I can't imagine Justice League without Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern. My emotions are attached with this:

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But, I am getting this:

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Why did producers choose to not include Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern (they were also part of original seven members of Justice League in comics) in the movie?

  • 71
    So you don't care about Hawkgirl :(
    – Taladris
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 7:12
  • 13
    Because Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool now.
    – sudhanva
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 8:29
  • 8
    I'd read something that JJ/MM was likely not included as "he is an Alien, last of his race, misunderstood and trying to do good" (OWTTE). Sound like another guy dressed in Red and Blue in the film? The interests would've clashed etc.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 8:33
  • 66
    “I can't imagine Justice League without Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern.” Now you don’t have to! They made a movie to show you exactly what it’s like! Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 9:05
  • 5
    I strongly suspect it's because there are three white males, three non-white characters, a woman and a black guy (who's also disabled). Adding in more characters would have thrown off the demographic pattern
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 9:42

3 Answers 3


Green Lantern

GL's non-presence was discussed with the studio's bigwigs (Greg Silverman, president of creative development Warner Bros and DC producer Charles Roven) in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. They claim that it's down to three reasons;

  • That Green Lantern is too important a character to simply turn up in an ensemble film.
  • That they already have something Green Lantern-related in the works (presumably their slated 2020 "Green Lantern corps" movie).
  • That introducing even more characters would be confusing for audiences.

“[Green Lantern] is an incredible character. He’s actually multiple incredible characters,” Silverman says. “There’s real opportunity there. We didn’t do a great job on that first Green Lantern movie. This is a character who deserves to be treated in the same way that Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman are being treated now, which is with great reverence. I guess I can say to the Green Lantern fans: if they can be patient with us, I think they’ll be really happy.”

But how patient? Roven says we may not see Hal Jordan, John Stewart, or any incarnation of Green Lantern until Justice League – Part Two. Maybe. “Every beat of the movie is not yet worked out. So there’s the possibility that he may or may not be in Justice League 2,” the producer says. “For now, we felt that we were introducing enough characters that the best possible place we could put Green Lantern is some introduction in Justice League 2, or barring that, a movie after.”

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice links the DC Comics movie universe

Martian Manhunter

Senior DC scriptwriter David Goyer spoke about Martian Manhunter not being in the film in a Scriptnotes podcast. He broke it down into four main reasons. It's probably fair to say that if he's speaking openly, that these are prevalent beliefs within the upper echelons of DC's movie team.

  • The Martian Manhunter is too much of an unknown with audiences (and that they were happy to licence him to Supergirl for next-to-nothing for precisely that reason).
  • That his name is "goofy" and stupid-sounding.
  • That he's almost impossible to use in an ensemble film without a long back-story explaining his existence.
  • That his back-story is actually kinda dumb.

Martian Manhunter, AKA J'onn J'onzz, is of course the last survivor of an ancient Martian civilization, notable for being one of the cofounders of the Justice League of America. He has not been announced to appear in the upcoming Justice League film however, and based on what Goyer said when asked about the character, it's looking like he likely won't. After first dismissing Martian Manhunter as too obscure to matter, Goyer explained how he can't see making use of the character without removing nearly everything associated with the character. I'll just let his words speak for themselves:

"He can't be fucking called the Martian Manhunter because that's goofy. He can be called Manhunter... The whole deal with Martian Manhunter is he's an alien living amongst us... So he comes down to Earth and decides, unlike Superman who already exists in the world now, that he's just going to be a homicide detective... So instead of using super-powers and mind-reading and like, oh, I could figure out if the President's lying or whatever, he just decides to disguise himself as a human homicide detective. Dare to dream!"

"I would set it up like The Day After Tomorrow. We discover one of those Earth-like planets... So maybe like... we get the DNA code from that planet and then grow him in a petri dish here... He's like in Area 51 or something and we're just basically... doing biopsies on him."

Goyer's Martian Manhunter Comments Are Why DC Can't Have Nice Things

  • 15
    "We didn’t do a great job on that first Green Lantern movie. This is a character who deserves to be treated in the same way that Batman and Superman…" but why do the DC movies hate Green Lantern so much that they'd do that to him? Again. Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 10:01
  • 20
    If this is how senior management at DC movies feels about the Martian Manhunter, then I for one am happy they won't be including him. If the character is going to be in a movie, it should be written by someone who appreciates and understand the character. Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 14:06
  • 16
    "his name is "goofy" and stupid-sounding." Yeesh. With this line of reasoning Guardians of the Galaxy wouldn't be the same - can you imagine it without rocket raccoon? Once the character was established everyone loved it and the name is now positive. They make fun of that very trope with the whole "taser face" sequence - it doesn't matter what the name is. Perception will be created based on how it's used. Rocket was able to create a negative impression where none previously existed. If DC treats the character well, it doesn't (within limits) matter what the name is.
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 14:19
  • 11
    @AdamDavis - GotG is intended to be a light-hearted sci-comedy so it's ok to have silly characters doing silly things. Justice League may have funny moments, but it's intended to be a serious superhero fantasy film
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 14:47
  • 6
    @Valorum Ah yes, the "grimdark" aesthetic. Perhaps you're right, and DC is severely limited in their ability to include their own characters in their own movies due to this decision. I suspect, though, that a great writer and a great director could make it work even with this aesthetic. Regardless, while I still believe it's a silly reason, there are plenty of other reasons that are valid, so it's not a point worth debating, I just wanted to point out that this particular reason is very weak.
    – Adam Davis
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 14:57

Their powers are CGI heavy and would be very costly to animate correctly.

Martian Manhunter is a shapeshifter. Take away his shapeshifting and you basically have a green guy with super strenght with mind reading powers. And he has back story of Superman (as noted by Edlothiad). So,slightly stronger Aquaman.

Green Lantern is shapeshifting on steroids. A green guy that projects magical light that moves and cuts and punches things? Heavy CGI. But the guy that occasionally fires his hand cannon and is half robot? Much more limited and easier to animate and fix with costumer. Thus, Cyborg.

As for Hawkgirl? She is Wonder Woman with mace and wings. Winged flight is hard to animate correctly, because everyone has seen birds flying before and knows how it looks like. Otherwise, you get this:

In terms of story and what they bring on the table in terms of action and cost to actually bring it on screen, they are too expensive and they're not unique enough. I always felt it was that way during shows run as well. Hawkgirl, what does she do? She is a girl that flies around and punches things. Wonder Woman? Ditto. In fact, most of the original JLA powers are "flies around and punches things". Superman has eyebeams and x-ray vision in addition, but he rarely uses them. GL used his ring to mostly fly around and punch things and occasional protective barrier. MM used his powers to shift through walls, fly around and punch things.

  • 6
    This seems like really bad speculation at best without any form of support to back this statement.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 8:32
  • 3
    @Edlothiad He seems correct. I just checked budgets. Green Lantern's budget was whopping 200 million USD. In comparison, Avengers 220 million USD.
    – user931
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 8:40
  • 1
    Green Lantern's budget was so high because they needed to do extensive reshoots and a long re-edit. If it was a competent film, it would have cost under $150M to make
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 9:45
  • 12
    And I will ask you, sir, to stay away from insulting the fine cinematography that went into Flash Gordon, one of the best examples of cinema in the last fifty years.
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 13:06
  • 4
    It's not insulting, I just wanted to show Hawkgirl's people in all their glory. I use every opportunity to spread the blessing of Brian Blessed.
    – jo1storm
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 15:25

There's a couple of reasons I can think of off the top of my head.

The green lantern movie tanked, it sank without trace. My wifes reaction to it was "So his power is he can manifest anything he can imagine as long as he concentrates? How can anyone stand against him when he could just imagine velociraptors with machine-guns?".
I doubt you'll see the green lantern on screen for another decade, at least.
Apparently a Green Lanatern movie is in the works! o_O

Also, this is an ensemble movie, we have three known entities (WW, BM & SM) who need to get along & interact etc. They're adding two new characters, who - within the run time of the movie - need to be introduced, we've to get to know them & their powers, and we've to find how they fit into the existing & still evolving dynamic between BM, SM & WW. I honestly don't think there's room in the movie to introduce more new - and massively powered - characters.

If you compare this to Avengers Assemble, Marvel hardly introduced a new character in that movie, all the avengers & the main villain had appeared on screen before, Clint Barton had the least screen time having had only a small cameo in Thor.
All the super heroes had hours of screen time before being teamed up.

Here we have three fully fleshed characters, with movie time under their belts, but we've to do the narrative work to introduce two more while still telling a coherent story.

  • 2
    There may be a movie lined up, but the cogitative load for the audience is in this movie, "Who is he", "Where does he come from?", "Why is he here now?", "Where was he was New York was being flattened by alien powers?", "Why do I care?" are all the questions an audience needs to have satisfactory answers to, and they all have to be answered in this movie. Now add the same questions for The Flash, and this movie has a lot of work to do before we can all start having "fun" Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 8:48
  • 9
    “while still telling a coherent story” — this did not appear to be a requirement for the previous DC Extended Universe movies :/ Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 9:06
  • 2
    They've already slated a $150m+ Green Lantern film for 2020; screenrant.com/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 9:43
  • 2
    Just because your wife thinks that GL sucks, you can't say he sucks for everyone. I am a big fan.
    – user931
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 10:04
  • 6
    OK, but now I really want to see GL summoning velociraptors with machine guns...
    – DqwertyC
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 18:00

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