My first reaction: Oh, boy.
Deadline announces that Warner Bros. is “moving aggressively” on the Green Lantern Corps movie which will be written by David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes. Goyer, of course, is known for writing the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight movies, Man of Steel and the initial Batman vs. Superman script. Justin Rhodes wrote Unmanned, Grassroots and Contract Killers.
It’s reported David S. Goyer will also produce Green Lantern Corps, and that DC Entertainment president and co-runners of DC films Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg, will be executive producing, with the story conceived by Goyer and Johns.
The Green Lantern Corps movie is described as: Lethal Weapon in space, and it’s based on a comic book origin story. The focus will be on two characters: Hal Jordan and John Stewart. The latter is an African American Marine sniper before he joined the Lantern Corps and the story very much focuses on his relationship with Jordan and the Corps.
The report actually puts it forth that Ryan Reynolds could return as Green Lantern as it says “it’s unclear whether the studio would reengage with Ryan Reynolds,” but Ryan Reynolds did recently state he will not be returning to the role of Green Lantern. It has to be assumed that with Reynolds having huge success with Deadpool, that Warner Bros. isn’t ruling out Reynolds returning to the role. I’d like to reiterate that the failure of the first Green Lantern movie wasn’t on Ryan Reynolds or even the writers. Reynolds recently said when they started production, that the script wasn’t finished. On more than one occasion, the credited writers on the Green Lantern movie have also come out and stated their version of the script wasn’t used. I can corroborate this as I was told whatever script of Green Lantern they went with, didn’t even have any Green Lantern constructs, which, if you are familiar with the character, is an absolute travesty. Press on the movie also reported storyboards they saw during set visits, which were said to be pretty awesome, weren’t seen in the film. Similar to other DC movies, we can assume the 2011 Green Lantern movie may have had a producer problem, in that the producers interfered too much and mucked it all up (sound familiar?).
It’s also said WB will get a script and move quickly to get a director on Green Lantern Corps.
Regarding my reaction to David S. Goyer writing Green Lantern Corps, honestly I almost felt he was all but done for with the DCEU following the lackluster box office performance and reception of both Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman–and not being involved with Justice League. With Zack Snyder returning on Justice League, I figured Goyer was the “fall guy” for both movies not being well received, but now it appears as if Goyer simply “took a breather.” Goyer is also behind the upcoming SyFy Krypton prequel TV series and is also on board the return of Constantine through The CW’s new Constantine animated series.
I do happen to like David S. Goyer’s work a lot: He’s a fan, he’s a passionate and smart guy, and he also wrote Blade, was behind the awesome NBC Constantine TV series (loved that) and Da Vinci’s Demons on Starz (another good series), and even wrote the Call of Duty: Black Ops II campaign, which is one of my favorite all-time COD games. Another bonus, is that apparently Goyer’s Batman vs. Superman script featured Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor, which I felt would have been a better direction than Jesse Eisenberg (Chris Terrio rewrote BVS, at least the Lex parts, when Cranston turned the role down ). Before Man of Steel (basically) tanked at the box office, Goyer (and Snyder) also vyed to have have Henry Cavill and Superman spearhead the Justice League. Goyer’s opening to Man of Steel with the lengthy Krytpon scene was also nicely done, so it’s obviously safe to assume Goyer has a good handle on science-fiction, which Green Lantern requires. My only issue, and it goes back to Man of Steel, is that I hope Goyer doesn’t go overboard like they did with Superman killing Zod. Say what you want about it making sense for the story (or even Superman himself), but it was a huge gamble, and one that didn’t pay off. When you have big-time Superman industry personas (Mark Waid, Max Landis, to name a couple) coming out and stating they didn’t like the movie, you have a problem. Those are the guys you should actually get to consult on a Superman movie, and not go off in your own direction having Superman snap Zod’s neck with children everywhere asking their parents, “Dad, I thought Superman didn’t kill?” (true story: I heard a boy ask his father that the second time I saw Man of Steel in theaters). So my point, if anything, is that someone may need to pull in the reins a bit on Goyer. That person might be Geoff Johns.
Anyone who is at all familiar with Geoff Johns and Green Lantern knows of Johns’ stellar run on the Green Lantern comic book–considered one of the best of all time. So what happened with the 2011 Green Lantern movie of which Geoff Johns was on board as executive producer? It’s pretty simple, he didn’t have the power to change anything and was on board simply as a consultant (and the producers tossed his ideas aside). Things have changed as now Johns is fully in charge of the DC films, co-running the DCEU with Jon Berg, known for the Sherlock Holmes franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, Argo and The Blind Side, Elf and Edge of Tomorrow. The general consensus regarding why Green Lantern failed, in addition to the cruddy script, was that it couldn’t figure out whether to be a space movie or one set on Earth; it should have picked one and stuck with that (IMO).
I hope DC can get Green Lantern right on the big screen. If done right, it has the potential to be a huge blockbuster. With this news of Green Lantern Corps moving forward, it also may mean the rumors surrounding Green Lantern appearing in Justice League may have some truth. One other thing, I hope DC doesn’go the James Gunn Guardians of the Galaxy route with Green Lantern Corps and give it a goofy “Lost in Space” approach and vibe. Green Lantern needs more of a hard science-fiction approach (loved Sinestro War), similar to that Man of Steel Krypton scene, but fun at the same time.