I was lucky enough to catch up with David Ramsey at last weekend’s Motor City Comic Con. It was a thrill to meet one of the Arrowverse’s longest-running actors!
I asked Ramsey about his time as John Diggle, why we didn’t see him suit up as Green Lantern, and about the canceled Justice U series on the CW.
Interestingly, the actor still seemed hopeful that there might still be a path for Justice U to be made, as well as hope that he might be able to return as John Diggle. Check out my full interview below!
Interview with David Ramsey
[Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited slightly for clarity.]
Uday Kataria: “It’s great to meet you. You played Diggle in the Arrowverse for many years.”
David Ramsey: “Yes.”
U.K.: “And for a little while there, it looked like you were going to become a Green Lantern. I know that he ends up rejecting the ring.”
D.R.: “He does.”
U.K.: “But did you want him to put it on? Did you want to play in that Green Lantern sandbox?”
D.R.: [pauses] “Yes. I think we successfully teased it for a number of years. The fans were expecting something. And I think, you know, there are a lot of reasons why things don’t happen. You know, it’s kind of like, do you have a week for me to talk about this? There’s so many things above my pay grade that happened, that you will never know, that happened behind closed doors. And that’s fine.”
“But yeah, I think just to answer your question, it would have been great to put on the ring, and put my feet into the boots of John Stewart.”
U.K.: “I agree, I would have loved to see you as Green Lantern. You did find the ring in the Arrow series finale. And I remember that being a really cool ending for Diggle as a character. Did you know then that you weren’t going to become Green Lantern?”
D.R.: “Oh no, no, no, not at all. There was… no, that was a legit plan. But, you know, things changed. And I don’t know if it’s unfortunate because I’m a fan of the genre. And you have on a WandaVision shirt. I think that anytime you do superhero content and it’s good, it’s good for all superhero content, right?”
“So I’m kind of excited to see what [James] Gunn and team will do with Green Lantern, and Superman, and Flash. I’m excited about all that. Will I be a part of it? In its current iteration, probably not. But who knows what happens down the line? And again, man, I’m a fan of the genre. So there’s some disappointment, but at the same time, I’m excited to see what happens next.”
U.K.: “Yeah, of course. I think we’re all excited to see what’s gonna happen with DC in the future. And finally, I know that you were going to be part of that Justice U show that got a pilot order at the CW. I heard yesterday that they, unfortunately, passed on that. Can you tell us anything else about the show? Because I think it would have been awesome to see Diggle be a leader and be in the spotlight.”
D.R.: “Yeah, unfortunately, you’re right. CW decided to pass on all their shows in development. Justice U was one of them. Would it have been great? Of course, I think Diggle has a lot of story left, Lantern ring or not. But again, there is Superman and Lois, which again CW hasn’t made a decision on. A version of John Diggle exists within that mythos. We’ll see what happens there.”
U.K.: “Do you know any of the characters that were supposed to be on Justice U besides Diggle? Anyone from the comics?”
D.R.: “There were a few but I’m still not at liberty to talk about that. And the reason why is because it belongs to Warner Brothers. Even though it was Warner Brothers produced for CW, it’s still a Warner Brothers show, and I’m not quite sure what they’re going to do with that. I know what CW decided to do, but I don’t know what Warner Brothers is gonna do.”
U.K.: “Well, I hope they shop it to another network and that eventually it gets made.”
D.R.: “Who knows?”
U.K.: “All right, thank you so much.”
D.R.: “The pleasure was mine.”
Hope for Justice U and the return of John Diggle
I loved watching Arrow and was thrilled to see Diggle find the Green Lantern ring in the series finale. Although I fell off the Arrowverse train after the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, I was happy to hear about Diggle returning for mini-crossover episodes in shows like The Flash.
It’s disappointing that Diggle never got his Green Lantern suit, but it’s comforting to know the creators originally planned on bringing the idea to fruition. And perhaps there is still hope that we’ll see more of John Diggle on our screens, whether it be on Justice U or Superman & Lois, as the actor suggested was a possibility.
I’m definitely wondering what happened behind the scenes with that Green Lantern tease and I wonder if it has anything to do with the deleted John Stewart scene from Zack Snyder’s Justice League. We know Warner Brothers has torpedoed Arrowverse characters due to their DCEU appearances before!
I would’ve liked to see Justice U brought to life as well. Diggle was always a natural leader and seeing him form a team of metahumans would have been an interesting next step for the character. Here’s hoping the series finds a home somewhere.
It was wonderful to meet David Ramsey and talk to him about his time in the Arrowverse. It seems like he’s comfortable stepping away from Diggle for the foreseeable future, but I hope this isn’t the end!