True Detective-style Green Lantern show has been greenlit at HBO with Hal Jordan and John Stewart in the lead

 John Stewart and Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: Earth One.
Credit: DC

DC Studios and HBO's Lanterns, a sort of superhero cop drama based on Green Lantern comics, has been ordered direct to series for a first season of eight episodes by HBO. First announced back in 2023, Lanterns is separate from a previous, canceled Green Lanterns show that was developed for HBO by Greg Berlanti.

In the new series, which ties into James Gunn's burgeoning DC movie universe, Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart will take the lead, with actor Nathan Fillion's Guy Gardner also likely to appear after debuting in 2025's Superman.

True Detective: Night Country writer Chris Mundy will serve as showrunner, with Damon Lindelof of HBO's Watchmen and award-winning comic writer Tom King to write the series as well as serve as executive producers.

"The series follows new recruit John Stewart and Lantern legend Hal Jordan, two intergalactic cops drawn into a dark, earth-based mystery as they investigate a murder in the American heartland," reads the official description.

Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: Earth One
Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: Earth One

(Image credit: DC)

When Lanterns was first announced as part of the first 10 projects of James Gunn and DC Films co-CEO Peter Safran's slate of films and series, Safran said it was a "very important show," comparing it to a True Detective-style "terrestrial-based investigation story."

Safran also said that Lanterns "plays a really big role leading us into the main story that we’re telling across our film and television."

"We're thrilled to bring this seminal DC title to HBO with Chris, Damon and Tom at the helm. John Stewart and Hal Jordan are two of DC’s most compelling characters, and Lanterns brings them to life in an original detective story that is a foundational part of the unified DCU we’re launching next summer with Superman," said Gunn and Safran in a joint statement accompanying the announcement of the series order.

Hal Jordan and John Stewart are the two best known modern Green Lanterns, with Jordan having originated as Green Lantern all the way back in 1959's Showcase #22, one of the first comics of the Silver Age of superheroes. John Stewart followed in 1971's Green Lantern #87, with both Hal and John serving as members of the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps.

Hal and the Corps at large were adapted to film in 2011's ill-fated Green Lantern film, starring Ryan Reynolds in an adaptation so widely panned that Reynolds himself has taken to clowning on it in his subsequent Deadpool movies.

John Stewart in Green Lantern: Earth One
John Stewart in Green Lantern: Earth One

(Image credit: DC)

As for John Stewart, he's the number one Green Lantern for a whole generation of fans, having been one of the core members of the Justice League in the team's animated series and its sequel Justice League Unlimited, voiced by Phil Lamarr, and the primary Green Lantern of the DC Animated Universe.

Max's announcement of the Lanterns series order uses art from Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko's Green Lantern: Earth One graphic novels, which reimagine Hal Jordan as an astronaut who finds the Green Lantern ring while mining asteroids. In that story, John Stewart is also reimagined as a Yellow Lantern, who wields an opposing power ring.

It's interesting that the version of John Stewart shown in the announcement is the one who wields a Yellow Power Ring - perhaps hinting at one of the potential twists of the show Lanterns, including why there's not a color designator on the series' title. Maybe there's a Yellow Lantern in addition to a Green Lantern? In comics, there are Lanterns of all colors of the rainbow as well as Black Lanterns and White Lanterns, each with their own abilities and roles in the galaxy.

No timeline was given for the release of Lanterns.

John Stewart and Hal Jordan are two of the best Green Lanterns of all time.