Cooper, Reynolds, Timberlake Make Short List for ‘Green Lantern’

Who will wear the ring in Green Lantern?

Warner Bros. has narrowed it down to three: Bradley CooperRyan Reynolds and Justin Timberlake, each of whom has completed screen tests for the role.

At least that’s what the Hollywood Reporter says, and just about every movie blog that’s paying any attention has picked it up and run with it.

In certain quarters, the emergence of Timberlake has caused a fair amount of grumbling, from bloggers and commenters alike, but JT also has his defenders, among them Russ Fischer of /Film, who complimented Timberlake on his work in Black Snake Moan and the unfortunate Richard Kelly misfire Southland Tales and pointed out that casting Timberlake might actually make people who otherwise don’t know or care who-the-hell-is-Hal-Jordan sit up and pay attention.

Some of us think Timberlake was OK in Alpha Dog, too, and he holds his own on Saturday Night Live as well.

Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News doesn’t think Timberlake is “man enough to play the silver-age Emerald Gladiator,” but he may have been more peeved that the Reporter didn’t give him credit for breaking the Timberlake news earlier Thursday. Maybe that’s because whoever leaked the tidbit to the chubby bearded one either wasn’t interested in promoting Cooper and Reynolds and was hoping for better treatment for Timberlake, or simply didn’t have the whole picture.

In any case, the Reporter notes that director Martin Campbell, producers Donald De Line and Greg Berlanti, and Warner Bros. execs have narrowed down their choices to the aforementioned trio.

Complicating matters is the fact that the deciders all have different ideas about who should play Jordan, whom the Reporter describes as “the hot-shot Air Force pilot who is chosen by a dying alien to be his successor in an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lanterns.”

Meanwhile, the holding deal on those three guys expired Monday, meaning they’re free to accept other offers.

All three guys are sufficiently hunky in different ways — and with recent hit movies Cooper and Reynolds are not getting any cheaper — so the studio, director and producers need to hurry up and get on the same page if they want this movie to be ready to open in December 2010.

MORE NEWS: Jacksons Viewed Open Casket Before Tribute