4 Reasons Warner Bros. Shouldn’t Bail on the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern Franchise Just Yet

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by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

in Nerdy

I‘ve gone on record as saying I loved Green Lantern. The film’s reception went from lukewarm early after its release, to full-on fanboy disdain over the last two and a half years. Shortly after its release, reports surfaced that WB was planning to move forward with a sequel. With the Harry Potter franchise coming to an end, WB was frantically searching for their next flagship, a burden they’ve now ascribed to the Man of Steel franchise.

In 2011, I was fortunate to attend a Green Lantern screening two days before its release. The theater was packed, and it was obvious that most people in attendance were excited to see the movie. There were moments of laughter, applause, and even some “oohs and ahhs”. As a longtime fan of Green Lantern’s comic series, it was a fantastic environment in which to see the long-awaited feature film debut of the character. It was a theater full of people who wanted to see a Green Lantern movie, not just movie-goers hoping to see a good movie (if that makes sense).

The movie concluded to a round of applause, and I drove home proud of DC and WB, sure they had a widely-accepted, critically-acclaimed (or at least critically ignored) hit on their hands. I was wrong. One thing I can say at the time, is that it seemed like the majority of Green Lantern fans enjoyed the movie and held it in a much higher regard than non-GL fans. As much as I’d like to see the Green Lantern character gain the mainstream acceptance that Iron Man, Spider-Man and Batman have, I thought they created a great complimentary character to eventually take part in a Justice League team-up film. Hal Jordan doesn’t need to carry a JL film, he just needs to hit a few key notes.

All that said, here are a few reasons a Green Lantern sequel would be a better movie than the first:

More Sinestro

Mark Strong was spectacular as Sinestro, perfectly bringing to life a character that WB wanted to almost completely redesign. In pre-production, Strong lobbied to keep the character true to his comic roots, as opposed to the sweeping changes that were proposed (see: pony tails and tribal gear).

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In Green Lantern, Sinestro is a member of the Green Lantern Corps, and is an ally of Hal Jordan. In a sequel, Sinestro would be a full-on yellow-clad baddie, and rightfully take his place as Hal Jordan’s arch enemy. Viewers who stuck around through the first chunk of Green Lantern’s closing credits got a taste of this. A 90 minute showdown between Green Lantern and Sinestro with little screen time dedicated to background story will be an action-packed delight.

Less Carol Ferris

Blake Lively had a hard time keeping up with screenmates Peter Saarsgard and Ryan Reynolds. Due to their differences in age and acting chops, it was difficult to believe that the trio had grown up together and was playing on the same field. In the comics, Hal Jordan’s new role in the Green Lantern Corps expectedly takes him away from earth for the majority of his time, and his relationship with Carol disintegrates. Screenwriters of a sequel would be wise to stay close to canon in this regard, as it would provide a natural diversion from the Ferris character.

A high-powered cameo

Unexpected hero or villain cameos create buzz. Man of Steel sequel casting updates have indicated that basically the entire Justice League will have at least cameo roles in the film. The one thing DC and WB should have learned from Marvel Studios’ success is that there is value in familiarity and consistency when it comes to general moviegoers.

batman-superman

Marvel introduced Hawkeye in small doses before his appearance inĀ The Avengers, and due to that they didn’t need to spend precious screen time introducing his character in the film. WB has to go back to the drawing board with every one of it’s characters except Superman in the MoS sequel, but they’d have been better off sticking with at least one established character, if for no other reason than to keep the movie under 3 hours with forced character development.

Bottom line is, if they stuck with the Reynolds-verse Green Lantern, we could expect multiple cameos by fellow Justice Leaguers in Green Lantern 2, which would be fantastic.

No training sequence

A sequel would see Hal as a fully up-to-speed Green Lantern Corps member, which means no more training. I will admit, the lightning-fast training sequence in Green Lantern was painfully succinct, especially when compared to Bruce Wayne’s long-form training in Batman Begins. The good news is that would all be behind us, and Hal would have full ring functionality and be able to dazzle viewers with the creative constructs and amazing abilities that make him the greatest Green Lantern of all time, and it would be a treat to see that.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

zerooctane July 6, 2011 at 9:12 am

I would have to say that I agree with you 100% on every level. You have the exact same outlook on the movie as me. With Chapman being more in the critics house.

The reason this movie DID work is the fact that it is the realization of a secondary character. Also, every GL fan has their favorite Lantern, and most are represented in the flick. Sequels can even introduce different Human Lanterns.

I am very happy that they are moving forward.

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HowardtheDeck July 6, 2011 at 9:45 am

Me too, but now the latest is that the studio is retracting the news that they are moving forward on a sequel. Too early to tell, but my opinion is that if G.I. Joe got one, GL should get one. I do realize GL cost a fortune to make and market, but maybe they could cut some corners the second time around as far as advertising? Thanks for reading!

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zedhatch February 8, 2012 at 11:30 am

I want the sequel so bad, I thought the first one wasn’t a bad movie at all. My wife liked it and she has no clue on GL until this movie, she asked to read a few of the comics afterward (Never happened before now with other CB movies).

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Howie Decker February 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Same here on ALL three counts! I defend the movie to this day (at length on our podcast EP#0), I desperately want a sequel (with the same cast) so the franchise can redeem itself (and it can’t be blamed on the dismissal of Reynolds, etc) AND my wife also really enjoyed it (disclaimer: she is VERY easily impressed by movies and Ryan Reynolds). Thanks as usual for sharing Zed!

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Chris Wolfe February 9, 2014 at 3:02 am

I saw Green Lantern on opening night – mostly because my partner is a longtime DC fan and was excited for the movie. Granted, my Australia city is not among the largest, and perhaps things were different among audiences in the capitals, but the audience reacted with a lukewarm ‘meh’ to the entire movie.
My partner disliked the movie and hated how is trampled on the legacy of the comic. I consider it the worse thing I’ve ever sat through to date, and I enured Pain and Gain last year. It was a rubbish, trashy, sad attempt at a comic book movie, with the high standards set by the Avengers movies, X-Men and the Batman trilogy, moviesgoers aren’t going to accept a mediocre attempt like Green Lantern. We simply expect beter standards. Or in this case – any standard.

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Guest February 9, 2014 at 7:00 am

No, they should definitely never revisit this movie. Edit: Wow this article is 3 years old.

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Arby February 9, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Interesting. It’s all about filler though. And aren’t a lot of these entertainment sites interconnected? It’s really just advertizing. If only they’d make good movies. Then I wouldn’t care about the info we gave Hollywood/ Pentagon about what we like. Really, I don’t think it’s about them learning what we like, exactly. They know what they want to give us and we won’t change their minds about that. It’s no doubt about how they will deliver to us what they want to deliver to us. We can help them with that. And spend more money seeing more of their crap movies – if we wish to.

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Arby February 9, 2014 at 8:19 pm

The Green Lantern was crap. Kids under 10 probably loved it. The problem wasn’t with any of the actors, including Ryan Reynolds. He made a fine Green Lantern.

I would LOVE to see less romance, period. Are there not enough girl flicks out there already for gosh sake?!

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bearmon2010 February 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

That’s your opinion. I liked it and I would love to see the sequel or a remake for a better story. Again, it was not that bad and I still enjoyed it. I do not want any romance and no girls in the movie is need.

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Billy Beefcaked February 9, 2014 at 9:04 pm

I think most agree the script was just horribly written.

Parallax wasn’t even Parallax in the movie, and Hector Hammond was just horribly “hammy”.

I would love to see another GL movie though that is for sure.

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Matt Khourie February 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

RR takes a lot of flak for this flick, but it wasn’t his fault. It was a garbage script, had a BS romantic subplot that just didnt click, and a GOD AWFUL Brainiac/Parallax situation.

There’s a few things you can do. 1) Bring RR back and give him a legit script. 2) Scrap him and cast either the Rock or Elba as speculated. Or three, unleash the Lantern Corp and bring ALL of them in for a decent showdown against Sinestro and his upstart Yellows.

The GL line deserves better than what we’ve received.

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Mr. Serious February 11, 2014 at 8:10 am

Here is an idea: throw a decent size GL cameo where he helps save the day (maybe in a sub plot) in Man of Steel 2. Maybe that nugget will get the general public excited about him having another shot at his own feature film.

Or burn every copy of the first movie and recast.

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