their personal stories. For instance, Alan Scott, the DC Comics original Green Lantern character, is a closeted gay man in the 1940s, whilst new character Bree Jarta is a half-alien black woman living in the 1980s. Obviously, it is plain to see how these characters would lend themselves to darker and more mature storylines, and this seems to be the kind of direction HBO likes to take with many of their shows. Whether any specific comics are planned for adaptation across the series is unclear as of yet, but there is certainly the opportunity to cover multiple storylines and plot threads across 10 episodes, and Grahame-Smith has promised a gigantic, epic Green Lantern show for viewers.
Details of the show have been kept under wraps, and not much is known about what audiences can expect from this TV reboot, but a darker tone is something familiar to HBO, with shows such as Game of Thrones and The Sopranos providing dark and deep storytelling over the years. This is a bold move from HBO, as a more adult tone will cut out a younger audience. However, on the plus side, it is something that could allow for more interesting and immersive storytelling, as well as greater character development and widespread critical acclaim. HBO certainly comes across as a network happy to let its showrunners do their thing, with minimal interference, and, with this approach, the Green Lantern show could become the next big hit on the channel.
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