|Directed by||Martin Campbell|
|Based on||Green Lantern|
by DC Comics
|Edited by||Stuart Baird|
|Music by||James Newton Howard|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$220 million|
Green Lantern is a 2011 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, and Tim Robbins, with Martin Campbell directing a script by Greg Berlanti and comic book writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, which was subsequently rewritten by Michael Goldenberg. This was the first DC film since Catwoman (2004) not to be involved with Legendary Pictures. The film tells the story of Hal Jordan, a test pilot who is selected to become the first human member of an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps; he is given a ring that grants him superpowers, and must confront Parallax, a being who threatens to upset the balance of power in the universe, while a new threat rises back on Earth.
The film first entered development in 1997; progress remained stalled until Berlanti was hired to write and direct in October 2007. Martin Campbell was brought on board in February 2009 after Berlanti was forced to vacate the director's position. Most of the live-action actors were cast between July 2009 and February 2010, and filming took place from March to August 2010 in Louisiana. The film was converted to 3D during its post-production stage.
Green Lantern was released in the United States on June 17, 2011 by Warner Bros. Pictures to negative reviews, with criticism aimed at its script, tone, visual effects, and unfaithfulness to the source material. The film was one of the biggest box-office bombs in history, grossing $220 million against a production budget of $200 million. It was also originally intended to start a film franchise based on DC characters. However, due to the film's negative reception and disappointing box office performance, Warner Bros. scrapped plans for a sequel, opting instead to use Man of Steel (2013) as the official start of the DC Extended Universe, two years after Green Lantern's release.
Billions of years ago, the Guardians of the Universe use the green essence of willpower to create an intergalactic police force called the Green Lantern Corps. They divide the universe into 3,600 sectors, with one Green Lantern per sector. One such Green Lantern, Abin Sur of Sector 2814, defeats the malevolent being Parallax and imprisons him in the Lost Sector on the desolate planet Ryut. In the present day, Parallax escapes from his prison after becoming strengthened by an encounter with crash survivors who had accidentally fallen into the dugout where Parallax was imprisoned on the abandoned planet. Parallax feeds on their fear to gain strength before pursuing and mortally wounding Abin Sur, who escapes and crash-lands on Earth where he commands his power ring to find a worthy successor.
Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot working at Ferris Aircraft, is chosen by the ring and transported to the crash site, where the dying Abin Sur appoints him a Green Lantern, telling him to take the lantern and speak the oath. Hal says the oath and is whisked away to the Green Lantern Corps home planet of Oa, where he meets and trains with veteran Corps members Tomar-Re, Kilowog, and Corps leader Sinestro, who believes he is unfit and fearful. Hal, disheartened by his extreme training sessions and Sinestro's doubts, quits and returns to Earth, keeping the power ring and lantern.
Scientist Hector Hammond is summoned by his father, Senator Robert Hammond, to a secret government facility to perform an autopsy on Abin Sur's body under the watchful eye of Amanda Waller. A piece of Parallax inside the corpse enters Hammond, giving him psychic powers at the cost of his health and sanity. After discovering that he was chosen for the secret work only due to his father's influence and not for his own abilities, Hammond attempts to kill his father by telekinetically sabotaging his helicopter at a massive party with the use of Parallax's power. Hal saves the senator and the party guests, including his childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris.
The following night, Hal visits Carol Ferris's home in costume, but she immediately recognizes him after getting a closer look. Then they spend a peaceful time together. However, Carol becomes saddened after learning that Hal quit the Corps. Later, at the government facility, Hammond uses his telekinesis to successfully kill his father by burning him alive. Hammond also elevates Waller high above the floor. As she's falling, Hal arrives and saves the injured Waller by creating a pool of water which whisks her away out of further danger. During the encounter, Hal telepathically connects with Hammond and learns of Parallax coming to Earth, before Hammond escapes.
On Oa, the Guardians tell Sinestro that Parallax was one of their fellow guardians who attempted to control the yellow essence of fear, only to become corrupted himself. Arguing that the way to fight fear is with fear itself, Sinestro requests that the Guardians forge a ring of the same yellow power, preparing to concede Earth's destruction to Parallax in order to protect Oa. Hal appears and tries to convince the Guardians that fear will turn the users evil if its power is used, but they reject his pleas, and he returns to Earth to try to defeat Parallax on his own.
Hal saves Carol from Hammond after a brief showdown. Parallax arrives, consumes Hammond's entire life force, and then wreaks havoc on Coast City. After a fierce battle, Hal lures Parallax away from Earth to chase him across the Solar System. Parallax is caught in the sun's gravitational pull and is destroyed. Hal loses consciousness after the battle and falls toward the star, but is saved by Sinestro, Kilowog, and Tomar-Re.
The entire Green Lantern Corps congratulates Hal for his bravery. Sinestro tells Hal he now bears the responsibility of protecting his sector as a Green Lantern. Hal and Carol spend one last time together, and he tells her that he'll be away for a while. The two share a kiss and Hal flies away.
In a mid-credits scene, Sinestro takes the yellow ring and places it on his finger, causing his green suit and eyes to turn yellow.
Additionally, Jon Tenney plays Martin Jordan, Hal Jordan's father; Jay O. Sanders portrays Carl Ferris, an aircraft designer, and father of Carol Ferris; Mike Doyle was cast as Jack Jordan, Hal Jordan's older brother; and Nick Jandl was cast as Jim Jordan, Hal Jordan's younger brother.
In early 1997, Warner Bros. approached cult filmmaker and comic book writer Kevin Smith, who had then just finished writing Superman Lives, to script a Green Lantern film. Smith turned down the offer, believing there were more suitable candidates to make a Green Lantern film. At one point, Quentin Tarantino was offered the chance to write and direct. Warner also considered the property as an action comedy; by 2004, Robert Smigel had completed a script which was set to star Jack Black in the lead role, but the studio dropped the comedy idea following poor fan reaction from the Internet. David S. Goyer was offered the chance to write and direct either a Green Lantern or Flash film after Warner Bros. was impressed with his screenplay for Batman Begins, but he opted to direct the latter.
Actor-writer Corey Reynolds, a comic book fan of the John Stewart character, pitched to Warner an idea for a trilogy, with him starring as John Stewart and performing screenwriting duties. Reynolds intended to introduce Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern Corps, and Justice League in possible sequels. He finished the script for Green Lantern: Birth of a Hero in June 2007, receiving positive feedback from Warner Bros. with a potential 2010 release date. However, the studio abandoned Reynolds' concept, and in October the same year, Greg Berlanti signed to direct the film and co-write it with comic-book writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim. A draft of the trio's 2008 script, leaked on the Internet, revealed a story that included the hero's origin and included the characters Carol Ferris, Kilowog, Sinestro, and Guy Gardner in a cameo appearance, and appeared "to set up Hector Hammond as Hal Jordan's ... first major nemesis...."
Shortly afterward, Guggenheim said that the script would contain characterizations inspired by the Denny O'Neil-Neal Adams run on the comic in the 1970s, and Dave Gibbons' work in the early 1980s. He added that he and his co-writers also looked to the 2000s Geoff Johns stories: "It's been interesting because we finished a draft just before Johns' "Secret Origin" story arc started up. So I've been reading "Secret Origin" with a real interest in seeing 'OK, how did Geoff solve this problem?' There are certain elements just for anyone trying to retell Hal's origin for a modern day audience has to address and grapple with. For example, why the hell was Abin Sur flying in a space ship when he's a Green Lantern? You don't ask that question back in the Silver Age, but when you're writing in the Modern Age, you have to answer these things".
By December 2008, the writers had written three drafts of the screenplay and Warner was preparing for pre-production. By February 2009 Berlanti was no longer attached to the project and Martin Campbell entered negotiations to direct. The release date was set as December 2010, before being moved to June 17, 2011. Speaking about the experience in 2016, Berlanti confirmed that he was fired as both director and writer, stating that he had nothing to do with the finished product.
Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Justin Timberlake, and Jared Leto were the producers' top choices for the starring role in July 2009. On July 10, Reynolds was cast as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. A website reported on January 7, 2010, that a crew-member had written on her blog that the film was greenlit the day before and that filming would begin in 10 weeks. Also in January, Blake Lively was cast as Carol Ferris, Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond, and Mark Strong as Sinestro. In February, Tim Robbins joined the cast as Senator Hammond. The following month, New Zealanders Temuera Morrison and Taika Waititi had joined the cast as Abin Sur and Tom Kalmaku, respectively.
With a production budget of $200 million, Green Lantern was initially scheduled to begin filming in November 2009 at Fox Studios Australia. The start date was pushed back to January 2010, but the production moved to Louisiana, where, on March 3, test footage was filmed in Madisonville involving stunt cars. Principal photography began on March 15 in New Orleans, which doubled for Coast City, California, a fictional city in DC Comics. Nine days after filming began, Angela Bassett joined the cast as Dr. Amanda Waller, a government agent who is a staple of the DC Comics universe.
The same year in April, Jon Tenney was cast as Hal Jordan's father, test pilot Martin H. Jordan. Against Campbell's wishes, the film's production head decided to have the sequence of Martin's death in an air crash intercut with Hal plunging in the plane and witnessing the flashbacks coming to him. By June, filming began at New Orleans Lakefront Airport. In the same month, Mike Doyle was cast in the role of Jack Jordan, the older brother of Hal Jordan. In July, Ryan Reynolds was injured while shooting scenes for the film, separating his shoulder and was in "lots of pain".
While promoting Deadpool (in which Reynolds portrays another famous comic book superhero) in 2016, Reynolds said that filming Green Lantern itself had been frustrating: "You really need a visionary behind a movie like that, but it was the classic studio story: "We have a poster, but we don't have a script or know what we want; let's start shooting!" In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant in 2021, Campbell reflected that he should not have directed the film after all and admitted responsibility for the film "not working out". Comparing to how he saw all James Bond films before directing Casino Royale, Campbell acknowledged that superhero movies were never his "cup of tea".
The principal photography ended on August 6, 2010 and the film entered post-production. In an interview with MTV News, director Martin Campbell was asked about the film's effects-heavy epic scale and commented that it was a daunting process and that the film has 1,300 visual shots. When asked about the constructs created from the power rings, Campbell answered: "One of the nice things is, we'll all sit down and say, 'Well, what are we going to do here?' Really, it's as much as your imagination can go to make the constructs". The studio also confirmed that the film would have a 3D release.
In January 2011, Green Lantern began re-shoots for key scenes at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles, California. In March, Geoffrey Rush joined the cast as the voice of the CGI-created character, Tomar-Re. In April, Michael Clarke Duncan was cast to voice Kilowog. Also that month, Warner Bros. raised the visual effects budget by $9 million and hired additional visual effects studios to bolster the ranks of the team that had been working overtime to meet the film's June 17 launch.
Main article: Green Lantern (soundtrack)
The soundtrack was released in stores on June 14, 2011. The soundtrack was composed by James Newton Howard, who also worked on the other Warner Bros./DC Comics-based films Batman Begins and The Dark Knight with Hans Zimmer. The soundtrack was published by WaterTower Music.
The world premiere of Green Lantern took place on June 15, 2011 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, and was released in North America and the UK two days later on June 17.
Green Lantern was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 14, 2011. The Blu-ray release includes an extended cut, which adds an extra nine minutes of footage to the running time, totaling 123 minutes.
Marketing and promotion of the film cost $100 million. The first footage of the film was shown at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con and was widely released online in November with thirty seconds of footage airing the following day on Entertainment Tonight. The first full theatrical trailer for the film was shown before screenings of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and became available online in November. This initial trailer was met with a poor reception from fans and, as a result, the film's marketing campaign was delayed. Sue Kroll, the studio's worldwide marketing president responded: "Part of the reason the response to the first trailer was lukewarm was that the big-scale sequences weren't ready to show, and we suffered for it. We can't afford to do that again". In April Warner Bros. debuted nine minutes of footage at the 2011 WonderCon in San Francisco. The Hollywood Reporter reported that the footage wowed the audience. A four-minute cut of the WonderCon footage was later released online.
In March 2010, Comics Continuum reported that an animated Green Lantern film was in the works at Warner Bros. Animation, as a direct-to-video project that was timed for release of the live-action Green Lantern movie in the summer of 2011. The Green Lantern animated project was described to take a look at the origins of the Green Lantern Corps, including the first ring wielders. In an interview with Bruce Timm, the producer revealed that a sequel to the Green Lantern animated movie was discussed but canceled because of the picture not achieving the immediate success that they had hoped for, although Timm hoped that the live-action film would renew interest in a sequel. The animated film entitled Green Lantern: Emerald Knights was officially announced in June instead.
DC Entertainment began releasing a series of Green Lantern Movie Prequel comics the week before the film was released, covering the lives of the characters before the events of the film, written by members of the film's production team. Five comics were made, covering Tomar-Re by Marc Guggenheim, Kilowog by Peter J. Tomasi, Abin Sur by Michael Green, Hal Jordan by Greg Berlanti and Sinestro by Michael Goldenberg and Geoff Johns. A free excerpt of the Sinestro prequel comic was released online as "Secret Origin of the Green Lantern Corps #1" two days before the release of the film.
Six Flags debuted two roller coasters named Green Lantern at Great Adventure and Magic Mountain in 2011 to coincide with the film's release. A third ride, Green Lantern Coaster, also opened in November of the same year at Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia, although this ride was more based on the original comic.
Warner Bros. Interactive produced a tie-in video game, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by Double Helix Games, with versions for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS by Griptonite Games.
Green Lantern opened on Friday, June 17, 2011, in North America, earning $3.4 million in 1,180 midnight runs. The film went on to gross $21.4 million its opening day but fell 22% on Saturday for a weekend total of $53.2 million, earning it the No. 1 spot. In its second weekend, Green Lantern dropped into third place behind Cars 2 and Bad Teacher, experiencing a 66.1% decline, which was the largest second-weekend decline for a superhero film in 2011. Green Lantern grossed $116.7 million in the U.S. and Canada, as well as $103.3 million internationally, bringing its worldwide total to $220 million.
Many industry analysts felt that Green Lantern "failed to perform to expectations". The Hollywood Reporter speculated that Green Lantern needed to make approximately $500 million to be considered financially solid. Some publications listed the losses for the studio as high as $75 million.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 26% based on 249 reviews and an average rating of 4.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Noisy, overproduced, and thinly written, Green Lantern squanders an impressive budget and decades of comics mythology". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 39 out of 100 based on 39 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Justin Chang of Variety gave Green Lantern a mixed review, stating that "Martin Campbell's visually lavish sci-fi adventure is a highly unstable alloy of the serious, the goofy and the downright derivative". Manohla Dargis of The New York Times was generally negative to the film, despite having some praise for Ryan Reynolds, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, and Angela Bassett. Christy Lemire of the Associated Press called it a "joyless amalgamation of expository dialogue and special effects that aren't especially special". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times had mixed feelings: "Green Lantern does not intend to be plausible. It intends to be a sound-and-light show, assaulting the audience with sensational special effects. If that's what you want, that's what you get". British newspaper The Daily Telegraph named Green Lantern one of the ten worst films of 2011.
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter gave it a positive review, saying the film "serves up all the requisite elements with enough self-deprecating humor to suggest it doesn't take itself too seriously". Reviewer Leonard Maltin felt that "the film offers a dazzling array of visual effects, a likable hero, a beautiful leading lady, a colorful villain, and a good backstory. It also doesn't take itself too seriously". Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times wrote: "More science-fiction space opera than superhero epic, it works in fits and starts as its disparate parts go in and out of effectiveness, but the professionalism of the production make it watchable in a comic book kind of way".
|2010 Scream Awards||Most Anticipated Movie||Won|
|2011 Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actor – Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Ryan Reynolds||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress – Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Blake Lively||Nominated|
|2011 Scream Awards||Best Superhero||Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern||Nominated|
|38th People's Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actor||Ryan Reynolds (along with The Change-Up)||Nominated|
|Favorite Superhero||Ryan Reynolds||Won|
|Favorite Action Movie Actor||Ryan Reynolds||Nominated|
In 2010, director Martin Campbell confirmed the possibility of a Green Lantern trilogy. Warner Bros. originally planned on Green Lantern being the first entry of a new DC film series, and commissioned a script for a sequel from Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, and Marc Guggenheim while filming for the first film was underway.
In August 2010, Michael Goldenberg was still attached to write the screenplay, based on the sequel treatment. The scene in the film's end credits showing a resurgence of the yellow power ring of fear, with Sinestro becoming corrupted by its dark power, teased the planned sequel.
In September 2011, Warner Bros., dismayed by the film's negative reviews and disappointing box office run, abandoned plans for sequels.
Main article: DC Extended Universe
In June 2013, David S. Goyer confirmed that Man of Steel is the first film in the DC Extended Universe. This confirmed that should the Green Lantern property be featured in an upcoming DC film, it will be a rebooted version. Later that year Goyer stated that he had interest in making a new feature film based on the titular character.
By July 2015, Warner Bros. announced plans to release a solo Green Lantern film titled Green Lantern Corps, with an original release date scheduled for June 19, 2020. The film was to be an installment in the DC Extended Universe, with Hal Jordan and John Stewart as Green Lanterns in the film.
In January 2016, Goyer and Justin Rhodes were attached to write the film's script and to produce the film, with Geoff Johns and Jon Berg as executive producers. By November 2019, Johns was expected to deliver his script to Warner Bros. by the end of the year.
In March 2021, after the release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, the director's cut of Justice League, Zack Snyder revealed that a scrapped idea for the film had Batman meeting up with the Green Lantern Corps, with Ryan Reynolds appearing as an "additional lantern... to fill out the corps a bit". Snyder never spoke with Reynolds about this, however.
A 10 one-hour episodic Green Lantern television series separate from the film was in development for HBO Max from Marc Guggenheim and Seth Grahame-Smith with Berlanti Productions producing the series. The series was to focus on the Guy Gardner, Jessica Cruz, Simon Baz, and Alan Scott versions of Green Lantern alongside Sinestro and Kilowog. The series' title was revealed to be Lanterns in January 2023. The version with Berlanti was confirmed to have been cancelled, with this new series focusing on Hal Jordan and John Stewart as part of DC Studios' new shared universe.
Main article: DC Universe (franchise)
In December 2022, DC Studios CEO James Gunn confirmed that the Green Lantern characters would be an important part of the new DCU. When he and co-CEO Peter Safran unveiled the first projects from their DCU slate later that month they included Lanterns, a new iteration of a long-in-development Green Lantern series. Safran said the series would be an Earth-based detective story and "a huge HBO-quality event" in the style of the series True Detective.
Safran said the mystery that Jordan and Stewart investigate in the series leads into the main storyline for the DCU.
In July 2023, Nathan Fillion was cast as Guy Gardner in Superman: Legacy.
Main article: Crisis on Infinite Earths (Arrowverse)
The Arrowverse crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths" establishes that the 2011 film version of Green Lantern takes place on the world of Earth-12.
The disappointing performance of the film is occasionally a target of mockery from superhero-related comedies, including by Ryan Reynolds, Warner Bros., and DC themselves.
The 2016 film Deadpool, which stars Reynolds as the titular character, refers to the film in two scenes: the opening scene which features a drawing of Green Lantern, and a later scene where Reynolds' character (who has the ability to break the fourth wall) insists that his suit will not be "green or animated". In the film's sequel, there is a post-credits scene in which Deadpool travels back in time to shoot Reynolds before he can make the film. Before that, in a 2018 advertising campaign for Deadpool 2 featuring David Beckham, Ryan Reynolds (dressed as Deadpool) is seen apologizing for Reynolds' critical and commercial flops, including Green Lantern, R.I.P.D., Self/less and Blade: Trinity.
The DC animated film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) also makes a reference to Green Lantern's disappointing film.
In a promotion video for Free Guy in 2019, Reynolds and Waititi, who co-starred in both movies, jokingly denied that they had ever heard of Green Lantern.
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... I've had a lot of stuff not work on TV, too. I've had as much failure in this business as I've had success, across both spectrums. We can count pillows! (Laughs.) But Green Lantern is a great one to point to. I got fired from that movie as a writer and as a director, and yet my name was all over it. I still get blamed for it, even though I had nothing to do with the finished product. As Marc Guggenheim always says, there's a very Google-able script that we did write that was not executed that I still stand by. But at the time, I thought, "Oh God, that noose will hang around my neck my whole life. ..."
and another $100 million to promote it.
Critics may have panned Green Lantern, but moviegoers gave the 3D superhero pic a B CinemaScore
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