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DC casts Jeremy Irvine as gay superhero Green Lantern. Y’know, the guy from that awful Stonewall film

Emma Powys Maurice May 28, 2021
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DC Green Lantern

Actor Jeremy Irvine has been cast as DC's gay Green Lantern (Pablo Cuadra/Getty)

DC has finally cast its gay Green Lantern, with British actor Jeremy Irvine playing Alan Scott in a new series.

Irvine announced on Instagram that he’ll be starring in the new live-action TV series from HBO Max, which will portray the classic superhero as gay.

“Very excited to be joining the DC Universe!! Can’t wait to get started,” Irvine wrote, adding the oath of the Lantern Corps: “In brightest day, in blackest night/ No evil shall escape my sight/ Let those who worship evil’s might/ Beware my power – Green Lantern’s light!”

The new series will mark the first time Green Lantern is depicted on-screen as gay. The show will open in 1941, with a closeted Alan Scott working as an FBI agent.

You might remember Jeremy Irvine from such films as War Horse and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, or if you’re really unlucky, 2015’s Stonewall.

The widely-loathed movie from director Roland Emmerich was slammed by critics and campaigners alike for its “whitewashed, sex-shaming” portrayal of the 1969 Stonewall riots, which birthed the modern-day LGBT+ rights movement.

Queer veterans condemned the film for “misrepresenting” history by framing the story around Danny, a fictional cis white man – played by Irvine, a cis white man – instead of the trans and queer revolutionaries that spearheaded the movement.

One scene even saw Irvine’s character take the famous Stonewall brick from the hands of a queer person of colour and throw it himself to spark the riot, a perfect symbol of how the film sidelined Black and Brown people.

The backlash was worsened by Emmerich’s fierce defence of his choice to diminish the contributions of real-life trans women, butch dykes, and drag queens of colour.

“You have to understand one thing: I didn’t make this movie only for gay people, I made it also for straight people,” he said in a controversial Buzzfeed interview.

“I kind of found out, in the testing process, that actually, for straight people, [Danny] is a very easy in. Danny’s very straight-acting. He gets mistreated because of that. [Straight audiences] can feel for him.”

Irvine also spoke in defence of the film, telling the The Daily Beast in 2017 it was something he was “genuinely really proud of”.

He acknowledged the criticism but still managed to completely miss the point by suggesting that the controversy surrounding Stonewall actually helped educate audiences.

“I don’t think any of us expected it to get the attention that it has,” he optimistically told the outlet. “But now how many people have heard the name Marsha P Johnson, opposed to never having heard it before? Wow.

“I was out last night and had a few groups of people come up to me and wanted to talk about the film. They wanted to know if Marsha P Johnson was going to be a part of the movie and I was like, ‘Yeah! But also, how cool that you are all talking about that.'”

Perhaps if filmmakers had followed this thought a little further they might’ve been able to avoid the shocking nine per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Related topics: Green Lantern

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