'Green Lantern' Sequel May Ditch Early Story Outlines And Start From Scratch

by Gabe Toro
August 2, 2011 6:01 AM
10 Comments
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Just Like Audiences Worldwide, WB Reportedly Not Happy With Martin Campbell's Direction



There is nothing about a prospective "Green Lantern 2" that doesn't reek of flop sweat. DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. are scuffling in their race against Marvel/themselves to develop a new chain of franchises based on comic book characters, and the performance of "GL" this summer has certainly hurt momentum. With "The Dark Knight Rises" pegged for next summer and "The Man Of Steel" after that, they're going to want to diversify, lest the studio be forced to greenlight a bunch of actual real movies with interesting original characters not made to sell Happy Meals. Ye gods.

When originally developing "Green Lantern," Warner execs employed an outline from writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim that included story designs for a second film. However, a little bird tells the L.A. Times that the outline will now be heavily revised, if not completely re-written from scratch. And it seems clear where this is headed: the WB wants to go, ahem, "darker."

“To go forward we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action," says Warner Bros. head Jeff Rubinov. "And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.” We're with him on the second idea, as the film ping-ponged poorly between deep space and Generic City #308. But edgier? Darker? The nineties are over, Jeff. We were already surprised at how poker-faced Martin Campbell's space saga really was, as he's a pretty silly character and Ryan Reynolds is more of a comic personality. If anything, shouldn't it be lighter? Or are we just using code for "More like Batman"?

While the piece doesn't comment about Messrs. Berlanti, Green and Guggenheim (who are also responsible for a script to "The Flash" that Rubinov calls "solid"), there is the suggestion that they will seek a replacement for Campbell, who has insisted he's not interested in returning for a sequel anyway. And yet, the question continues to hang in the air: do we want another "Green Lantern"?

“We had a decent opening so we learned there is an audience,” says Rubinov, employing some pretty fuzzy math. "Green Lantern" was not only the weakest performer of this summer's superhero films, grossing $154 million worldwide, but it also had the weakest opening, as its 3D advantage couldn't even vault it over the star-less "X-Men: First Class." Not to mention that overall viciousness of the reviews or the toxic word of mouth that caused business to fall by over 63% in both the second and third weekends of release, an impressive feat. Since the piece alludes to a "Justice League" film in development, perhaps the best idea, from a financial perspective, is to re-introduce the Emerald Guardian in an ensemble film. Or maybe just not spend $300 million on making a superhero movie. We're not financial analysts or anything, but that just generally seems unwise when we're talking about stuff like "Green Lantern."

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10 Comments

  • Glass | August 3, 2011 11:15 AMReply

    How long ago did the original Green Lantern come out? 2 months ago? WAY overdue for a reboot. Audiences won't remember a thing.

  • sam | August 3, 2011 9:16 AMReply

    Seriously? Green Lantern made $150 million worldwide. If the rumored $300 million price tag is true, it's one of the biggest bombs in history. And given the awful audience response the movie got, I'd say a lot of that "audience" Rubinov is referring to wont be back for a second go around.

  • padre | August 3, 2011 4:50 AMReply

    The guy's superpower is a magic ring. I'm sorry nerd fans, but ... MAGIC RING. That can do anything anybody can dream up. And you think people complain too much about Superman having too many deus ex machina powers? He's got nothing on MAGIC RING.

  • ken | August 2, 2011 12:14 PMReply

    Why not just let it die???

    When Catwoman failed, nobody rushed to reboot that one.

  • carrie | August 2, 2011 10:19 AMReply

    does Warner Bros really need to lose again some money?

  • Val | August 2, 2011 8:45 AMReply

    Oh thank god. I have absolutely no doubt that Ryan can pull it off, especially if he's put against someone with better acting skills than Blake Lively (and for those who don't think he has the depth to pull out a darker character, please watch Buried and Smoking Aces).

    I think to bring out who Hal really is supposed to be, they need to bring in Green Arrow, they balance each other out extremely well in the comics and in that you get to see more of how much of a three dimensional character he can be. Have something big enough happen to him that he will switch to his more responsible comic self (like Rachel's death will do for Bruce Wayne in Rises) and take off from there.

  • Brody | August 2, 2011 8:32 AMReply

    I'm not sure the "franchise" is salvageable after the beating it's taken from critics and audiences this summer.

  • rodie | August 2, 2011 7:09 AMReply

    How "dark" can you really go with Ryan Reynolds in the lead? This sounds like another train wreck in the making.

  • Jonathan | August 2, 2011 6:41 AMReply

    How about a three act structure, no more than 2 villains, and more time spent with characters that I should care about. I don't think that the actors failed the film, I think the writers and producers fell short of creating a quality product. Bottom line, there is no excuse when the storylines surrounding this iconic figure have so many primal emotions to draw from.

  • TimParker | August 2, 2011 6:15 AMReply

    The sequel seems like a tough gamble no matter what. A character like Green Lantern definitely requires extensive CGI so it's bound to be expensive. I guess the darker idea could work? And with better filmmaking and acting? I dont know. Id be interested in seeing a different vision though. Because I'm not the studio, etc. that has to pay for it and see it not make anywhere close to its money back.

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