The Emerald Knight’s first attempt at adaptation was an example of a fiasco in the comic book genre
Despite the distance immediately suggested, 2011 was not that different from what we have today when it comes to entertainment. In fact, at the time, the war on streaming services had not yet started with the oversupply of these products and their increasingly refined original productions. However, the configuration of the Hollywood film market was not that different from what it is today.
The watchword that year was to adapt as many comic book stories as possible, much of which was driven by the success of Marvel Studios (which until that point had two Iron Man films , created Captain America and Thor and was in the process of launching the first. Avengers). The only other company that initially had enough material to compete with Marvel in short-term popularity was DC Comics.
The latter, in turn, lived in a different market reality. As the competition established a commercially profitable shared universe model, DC focused on producing the third chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy which was another film proposition, more traditional and closed in its own universe without major links with other characters.
Warner was too focused on the Batman trilogy but saw the potential for something from the Green Lantern
Of course, Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the DC Comics properties, has been monitoring the market situation closely and already has plans to launch its shared universe. A screenplay for an adaptation of the Green Lantern has been circulating the halls of Warner for quite some time, more or less since 1997, when the studio approached Kevin Smith (who was at the same time involved in Tim Burton’s stillborn project for Superman) to lead the possible. long on the emerald hero.
Smith, however, declined the offer because he believed there were more competent directors to follow through on the idea. A few years later, Zack Snyder received the same invitation but it was another who refused because he was already engaged in the production of Watchmen. Other names would be speculated for the chairman of the director (from David S. Goyer to Quentin Tarantino) but to no avail.
Ultimately, the studio went with a choice that, while it wasn’t the most glamorous or impactful, was in theory the most stable. Martin Campbell was a name known for his work in major franchises; notably with the 007 films (Goldeneye in 1995 and the relaunch of the series in 2006 with Casino Royale) and with the two Zorro films with Antonio Banderas.
Martin Campbell has made some of the best 007 movies of all time
Although he never proclaimed himself an ardent fan of the character himself, Campbell had the studio’s confidence that the project would develop well and personally, as he set out in an interview with Steve Weintraub on Collider, he felt. that “the universe involving the Green Lantern Corps was quite rich”.
The script was another very controversial element; For a long time, the project has been associated with Corey Reynolds’ project for a trilogy centered around Green Lantern John Stewart. Hal Jordan would therefore be a character that would not be introduced until later. This screenplay, titled Green Lantern: Birth of a Hero, has been completely reworked by the team of new hired writers: Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green.
For the lead role, there was a dispute between Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, and Jared Leto – the director’s favorite being Cooper, but the studio decided to go with Reynolds as the more economical choice. As a result, the relationship between the star and the filmmaker quickly deteriorated over the course of production, with Campbell forcing the actor to repeat the same scene multiple times, in addition to criticizing his performance at different times.
“Green Lantern” is the type of project that the people involved don’t want to remember and who were part of
The film had a budget of US $ 200 million and overall raised around US $ 219 million at the box office, which was considered a monumental failure (as the difference between the cost and revenue of the film was quite slim. ). Reynolds’ performance, Campbell’s leadership, and overuse of CGI, many of which aged very poorly and very quickly, were unanimously noted by critics as things that buried the production.
The Green Lantern failure also postponed the start of a shared universe for DC Comics until 2013, when Man of Steel debuted. Unusually, however, Green Lantern became one of the most-watched movies streamed in the United States at the start of the pandemic in the last year. We don’t know what to say, just feel. Currently, the character remains in abeyance, with the possibility elevated on the horizon of a HBO Max-produced series focused on the Green Lantern Corps.
And you, do you think the film deserves a second chance?
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