Since the immense success of “The Dark Knight” DC Comics has decided to speed up production on it’s roster of A list characters, much like Marvel has done recently. So they announced that they would begin work on movies for The Flash, Wonder Woman, and The Green Lantern, in addition to a follow up for Superman and Batman. Who can blame them? At this point, Marvel is light years ahead of their comic book rivals in terms of the movies for their characters. Marvel is even working on a movie for their superhero ensemble The Avengers. DC has their own team, The Justice League, but the movie that was being planned has been scrapped for the indefinite future. So with renewed focus DC is prepared to finally start competing with Marvel in theaters.
The project currently closest to completion and release would be the first feature film appearance of The Green Lantern! For those of you who don’t know, The Green Lantern is actually a member of an intergalactic police force sworn to protect the universe. They are collectively known as the Green Lantern Corps. Based on the planet Oa, the Lanterns use “power rings” to project anything their imagination can come up with, and anything their inner strength can power. Their rings are only as strong as the wearer (Even the Batman Power Ring). They are green, hence the name, and their energy projections are also green. They are powered by “Lanterns,” or batteries that can recharge the power of the rings. These rings work on everything except for anything colored yellow. I know, seems odd to me too. And the Lantern is sworn to protect the area of space including the Earth. He is one of DC Comics premiere characters, and an original member of The Justice League.
Green Lantern has a long history in the DC Comics universe. His first appearance was in All American Comics #16 in July of 1940. GL, as I will continue to call him in this article, has always been a hero largely based in science fiction. GL’s have had numerous adventures fighting intergalactic threats on different worlds. So I would imagine this movie would be a science fiction film. As far as Earth’s Green Lanterns go, there have been numerous different people wear the power ring and act as a member of the Green Lantern core. Those individuals include Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardener and Jonathan Stewart. Even the Batman has donned the power ring before. I thought the pic to the right was great!
The two most popular lanterns have been Hal Jordan and Jonathan Stewart. All indications to this point seem to point toward Hal Jordan being the GL featured in the current film project.
I hope that my coverage of the key points have induced enough curiosity in you to get you to read up on the character. GL has always been my favorite DC Comics hero, as he is more of a sci-fi hero. I love that. And I love the power ring! It can do anything as long as the wearer is strong enough and has the willpower to do it. Green Lanterns are some of the most powerful heroes in the universe. So lets get into the film, shall we? GL is currently getting the final script polish. There have been casting rumors, leaked scripts and rumors of super cameos! I will address it all in this complete Green Lantern coverage!
The project is currently being written by Marc Guggenheim, Michael Green and Greg Berlanti (who is also directing the film) It is currently in the midst of its third rewrite, and is near completion. A short while back, a copy of the original script made it too the web, and I was lucky enough to read it. Let me tell you, if they even com close to showing what was written for the original script, this movie will be epic! A truely huge science fiction adventure! For fans of GL, this movie shows it all, including several lanterns from different sectors of outer space, the planet Oa and a huge climactic battle in space. It seems really exciting, and all indications so far have been that the current script is not far off from the original. Co-writer Marc Guggenheim spoke to MTV about where the project stands so far. He had the following to say:
“The changes are nothing that’s affecting the storyline, really, It’s pretty well set. But sometimes we’ll move a scene to a different location for budget purposes, perhaps in an already established location instead of a new one. It’s a question of, which locations can we live without? It’s a constant process to streamline what you’re going through, even after the film is shot, when you’re cutting things in the edit. That’s what the rewrite process is like, how you sand down the roughness of the a movie to its smoothest.”
Sounds pretty fair to me. Just based upon what I read, the movie would require a huge budget to make it a reality. As long as they keep the story line in tact. For those of you who are interested, you can still find the leaked script review on the web with a little patience. Legally I can’t post it here, but if you can find it you may want to check it out! One particular location in the movie, the Lantern base of operations on planet Oa, is spectacular. All of the Green Lanterns complete power ring training here.
Guggenheim said that what we will see of the planet has never been seen before on film.
Okay, so with a director in place and the script nearing completion, they need to cast GL. As I mentioned before, there have been several Lanterns. One of them, Jon Stewart, was dark skinned. In the proposed Justice League movie, this version of the Lantern was slated to appear and be played by rapper/actor Common. However this GL movie will feature Hal Jordan as the Lantern. There have been several rumors of who may play Jordan, with nothing sounding very credible. Some actors being tossed out there for the character are David Boreanaz, Matthew Settle and Ryan Gosling, to name a few. The Gossling rumor seems to be the most credible of them all. And that would be fantastic having an established actor the caliber of Gosling playing a sci-fi hero. Instant credibility. That would be my choice to play Hal Jordan. I’d love to hear your casting ideas though!
Another GL rumor that has surfaced lately has been that of a super powered cameo in the film. Word is that Superman himself will appear in The Green Lantern! The story here is that Clark Kent shows up in the movie to get a good look at “the new hero on the block.” How cool would that be for DC fans? If anything, Marvel has shown that you can cross pollinate in feature films. And it helps to set up a future for team up movies (Justice League anyone?) In fact, Marc Guggenheim addressed this in a direct, indirect manner. He is a self proclaimed “sucker for a good Easter egg.” For those who don’t know, an “Easter egg” is something in a film that is specifically placed for hardcore fans or very attentive moviegoers. They tend to be brief, quick glimpses or lines in the film that reference something else. In this case, the appearance of Clark Kent. Here is what Guggenheim said:
“The fanboy in me would love that. Robert Downey, Jr. in ‘The Hulk’ was awesome. I love that stuff in general, and I think the fans would enjoy it. Brandon Routh or even Tom Welling in Green Lantern would be awesome. And anything is possible. The beauty part of being the writer, though, is that I don’t actually have to make that judgment call.”
So perhaps we will see something like this in GL? That is certainly exciting, I love finding “easter eggs.” Kind of off subject, my favorite all time “easter egg” is the appearance of Captain America’s shield in “Iron Man.” Anyway, having a fanboy writer can’t possibly hurt. But who would play Kent? Would it be Smallville’s Tom Welling? “Superman Returns” star Brandon Routh? Or would they go for someone completely different? There certainly is plenty of time to figure it out. And it may just be a matter of deciding who will be Superman in the next solo film for the character.
Finally, we have some info for the comic fans. Guggenheim mentioned some of the story lines he referred to when coming up with the script. It was suggested that a villain in the film would be Legion, a big bruiser of a bad guy who formed a golden yellow suit of armor wrapped around the hive mind of an alien civilization. Remember, GL’s cannot use their power on the color yellow! Hardcore comic fans can use this info to infer that part of the story is tied to the “Emerald Dawn” storyline. But that is only part of it. Guggenheim is including elements from all the different iterations of the character. He wants to stay true to the comic source material. He stated that a big influence would be the 80’s comic versions of GL, as that is when he became a fan of the Lantern. Here is some of what he had to say:
“We really spanned the whole gamut from the Silver Age through the Modern Age to Geoff Johns. There’s a lot of different elements that are hard to coalesce, actually. Green Lantern as much as any modern day superhero has a lot of continuity gaps and inconsistencies, and you’re wrestling with it all to make everything work. And I don’t mean ‘work’ in a creative sense…I mean ‘work’ in a ‘not contradict each other’ sense. That’s always tricky when you’ve got such a length and breadth of material to work from.”
The first version of the script was completed just before the current Green Lantern comic series began. That series is entitled “Secret Origin.” Guggenheim is currently reading the series because he says he wants to see how they address the origin of the Green Lantern for modern audiences. See, Hal Jordin was selected as a GL by an alien named Abin Sur. He was the GL for this area of space, but his spaceship crashed on Earth. As he was dying, he used the power of the ring to scour the Earth for one worthy of the ring and becoming a Lantern. He found fighter pilot Hal Jordan. Back when that origin story was told, it was unquestioned. But think about it now. If Abin Sur was a Green Lantern, he could use his ring to fly through space. Why would he need a spaceship? And why couldn’t he use his ring to save himself from the crash? These are questions that Guggenheim is interested in addressing. The current script may or may not address these issues in the same manner as the “Secret Origin” story does.
So there we have it folks. Complete, extensive coverage of everything Green Lantern. I hope this has helped all of you GL newbies get familiar with the basics of the character. Maybe you too can enjoy the character as I do. I believe this will be a special film, and I am very excited about this. What do you think? Are you ready for a science fiction superhero epic? “The Green Lantern” is slated for release in 2010.