Warner Bros contemplating Ryan Reynolds-less Green Lantern reboot

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Back in 2010, Warner Bros realized that one of their flagship franchises, Harry Potter, would be wrapping up the following year and they needed a replacement. They also realized that with the exception of Chris Nolan’s two Batman films, Marvel was killing them in the comic book movie department. So they decided to launch a new franchise based on a character with one of the deepest mythologies in comics, helmed by a talented director and starring one of the most promising leading men in Hollywood.

Except, Green Lantern was kind of a crap movie. Like, really crap.

And now, with news that DC will eventually be tackling a Justice League movie, it looks like they’re considering sweeping that pile of green poop under the carpet and just forgetting about it.

With a production budget of approximately $200 million, plus a rumoured advertising budget of an additional $100 million to $150 million, the film’s eventual $220 million global box office earnings was certainly not leaving the competition green with envy. In fact many were surprised when Warner Bros announced that despite the limp earnings, they would still soldier on with a sequel, as they were looking to build a franchise.

By August of last year a script for said sequel was written by 3 of the 6 Green Lantern scribes (Yes, 6 writers! That’s not a problem, right?), which Warner Bros then indicated that they would be making changes to, “to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action. … And [we have] to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.”

But according to a new report from Variety, those changes could possibly be a lot more drastic than just tweaking the terrestrial time-share, as Warner Bros are now considering scrapping the entire thing and just starting over fresh.

And leading man Ryan Reynolds – who, despite early aversions to his casting as Hal Jordan, actually ended up being one of the (very) few redeeming factors in the film – may just find himself being kicked to the curb along with that film, as Justice League could possibly be used to introduce brand new faces, who would then spin off into their own movies. A reverse Marvel, if you will.

That doesn’t mean that Warner Bros are flying completely in the face of everything that Marvel has pioneered (very successfully) with their own movie universe though. In fact, according to Variety’s sources there’s one particular Marvel approach that Warner Bros is in favour of embracing themselves:

” …the studio learned that when making a superhero pic, it needs to tap creatives that genuinely understand the characters the way Joss Whedon was comfortable with “The Avengers.”

It’s at this point that I pause to facepalm, as this should not be some great revelation. This is what fans have called for for ages. Even Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which may take some departures from its source (Joker being the most prevalent example), worked because Nolan respected the character immensely and treated it seriously, instead of just dismissing it as another brightly coloured, kiddies cartoon.

And as a decades long Green Lantern fan, whatever decision Warner Bros takes, that’s all I’m asking for: Respect the character and its mythos. When you have a group of space-cops, wielding what is considered the most powerful weapon in the universe due to its only restraint being imagination, facing down a galaxy destroying threat, and all they can come up with is to throw a big green net on it, then you’re not respecting the character. You’re hitting fans in the face with a green rubber penis.

Last Updated: June 12, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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