One of the most underrated areas of DC Comics lore is undoubtedly Green Lantern. Unfortunately, thanks to the big flop that was Ryan Reynolds’ old film, the franchise is generally shrugged off by many casual audiences.
While there is a live-action Green Lantern Corps movie in development at Warner Bros. and a separate television series at HBO Max, there’s been very few updates when it comes to how production is coming along for either of them. Thankfully, to help tithe over fans until those projects see the light of day (hopefully), DC Comics has just released a big animated movie following none other than John Story.
The animated feature, titled Green Lanterns: Beware My Power, focuses on John Stewart as one of the powerful rings is mysteriously bestowed upon him. This leads him to get caught up in some intense cosmic action alongside other characters such as Green Arrow, Hawkgirl, Adam Strange, and more.
The movie was officially released on July 26, but it was first screened during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, where the entire film was shown to those in attendance. After it ended, the creatives behind the project came on stage to discuss the movie in more detail.
Among those names were supervising producer Butch Lukic, director Jeff Wamester, screenwriters John Semper and Ernie Altbacker, Aldis Hodge (Green Lantern/John Stewart), and Jimmi Simpson (Green Arrow), Jamie Gray Hyder (Hawkgirl) and Brian Bloom (Adam Strange).
One thing that many fans might not realize is how Green Lantern: Beware My Power is the first animated DC Comics film to focus its story on John Stewart. While he’s appeared in a few other projects, he’s never been the star of the show.
In regards to being able to lead the film as John Stewart, the character’s voice actor, Aldis Hodge, shared how it was “an incredible honor to be involved [with the project]” and that he wanted kids to feel his “passion and excitement” for the character:
“The fact that it was the first main film with John Stewart made it an incredible honor to be involved with. I wanted kids to feel like I felt about John Stewart when I was a kid. I wanted to make sure you all felt my passion and excitement.”
As for Hal Jordan, the famous character was not the center of attention this time around. Lukic talked about some of their deleted scenes, noting that at one point, they “had a scene where Hal Jordan, who had been killed, had now disappeared:”
“We were over budget and had to condense some scenes. We also had a scene where Hal Jordan, who had been killed, had now disappeared. We left that out and decided to let the audiences decide what happened.”
Oddly enough, Hodge revealed that the SDCC panel was the “first time [he] got to meet everyone involved” with the project due to everyone recording their bits and pieces elsewhere:
“Some of us got to record in cool places like London, while the rest of us had to record our lines in our hometowns. This panel is nice because it’s the first time I got to meet everyone involved.”
Ryder added to that revelation, admitting how “it’s amazing this is the first time all of [them were] in the same room” and that “It’s amazing how we recorded apart yet came together so well in one piece.”
One of the main elements of the character’s struggle in the movie’s story was the incorporation of John Stewart’s PTSD, something which Bloom applauded. This came out in a lot of ways, but one of them was how many of his power ring constructions were military based.
Apparently, at one time, the movie could have been a buddy adventure with Green Lantern and Green Arrow as they traveled the country. However, Lukic noted that in the end, “doing a space story was more fun, and fun to design.” In fact, that change is what led to them “using the Adam Strange storyline”—something that Bloom was very appreciative of, seeing as he wouldn’t have been invited to the party otherwise.
Semper revealed that the entire movie was “[written] before the pandemic,” with Lukic adding that “[they] had to get used to using Zoom and other tools, but after a couple of months [they] got used to it.”
At the end of the panel, a whole slew of new DC Comics animated features were announced, including Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons, a Legion of Super-Heroes feature, Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham, Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes and Huntsmen (Part One), and Justice League Warworld.
Needless to say, it’s an excellent time to be a DC Comics fan.