Jack Black Green With Envy Over New Lantern

Any day now, Warner Bros. seems likely to finally announce its “Justice League of America” cast, officially appointing some lucky actor as the first cinematic Green Lantern. But as die-hard film fans know, funnyman Jack Black came this close to breaking in the green and black tights just a few years ago.

“Oh yeah,” he remembered recently, before making an all-in-fun reference to the WB keyholders currently auditioning actors like Common and T.I. for the superhero role. “The bastards!”

Now, Black is talking back about the “Green Lantern” movie, revealing details of the movie we’ll never see. “I really liked the script that a friend of mine wrote,” he remembered of the comedic take on the character. “But nobody wanted to make it; it was too weird.”

The reason why actors like Jack Black and Common (and Eddie Murphy, who was briefly involved with a “Green Lantern” script in his Eighties heyday) can all be Green Lanterns is because the name is actually a catch-all for several fictional characters. Over the last 67 years, such beloved comic creations as Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner and John Stewart (who is African-American) have joined the Green Lantern Corps – an interplanetary police force consisting of more than 7000 members of all species, each fueled by a power ring that gives unlimited crime-fighting tools to the wearer.

In 2004, rumors began surfacing that Black (hot off films like “School of Rock”) was in talks to play a common man who found himself as the newest member of the Corps. Influenced heavily by the Jim Carrey hit “The Mask,” the script was to depict an overweight hero using the power ring in comedic ways.

“I was going to be making all kinds of stuff,” Black said of the ring, which gives its possessor the power to create anything that can be imagined, and in the comic books usually manifests itself as green cages, weapons, walls, boxing gloves, etc.

“I was going to be capturing bad guys with green, giant prophylactics,” Black remembered of one scene in the script. “Some funny stuff.”

If that doesn’t sound like a good idea, you might want to take a moment to thank the most unlikely of saviors: Halle Berry’s “Catwoman.” That disloyal-to-the-comic movie’s disappointing box office, coupled with an intensely negative Internet reaction to the comedian’s casting, quickly killed Jack Black’s “Green Lantern.”

“It would have been a comedy, and I don’t know, maybe they didn’t want to go that way with the character,” the “Margot at the Wedding” star sighed. “You don’t see a lot of the superheroes as comedies. Batman, Superman, Spiderman – they’re all pretty straight-up.”

Are you happy that GL will now be the John Stewart character in “Justice League,” or would you have preferred seeing Jack Black give it a shot? In brightest day, in darkest night, no discussion shall escape the comments board below!