Sunday, 5 April 2009

Comic Book Confidential: Brightest Day Or Blackest Night...

Warner Bros. is still claiming to have a start date ready for a big screen Green Lantern movie, and someone's even made a fake movie trailer in tribute...

But I just can't break my cynicism over the upcoming project. And here's why:

1. THE SCRIPT: It should be simple: ACT1- Hal Jordan, dashing test pilot, meets a dying Abin Sur, gets the ring, meets Sinestro, Act 2- discover's Sinestro's evil, gets him banished to the Yellow Dimension intro the Weaponers of Qward, ACT 3- Sinestro returns with a yellow ring, battle royale, happy ending, set the groundwork for a sequel.

However, I keep getting the feeling that someone is going to really screw it up, especially by assigning someone with little interest or passion for the source material, and the meddling of executives who couldn't tell their arsehole from a hole in the ground telling the writer to make Hal Jordan a morally ambivalent bad-ass like Wolverine to sell more merchandise. Hal Jordan can never be ambivalent bad-ass, he's the ultimate square, a fearless, patriotic, square jawed hero who acts solely on the basis of moral absolutes, and it's the basis of his appeal.

2. CASTING: This is even trickier. When I heard of a movie version, for some reason I could only picture one actor in the role of Sinestro, and that's Daniel Day Lewis. I had the same gut feeling when I a few years ago I declared that Robert Downey Jr. was destined to play Iron Man, and everyone said I was nuts. Well, who is nuts now? Day Lewis may think the role is beneath him, and he doesn't strike me as easily tempted by cold cash. I say pitch him the concept that Sinestro views himself as the hero, and Hal Jordan as the villain, and has a big speech that justifies his actions "for the greater good through order" and they might get him.

But the problem is casting Hal Jordan. Think about the crop of young actors (late 20s early 30s) currently working in Hollywood today, and then consider how many of them would you have watch your back in a brawl in a Tijuana brothel?*

I look at the crop and think that the moment the fists and bottles start flying they'll scream: "Not the face!" run away, and go snitch to your girlfriend that he last saw you in a brothel brawl, even though you had a perfectly good reason to be in the thick of it.**

The sort of true-blue action hero like Hal Jordan / Green Lantern would watch your back, and not give a whit about how the fight would affect the state of his hair. I just don't see many among Hollywood's young crop, and Christian Bale's already cast as Batman.

And then there's the character of Carol Ferris, who is beautiful, young, and capable of running a major aerospace company. Hollywood probably won't look far beyond "beautiful," and "young," and waste the part on someone who might sell an FHM photo-spread, but not sell the character.

Either way, I have some doubts about the film even getting finished, let alone being as worthwhile as the Nolan Batman movies.

But hope springs eternal.

*(The events leading up to the Tijuana Brothel Brawl are not important, though they do involve a poker game, a homemade rocket, a tequila worm, and a donkey named Pepito.)

** (The good reason involve the honour of the late heroic Pepito. Pepito, we salute you, your sacrifice, and will never forget either.)


  1. Have you read Geoff Johns latest run on Green Lantern, specifically the arc titled "Secret Origin"? (it's a little retelling/update of Hal's start) It's pretty much perfect to adapt into a movie. So I'd say start with that, and save Sinestro going evil for movie 2. Batman's proven (i think) that with comic book movies it's best to have #1 be origin, set up, etc with a secondary, less known villain that you don't have to worry about eating up screen time with #2 being the movie with the no 1 big bad so we really get to see the two shine.

    And I'm still lobbying for Jensen Ackles (Dean from Supernatural) for Hal Jordan.

    C'mon, watch the following clips and tell me that's not Hal.

  2. Sadly, my comics collection was stolen in the mid-90s and I haven't had the scratch to rebuild it beyond a few trades, and I haven't read the Geoff Johns run. (The nearest comics shop is 3 hrs away.)

    However, you could have the origin, and Jordan and pre-expulsion Sinestro fight another villain in GL-1. But at the end of GL-1 will come the exposure of Sinestro's evil, and his banishment to the Qward dimension.

    Then have Jordan battle some Earthly villains in #2, perhaps toss in an alien invasion. And end that with Sinestro's emergence from Qward with the yellow ring for GL-3. Then have GL-3 be a battle royale.