Much has been said as of late in regards to actor Tyrese Gibson being right for the role of Green Lantern John Stewart for the burgeoning DC Cinematic Universe (DCCU). Things seemed to have come to a head recently, when Tyrese himself alleged in a recent interview that he, along with actor Chris Pine, may be up for roles as John Stewart and Hal Jordan, respectively.
This came about after a months-long “campaign” Tyrese was waging, promoting himself for the role, after some of his fans had posted artistic renditions of Gibson as Green Lantern around the internet. This sparked Gibson to put his name in the hat for the role, and even have a meeting with Warner Bros., in hopes of landing the role for himself.
Apparently the meeting happened, and then there was a months-long silence on Tyrese’s part. I personally had suspected that Tyrese’s meeting with Warner Bros. went well, and he’s probably had to enter into all sorts of NDA’s with the studio as a result.
Fast forward to a few days ago, on the advent of Comic-Con, and Tyrese has emerged from his silence, and is dropping hints on whether he might be in consideration for the Green Lantern role, and whether he might be attending San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), “on the other end of an announcement”.
Since then, the internet has erupted with opinions about Tyrese, particularly whether or not he is worthy of taking on the role of John Stewart, DC’s first official Black Superhero. There are those who have been quite vocal against the notion of Tyrese playing the role of Green Lantern. The general trend of this feeling seems to be based on Tyrese’s current role in blockbuster franchises such as Fast & Furious, where he plays the comical Roman Pearce, a character which, by all rights, stands in direct contravention to the character, personality and demeanor of John Stewart. In light of public media criticism, Tyrese himself has taken to responding to his detractors, by submitting an open letter, challenging the criticism and outlining the highlights of his career, that give credence to him playing the role of Green Lantern. So, here is why I personally think Tyrese can carry the role, and carry it well.
HE’S GOT THE BUILD
John Stewart in every incarnation has a physical presence; the square jaw, the broad shoulders, the very fit physique. Tyrese is one of the few Black actors in currently in Hollywood that has that physical presence. Although people have called for actors like Idris Elba (who acting-wise, would indeed be perfect for the role) and Common who’d been considered for the role, none of them carry the physical presence that Tyrese does.
HE’S GOT THE LOOK
My personal favorite look for John Stewart, is the bald head and goatee look from the latter seasons of Justice League Unlimited. It’s a look that I’ve wished DC would have adopted in other incarnations since then, but it’s usually his military buzz cut look that DC usually seems to default to. But regardless, John Stewart has always been depicted as being ruggedly handsome. Again, this is something that many of the suggested actors, the likes of Morris Chestnut, or Taye Diggs do not have. Many of those actors are quite the opposite of ruggedly handsome, while Tyrese represents that look to a ‘T’.
HE’S GOT THE ATTITUDE
Much has been said about Tyrese being known for comic relief. However, that’s not, nor has it ever been, the core of his acting career. In fact, the bulk of his career has consisted of serious, intense roles. John Stewart as a character has always been a no-nonsense type of guy, and Tyrese at his best exemplifies that persona. Not only that, but Tyrese possesses the ability to take it up a notch. This is something that the Common’s and the Taye Diggs’ and the Morris Chestnut’s lack, especially while standing in the midst of gods and giants, the likes of Superman and Batman. Not to mention, upon his inception, John Stewart in the comics was especially known for his belligerent attitude. Thus, Tyrese’s “brash arrogance” would very well serve as a benefit and not a hindrance to the role.
HE’S GOT THE EXPERIENCE
Despite the notion that he’s one-note, John Stewart is a rather complex character. He’s an architect, he’s a Marine vet, he’s a sniper, and he’s a space cop. He bares the weight of being a leader in the Green Lantern Corps, he bears the burden of having inadvertently destroyed an entire planet. He’s bore the burden of failed relationships, and the emotional turmoil that stems from it. And he does it all with a stern face, a hard attitude, and a commitment to his duty. This is something that Tyrese has always exemplified, no matter the role he’s played. He’s been a military man (Annapolis, Transformers), he’s been an action hero (Waist Deep, Four Brothers), he’s been in complex relationships (Baby Boy, Black Nativity). Not to mention, with the Transformers franchise, he’s clearly familiar with the sci-fi genre, which would only serve him in the Green Lantern role all the more.
So, will Tyrese be the new John Stewart? Only time will tell, but all signs certainly point to it. There’s a strong chance that we may find out as soon as SDCC. But whatever happens, I, as a DC Enthusiast, as a John Stewart fan, and as a Tyrese fan, feel like Mr. Gibson is gonna surprise us all.
So what say you all? Do you think Tyrese is right for the role? Do you think he’s (and even Chris Pine) been appointed for the roles of Green Lantern? Sound off in the comments below.
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