Green Lantern down to Cooper, Reynolds, Timberlake?

Rumors have been appearing on the Web for months about who will put on the ring in the title role of Green Lantern—Chris Pine? Anton Yelchin?—and just as quickly they've been shot down.

Now Variety jumps in belatedly with speculation about whom director Martin Campbell and producers Donald De Line and Greg Berlanti have spent the past five months searching for.

The actor would play Hal Jordan, the Air Force pilot who is chosen by a dying alien to be his successor in an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lanterns. Here's how Variety reports it:

This week, the race narrowed to Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds and Justin Timberlake. The clock is ticking on the decision as the holding deal the studio had on the actors expired Monday, meaning the three are now free to accept other offers.

The studio ordered up two rounds of screen tests with Cooper, Reynolds and Timberlake. Other actors in the early mix included Michael Fassbender, Henry Cavill and Jared Leto.

Apparently, De Line, Campbell and the studio each had a different favorite among the three finalists, making it difficult to come to a consensus.

The trade paper goes on to report that the budget is quickly escalating, to between $150 million to $200 million or more.

The movie is eyeing a December 2010 release.

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