Will Playing Gay Green Lantern Help Jeremy Irvine Put 'Stonewall' Behind Him?

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday June 2, 2021
Originally published on May 28, 2021

"In brightest day, in blackest night, forget that 'Stonewall' movie's blight?"

That's the question for English actor Jeremy Irvine, who has just inked a deal to appear as a gay Green Lantern in the upcoming HBO Max series, according to Entertainment Weekly.

"Irvine starred in 'Stonewall,' which was criticized for its whitewashing of the Stonewall riots, as Danny Winters," EW recalled of the 2015 Roland Emmerich-directed drama. "The character was fictionalized and not based on any one real-life figure."

Noting the film and its central character being castigated for reframing the Stonewall riots, EW writes: "One scene even saw the character take the famous Stonewall brick from the hands of a queer person of color and throw it himself to spark the movement — a perfect symbol for how the film took the story of Black and Brown queer people away from them and claimed it as something else."

Irvine has drawn accolades for his body of work, including the film "War Horse" and the "Jason Bourne" TV spinoff, "Treadstone." However, his role as Danny in Stonewall still looms large for some gay members of the LGBTQ audience. With that, EW questioned Irvine's casting as the iconic Alan Scott.

Created in 1940, Scott was the first of a number of fictitious comic book characters to bear the "Green Lantern" moniker. The character was reinvented in the 2000s as an out gay superhero.

Though Irvine "has proven himself to be an impressive actor," as EW notes, "it's hard to divorce his portrayal of a famous gay comics hero from that widely loathed movie."

Still, it appears to be a done deal: Irvine took to Instagram to share the news that he has officially signed on to the project.

As EDGE previously reported, Irvine was rumored to be in talks to portray Scott, with the character imagined in the upcoming series as a closeted gay FBI agent in the 1940s. The series will span decades, and include a number of other Green Lanterns, including Guy Gardner, a 1980s-era superhero set to be played by Finn Wittrock.

Greg Berlanti, the out producer behind the "Arrowverse" superhero TV franchise on the CW, will produce the 10-episode "Green Lantern" HBO Max series in partnership with Warner Bros. Television. He will also co-write alongside Seth Grahame-Smith and Marc Guggenheim.

Scott joins a growing pantheon of LGBTQ superheroes, some of which are new versions of longtime favorites. Later this year, the MCU will depict a married gay superhero, Phastos (played by Brian Tyree Henry), and his non-superpowered husband in the upcoming film, "Eternals." That film, opening in cinemas this November, received its first teaser earlier this week.

What's more, Marvel Comics is also planning to introduce a gay teen version of Captain America next month for Pride.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.