The latest development in the upcoming Green Lantern movie, which already stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular hero, Blake Lively as his love interest Carol Ferris, Peter Sarsgaard as the deformed villain Hector Hammond and Mark Strong as the enigmatic Sinestro, is that Angela Bassett is joining the cast as Amanda Waller – aka The Wall, a hard-ass special-ops team leader who takes no prisoners and pulls no punches in the pursuit of the American government’s interests. She isn’t necessarily a Green Lantern supporting character in the DC comic books, so it looks as though they may be taking a page out of Marvel’s playbook and introducing her as the Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) character who will unite all of the scattered DC superheroes (Superman, The Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.) into what they will eventually call the Justice League.
While Bassett is of course fantastic, the choice to bring her into this particular role seems a little questionable if only because Waller is one of the few comic book charcters who is actually overweight. Most of them are impossibly sculpted gods and goddesses. So it seemed like the perfect opportunity to actually cast someone of the appropriate size, since such characters are just as rare in Hollywood as well. Imagine Mo’Nique channeling some of her unrelenting abuse of power from Precious into this larger scale, or fan favorite choice CCH Pounder, who voiced her in the Justice League animated series, stepping into the flats of a woman so ruthless that she has no qualms about assembling a team of criminals and forcing them into service as operatives to take on suicide missions, which is what she’s known to do.
Missed casting opportunity aside, there’s no question that Bassett will be able to bring the requisite steely grit to The Wall, although it’s interesting that she was the fan favorite to take on the role of Storm in the X-Men movies back at the turn of the century (and some still claim she would have worked out much better than Halle Berry did), but now she seems like a slightly off choice to finally get her comic book movie groove on here a decade later. Only slightly, though, because she’s certainly more than talented enough to make us forget all of this idle speculation when she stares down Hal Jordan on the big screen next year.
Check out this special clip from the Justice League DVD series to get a little more insight into The Wall.