How Zack Snyder's Justice League Would Have Introduced Green Lantern, And Why The Studio Blocked It

John Stewart Green Lantern surrounded by soldier constructs

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Warning: SPOILERS for Zack Snyder’s Justice League are ahead!

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is finally here, and even if you’ve only watched one “chapter” of the HBO Max offering, it’s immediately clear that this story is a different beast than the Justice League that was released in late 2017. Among the main ways that the Snyder Cut differs from the theatrical cut is including Harry Lennix’s General Calvin Swanwick, who, as it turns out, is actually J’onn J’onzz, a.k.a. Martian Manhunter, in disguise. However, Snyder’s original vision for Justice League would saw Green Lantern filling the key role that J’onn ultimately occupied.

On the off chance you’re reading this without having watched all of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (here’s another SPOILER warning for good measure), Martian Manhunter appeared before Batman at the end of the movie to congratulate him on forming the superhero team. Zack Snyder shot a version of this scene with Green Lantern appearing instead, specifically John Stewart. However, Warner Bros put the kibosh on that plan. As Snyder put it to Vanity Fair:

They were like, ‘We have plans for John Stewart and we want to do our own announcement.’ So I said all right, I’ll give you that. So [Martian Manhunter] was the compromise.

It’s worth noting that just like in the theatrical cut of Justice League, Zack Snyder’s Justice League wasn’t Green Lantern-less, as an Emerald Knight was still present in the flashback to when Earth was first invaded by Apokoliptan forces. But as far as the modern day events went, Warner Bros wasn’t keen on Zack Snyder bringing John Stewart into the proceedings, hence why Martian Manhunter visited Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne instead. No doubt the “plans” WB mentioned to Snyder was in reference to the Green Lantern Corps movie, which would feature John working alongside Hal Jordan out in space.

But a lot has changed on the DC films front since Zack Snyder shot Justice League. In the case of Green Lantern Corps, not only has it been nearly a year and a half since we got a significant update on that project, but HBO Max is now developing a live-action Green Lantern series. Granted, neither Hal Jordan nor John Stewart have been announced to appear in that show, which might indicate that WB is still itching to bring these characters to the big screen. As things stand now though, it doesn’t seem like Green Lantern Corps is a high priority for the DC Extended Universe, if not been outright shelved.

In any case, given how the 2011 Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds critically and commercially underwhelmed, the Green Lantern property is due for cinematic redemption. And since John Stewart has been part of DC Comics lore since 1972 and skyrocketed in popularity thanks to his time on the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated TV shows, it’s definitely worth pointing a bigger spotlight on him, whether it’s giving him a movie or having him appear later down the line in HBO Max’s Green Lantern show.

For now, you can enjoy Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max, and if you’re not subscribed to the streaming service, you’re welcome to rectify that with this link. And for the Green Lantern fans out there, let us know your thoughts on John Stewart in the poll below.

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Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.