Green Lantern is finally ready to light up the silver screen in a big way.
DC Comics' ring-powered superhero will be prominently featured in two upcoming live-action features from Warner Bros., as a member of the crime-fighting Justice League of America and in his own solo effort.
The studio has hired Everwood creator Greg Berlanti to cowrite and direct a live-action the latter project. According to the trades, Warners sparked to a pitch by the TV wunderkind that focuses on Hal Jordan, a second-generation test pilot who was given the power ring and accompanying battery—or lantern—from a dying alien who crash-landed on Earth.
Several characters have wielded the ring in the Green Lantern mythology since the comic's inception in 1940, but Jordan is one of the prominent of alter egos.
His Green Lantern was not only notable for being Earth's envoy in the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force charged with keeping the peace on behalf of the Guardians of the Universe, but was also a founding member of the Justice League of America.
With the right strength of will, the ring gives its wearer an array of physics-bending powers, including the ability to generate force fields and plasma bolts, the power of flight, telepathy and even time travel. Like every superhero, Green Lantern has a weakness—in his case the color yellow.
"To me, this was on the last great comic book movie that hasn't been made," the newly minted ring master told the Hollywood Reporter. "It was a comic book with a real mythology that you would see in a lot of the space operas and the sci-fi books. The best part about it, anybody can be become one of the Green Lanterns because anyone can end up with that ring."
The film, which focuses on how Jordan first came into contact with the ring and became a member of the Green Lantern Corps, is being positioned as the possible launch pad for a franchise.
The 35-year-old Berlanti, whose credits include producing Dawson's Creek, Jack & Bobby, Brothers & Sisters and, most recently, Dirty Sexy Money, will collaborate on the script with Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green.
Guggenheim worked on Berlanti's Brothers & Sisters and has penned stories for such Marvels as Wolverine and Amazing Spiderman, as well as DC's The Flash. Green has previously served as a writer-producer on Smallville, is a coexecutive producer on NBC's Heroes and wrote DC's Superman/Batman title.
Green Lantern will be coproduced by Donald De Line, who is currently in Morocco supervising production on the Ridley Scott-helmed drama, Body of Lies, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
No word, however, on how the standalone Green Lantern feature will figure into Justice League or whether the same actor will play the part in both movies. Director George Miller is already casting the latter, which will also feature original JLA-ers Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, the Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. It's due in theaters in 2009.
Warners also has separate Wonder Woman and Flash films on the drawing board, in addition to the ongoing Superman and Batman series.
As for Berlanti, he's not quitting his day job just yet. He and Guggenheim's new legal drama, Eli Stone, is scheduled for a midseason debut.