The 2011 Green Lantern movie starring Ryan Reynolds is currently trending on Netflix as the DC movie recently became available as of September 1 to watch on the streaming service.
My queue shows Green Lantern as trending at #6 in the U.S.
Let's take a look at what happened with the movie below.
Green Lantern a big box office bomb
Green Lantern was released on June 17, 2011 and brought in $53 million for its opening weekend, which while not sounding like all that much does at least fit in with the comic book movies released that year, though it is on the low side and is considered a big bomb (see below) as the other movies had legs while GL did not.
However, what really hurt Green Lantern compared to those other flicks is the reactions from both the critics and fans, which wasn't positive at all. Green Lantern has a 26% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 45% Audience Score. Ouch. Of course, its whopping budget didn't also help things:
2011 comic book movie releases:
Thor: $150M budget; $65.7M opening; $449M box office - 77% Rotten Tomatotes Critics Score / 76% Audience Score
X-Men: First Class: $160M budget; $55M opening; $352.6M box office - 86/87
Green Lantern: $200M, budget; $53M opening; $219.8M box office 26/45
Captain America: The First Avenger: $140M budget; $65M opening; $370.5 box office - 80/74
Green Lantern hopes dashed
It's also highly probable that WB execs hoped Green Lantern would be their next Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy, as The Dark Knight hit a billion dollars at the box office, and The Dark Knight Rises was slated to be released the following year.
So with a whopping $200 million budget and failing at the box office, Green Lantern had zero chance of hitting a billion dollars, and the future plans were canceled.
Where have we seen that before? Oh, that's right, Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. WB execs wanted Man of Steel to hit a billion, and when it didn't and coupled with Man of Steel getting panned by fans and critics as well, its sequel plans were canceled, and instead, we got the mess that is Snyder's DCEU with Batman vs. Superman and Justice League.
What I find interesting about all this is that Batman Begins only made $373 million but Nolan's plans were allowed to continue; however, both Green Lantern and Man of Steel sequels were axed, and I can't help but wonder if the sequels were allowed to happen if they would have been better than their preceding movies? More on Green Lantern 2 below.
Green Lantern a big mess at WB, what else is new?
Also similar to what Snyder went through, it's known the Green Lantern movie was a big mess at WB, and from what I have been told, right from the start.
Over the years, various insiders have filled me in on things including that I knew someone who participated in the meeting when Ryan Reynolds first was talking to DC about starring in a superhero role. From what I was told, Reynolds wanted to play The Flash, but WB told him to either play Green Lantern or to hit the road. As Reynolds really, really wanted to play a superhero role, he decided to do Green Lantern. I also believe director Martin Campbell wanted Bradley Cooper for the lead role, not Reynolds.
I've also heard there were major, major problems with the script. I was told that, if you can believe this, there was a version of the script that featured no Green Lantern constructs, which had to be added at a later time. I'm not sure if that was the most recent script that made it into the movie, but it does seem as if some of those constructs felt forced.
Back in 2010, we also provided the first big leak for the movie in the form of Kilowog concept art. We played it off at the time as not knowing if it was real concept art for the movie, but of course we did, and then following us releasing the art, all kinds of additional concept art leaked which looked really cool. In our write-up, we also went over an earlier leaked script from Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim which got completely ditched. Both Berlanti and Guggenheim are now doing the HBO Max series and they have since come out and said they had no involvement in what happened with the end result of the movie as they were basically fired but their names were still attached as writers.
Green Lantern 2 details
Regarding Green Lantern 2, DC insiders who filled me in about how Henry Cavill was supposed to spearhead a new DCEU and who also filled me in on plans for The Batman back in 2012 - the same plans Matt Reeves is using today - offered the sequel would have followed that cool post-credit scene featuring Mark Strong's Sinestro getting the Yellow Ring, from ideas and a story/script by Michael Goldenberg, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Green:
- Most of Green Lantern 2 is set in space.
- At the start of the film, Hal Jordan and Sinestro are paired to stop an intergalactic serial killer, Arkillo, who Sinestro later frees to join his Corps and restore order to the universe.
- Sinestro's decision to leave the Corps is mainly due to his distrust of the Guardians and the fact he feels that the universe laughs at the Green Lanterns. Sinestro feels that a new Corps should replace them.
- Sinestro visits Warworld to recruit members to his new Corps.
- Sinestro frees Amon Sur and recruits him to his new Corps.
- There is a reference to Amon Sur's previous attempt to destroy the Corps, which happened in Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters.
- Carol Ferris is kidnapped by Sinestro to draw Hal Jordan to him.
- Jordan requests that the Guardians deploy the entire Corps to Korugar to rescue Carol and defeat Sinestro's Corps, but they deny his request. He subsequently makes a plea to the Corps via transmission of his ring. Several hundred respond and encounter Sinestro's fledging Corps in a battle above Korugar.
- Hal, Kilowog and Tomar-Re use the large battle taking place above Korugar as a distraction to sneak to the surface of the planet to rescue Carol. There, they are confronted by Sinestro, Arkillo and Amon Sur. Hal and Sinestro evenly match each other, while Kilowog defeats Arkillo, and Tomar-Re defeats Amon Sur before they rescue Carol.
- The battle between the two Corps ends with the Sinestro Corps retreating due to the majority having little experience with the ring.
- There is a foreshadowing to the third film with a discussion by the Guardians mentioning that a "War of Light" is coming.
- Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong, Blake Lively, Geoffrey Rush are all contracted to return for the sequel.
- Kevin Michael Richardson is expected to replace Michael Clarke Duncan as the voice of Kilowog.
Ethan Van Sciver reacts to Green Lantern movie
Ethan Van Sciver, who was the artist at DC Comics drawing Green Lantern, also recently viewed the flick and offered his thoughts, where Van Sciver also notes the script is a major problem:
I'm watching the GREEN LANTERN movie again for the first time since it came out on blu-ray, and I have a completely different feeling about it now. pic.twitter.com/swSALxp9sJ— TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE MEDIA (@EthanVanSciver) September 2, 2021
Nausea. I hope it ends soon.— TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE MEDIA (@EthanVanSciver) September 2, 2021
I was not properly Specially Thanked for the Green Lantern (2011) movie.— TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE MEDIA (@EthanVanSciver) September 2, 2021
They showed this at the end, but that's hardly Special Gratitude. pic.twitter.com/mzAoeFhmYk
The main problem with the Green Lantern movie is that it agrees with us that it's stupid. At every turn, characters in the movie are mocking how ridiculous everything we're seeing is.— TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE MEDIA (@EthanVanSciver) September 2, 2021
On top of that, everything looks villainously ugly. Oa looks like Hell. It looks evil. https://t.co/Yae6lL9JrF
He would have been fine. The problems were in the script. Hal Jordan isn't a reckless asshole. But that's literally IN THE SCRIPT. In the movie, Hal is a goofy clown who makes dumb wisecracks about things that should shake him to his core. Aliens are real. The ring. The oath. https://t.co/bKK3GWcVBt— TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE MEDIA (@EthanVanSciver) September 2, 2021
He's Spider-Man if he isn't Deadpool. I don't think he's Flash. https://t.co/OfDJDxLxB6— TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE MEDIA (@EthanVanSciver) September 2, 2021
Oa is based on Oz. It’s the Emerald City. It’s supposed to be beautiful and awesome.— TRUSTED MEMBER OF THE MEDIA (@EthanVanSciver) September 2, 2021
These crackers made it look like Mordor. https://t.co/XRII7N5yNv
As previously mentioned, the future of Green Lantern involves the HBO Max series, and J.J. Abrams is said to be developing a film using Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Of course, Ryan Reynolds went on to get huge success with his Deadpool movies, and Deadpool 3 is now in the works for the MCU.