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Warner Bros. Still Trying To Figure Out Their DC Comics Plan; Considering Rebooting 'Green Lantern' Without Ryan Reynolds

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by Edward Davis
June 7, 2012 10:22 PM
16 Comments
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As we were just mentioning this afternoon, "Green Lantern" is a huge blemish and disappointment for Warner Bros. Launched just as WB were putting the finishing touches on their super lucrative "Harry Potter" series ($7.7 billion worldwide), the studio was hoping "Green Lantern" would be the beginning of a chapter in leveraging DC Comics super hero properties in the manner their competition (Marvel Studios) had already been successfully doing and beyond the likes of flagship characters like Batman and Superman. In fact, "Green Lantern" was very much akin to "Iron Man." A B-level character far from a household name, Marvel did the unthinkable, and remade the character into their A-list star property. Utilizing a similar, humor-filled approach, not so dark and brooding as Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises," "Green Lantern" seemed to take some of its basic cues from "Iron Man," only missing all marks by miles.

The film was rumored to cost around the $325 million mark (minus P&A domestically and internationally), and its net loss was $105 million making it one of the biggest box-office flops of all time (and certainly one of the biggest in 2011). Not only a creative and financial embarrassment, the series was a blackeye that totally derailed Warner Bros.' "Beyond The Dark Knight" phase 1 plan.

We've already heard that Warner Bros. has considered scrapping the already-written "Green Lantern 2" sequel and starting over from scratch, and it appears they're serious about a total overhaul. In a Variety piece about this very subject—WB's next phase and plan to exploit the DC Comics properties they own—the trade says the studio is still "figuring out whether to bring back Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern in a sequel to last year's actioner or relaunch the character in a completely new way." For Reynolds, who had a disastrous 2011 in his attempt to be a leading man, this is pretty grim news. 

While this news is probably not an outright shock, it's certainly the first time it's been reported that WB has considered dropping the star and completely wiping the slate clean. As noted, Warner Bros. recently hired Micheal Goldenberg (ironically one of the writers on "Green Lantern") to write a new "Wonder Woman" script and revealed that "Gangster Squad" scribe Will Beall had been working on a "Justice League" script for over a year now. The gears are certainly turning a little bit faster than they have been now that the uber-successful Marvel tentpole "The Avengers" has surely been a sore spot over on the competitive WB lot. 

It's interesting to note the emphasis Variety places on Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan, pointing out that the celebrated director does not have a deal at the studio, but clearly his touch with "The Dark Knight" series has not gone unrecognized at Warners, evinced when the studio hired him to godfather in the new iteration of "Superman." Variety says that  Warner Bros. isn't expected to make any concrete moves on the DC film front until after "The Dark Knight Rises" opens at the end of July, but one has to wonder if they're going to give Nolan—or some kind of Joss Whedon auteur that they trust—a role where he helps godfather in the next wave of heroes on the horizon, such as long-in-development, "The Flash," Wonder Woman, "Green Arrow" and more. However, with WB clearly so enamored and impressed with what Joss Whedon accomplished over at Marvel, you'd think they'd at least dust off that old "Wonder Woman" script the man wrote for Joel Silver and WB a half decade ago.

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16 Comments

  • karloshuddos | June 8, 2012 8:46 AMReply

    In my opinion in order to "nail it" the studios and the writers just need to take a leaf out of Nolans book and stay loyal to the source material, use the comics to create a brilliant story, stay away from original stories, and take key story arcs from a few comics to create a great story. Example, The dark knight = the long halloween, batman begins = year one, The dark knight rises = The dark knight returns / No mans land. All brilliant comics in themselves.

  • Mike | June 8, 2012 11:47 AM

    To be fair though, Nolan's films take inspiration from the plots of famous Batman graphic novels, but the interpretation of the characters and their surroundings are drastically altered. But, if GL similarly stopped trying to present it like the comic book it might work better. Of course then again Thor and The Avengers were very much fantastical comic book stories brought to life before the audience's eyes, so either can work, just needs the right touch. The biggest problem is that the GL source material isn't popular and makes Thor seem easy to adapt by comparison.

  • Barnes | June 8, 2012 6:50 AMReply

    Studios really have no idea and every word said further proves it. Green Lantern is not just a B character but a fairly unpopular one and his powers and story are hard to put in a film the same realm as the marvel ones. For the most part the difference is real simpe - marvel used good characters that had good stories in every single movie they did. Batman is a good character but for the most part DC comics characters that could have a movie focus aren't up to marvels standards and particularly the ones thy are choosing. It's insane. WB think they an just pick out any character and just make a movie. It's dumb. An as if they isn't get it the first time they think that just doing a new lantern movie and starting over will be ok - NOT THAT MANY PROPLE CARE FOR GREEN LANTERN!!!

  • Brendan | June 8, 2012 3:15 AMReply

    I'm not sure why Green Lantern gets such a bad wrap. It was a good movie, and Ryan Reynolds did very well as the character. What made it "flop" was the money spent making it 3d. Prior to the last few years, movies did fine without it (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight). Had they not spent so much time making it attempt to compete with 3D masterpieces such as Avatar and Sanctum, it would have been more of a success.

    Plus one key factor no one ever includes in The Dark Knight success was the untimely death of Heath Ledger. Had Heath not died, that movie would not have sold as much as it did.

  • Alan | June 8, 2012 7:30 AM

    Oh dear ... I hope you're being sarcastic because almost everything you said is way, way off the mark. Sanctum a masterpiece? Green Lantern is good? Assigning success of TDK to Ledger, when anticipation was super-high way before he passed away? Blaming the GL floperry on, umm, 3d?

  • hova | June 8, 2012 1:13 AMReply

    You think Reynolds really wants to do another Green Lantern? He's probably going to do all he can to try to distance himself from it if he's allowed to. He may have had a bad 2011, but he's off to a good start in 2012. Why would he want to take another chance with DC, especially when they continue to show craptacular judgment like giving one of the people most responsible for the mess that was GL the opportunity to write Wonder Woman.

  • Lou | June 8, 2012 12:49 PM

    Right you are. He took all the heat for Green Lantern underwhelming. Actors do what they are instructed to do on the basis of the script and the Director’s wishes, for heaven’s sake. Not even De Niro at the apex of his career could have done better. Nevertheless, I think that GL was more enjoyable than other superhero fluff which I happened to watch on TV and was unable to endure for more than 15 minutes. I think he would not go back to Green Lantern even if he were threatened with crucifixion.

  • Hetic | June 8, 2012 1:04 AMReply

    No need to reboot or recast just use the John Stewart Green Lantern and then no worries plain and simple.

  • cnashford2 | June 28, 2012 12:20 AM

    They DEFINITELY should use John Stewart. Brillant idea!

  • Mike | June 8, 2012 12:43 AMReply

    Harry Potter made $2.39b in North America, it made $7.7b worldwide, it's a nitpick maybe, but that's a massive difference.

  • Mike | June 8, 2012 11:44 AM

    Yeah, had it been more of a throwaway comment it wouldn't matter so much, but like you said you're trying to highlight financial disparity, so all's well that ends well. I'd probably still nitpick knowing me though haha.

  • Edward Davis | June 8, 2012 8:04 AM

    No, that's a good nitpick. I was going to fast late last night. Thanks for pointing it out. It's a massive difference as you say, and only illustrates the point more. I've adjusted the numbers, thanks.

  • Whedon Who | June 7, 2012 11:33 PMReply

    Whedon accomplished for Marvel???...somebody given Whedon way too much credit for the Avengers success...this is a long orchestrated play by Marvel for years...not one person deserves credit for what Marvel has done

  • TommyO | June 8, 2012 12:04 AM

    I suppose you don't know who Kevin Feige is then?

  • Ryan | June 7, 2012 11:00 PMReply

    Whedon's script + Nicolas Winding Refn directing= me being interested in a Wonder Woman film. Make it happen WB.

  • b | June 8, 2012 12:23 AM

    One or the other maybe, but that combination would be a disaster.

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