As anyone who pays attention to the current movie scene certainly knows already, superhero movies have reigned supreme at the box office for many years at this point. As a result, when Warner Brothers released a big-budget Green Lantern movie, its success should’ve been a total no-brainer.
Despite all of the potential that the Green Lantern film had for success, the truth of the matter is that the film failed in pretty much every way. After all, not only did the movie not bring in enough money at the box office, but it also was panned by critics and most viewers alike. With that in mind, it is time to get to this list of 15 things that really happened behind the scenes of the disastrous film: Green Lantern.
15 Same Film, Different Character
If there is one thing that seems to be the kiss of death for a lot of major movies it is this, too many rewrites. Certainly, a movie that was passed around from one writer to another, many previous versions of 2011’s Green Lantern almost came to fruition. For example, one script for the film featured the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, as a character that was manipulating events.
14 Reported Injury
When it comes to your average superhero movie, it is easy to imagine a lot of action taking place on set. However, due to the fact that Green Lantern used CGI so liberally, you would think things were pretty tame while it was filmed. Despite that, Ryan Reynolds was said to have been in lots of pain after reportedly separating his shoulder while making the movie.
13 Big Plans
For many years at this point, Warner Brothers has been very clear about the fact that they want to create an MCU style film franchise based around their DC characters. Unfortunately for them, they abandoned all sequel plans for this film. However, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, a show that was supposed to play off this film, still aired.
12 Original Line
Just like a lot of superheroes, a mask has always been a part of Green Lantern’s look. For that reason, it is especially funny when Carol Ferris points out to Hal “I’ve seen you naked” before asking if he really thought she wouldn’t recognize him “because I can't see your cheekbones?” Arguably the film’s funniest gag, this joke was ad-libbed by Blake Lively.
11 Casting Conundrum
When it came time to cast the lead role in Green Lantern, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many actors were considered. For example, Warner Brothers understandably considered Bradley Cooper for the role. On the other hand, it is surprising that Justin Timberlake made the shortlist for the film, although it should be noted he was coming off the success of The Social Network at the time.
As one of the most respected actors of his generation, Peter Sarsgaard has a long history of throwing himself into his roles including researching his characters extensively. For that reason, prior to appearing on Green Lantern’s set, he read some comics which he told MTV News only helped “a little bit”. Perhaps if Sarsgaard had put more importance into the source material, he would have done a better job playing Hector Hammond.
9 Ignorance Isn’t Always Bliss
Given how much Ryan Reynolds has mocked this film, it may seem weird he starred in it. However, it turns out there is a very good reason for that as he told Yahoo News. “Nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script, because the script didn’t exist. I’m not complaining about it — it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and if I were to go back and retrace my steps, I would probably do everything the exact same way.”
Considering $200 million was spent making Green Lantern, it is staggering to think about how cheap its special effects look. As for the reason why that is the case, it seems to be Warner Brothers who are to blame as the company freed up $9 million to be spent on the effects only two months before the film’s release. That is nowhere near enough time to get a job like that done properly.
7 Other Approaches
Ultimately, Green Lantern was helmed by Martin Campbell, the person behind such films as GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro, and Casino Royale. While Campbell’s resume is impressive, he was not the first director who was approached by Warner Brothers. Instead, they asked Quentin Tarantino, Batman Begins screenwriter David Goyer, and Arrow creator Greg Berlanti all before him. On top of that, Kevin Smith was offered the chance to write the movie’s script but turned it down.
6 Previous Plans
Like a lot of big-budget movies, Green Lantern spent a long time in the pre-production process. In fact, long before Ryan Reynolds signed on to play Hal Jordan there were plans for a much more comedic film based around the character. Amazingly enough, Robert Smigel, the mind behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, was hired to write this planned movie and at that time Jack Black was slated to star in the film.
5 Set In Stone
As we touched on earlier in this list, Martin Campbell was not the first director tapped to helm Green Lantern. What you may not realize, however, is that when Arrow creator Greg Berlanti was asked to direct the film, he agreed to and did extensive pre-production work before giving up that job. As a result, not only was Berlanti credited as a producer on the film, but he is largely responsible for how the movie turned out as he approved its story before Campbell ever got involved.
4 Late Addition
In an ideal world, every major movie would have its cast set in stone before going into production. However, for some reason, those involved in the making of Green Lantern waited until the last minute to get a lot of things done. For example, the famed DC character Amanda Waller appeared in Green Lantern but Angela Bassett was cast in the role nine days after they’d already begun shooting the film.
As we touched on earlier in this list, Bradley Cooper was considered for the lead role in this film. However, we left out the fact that director Martin Campbell reportedly had his heart set on Cooper. As a result, according to those same reports, Campbell and Ryan Reynolds clashed on set often because the director never wanted the actor involved in the film.
2 Mind-Blowing Demand
After Warner Brothers became unhappy with the DCEU, they tapped Geoff Johns to come in an attempt to right the ship. That is pretty funny when you know that in the year 2000, Johns was asked to work on a Green Lantern script that was scrapped. Incredibly enough, Warner Brothers insisted that his script excluded Green Lantern’s ring which is baffling.
1 Lost Control
Even though Martin Campbell has proven himself to be a talented director, he clearly wasn’t the right choice to make Green Lantern. After all, he was well versed in practical effects but he had never made such a CGI heavy film. On top of that, it seems like his studio bosses lost faith in him as they forced extensive reshoots, interfered during the filming, and kicked him out of the editing room.
Sources: screenrant.com, yahoo.com, mtv.com, variety.com, denofgeek.com