April 29: Drop A Bomb — Please share your favorite critical and financial flop with us!
Martin Campbell made two Zorro and two James Bond movies, but that in no way seemed to prepare him for this DC Universe film. It took a long time to get this far, as Warner Brothers had spent nearly 15 years working on ideas, starting with Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino turning down the film. Robert Smigel wrote a treatment with Jack Black in the lead, but comic book fans hated that.
Ryan Reynolds, who played Green Lantern Hal Jodan, said “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!”
It was also one of those movies that needed to be a big hit to even break even. In fact, to make money, it needed to bring in $500 million.
Roger Ebert probably summed it up best: “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.”
The Green Lantern Corps — which are a lot like the science fiction series Lensmen — has protected the galaxy for billions of years. Our sector of the galaxy — 2814 — has been protected by Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison) until the alien demon Parallax (Clancy Brown) escapes and mortally wounds him; he passes on his ring, power battery and oath to cocky pilot Hal Jordan (Reynolds). He works for Ferris Aircraft, operated by his former girlfriend Carrol Ferris (Blake Lively; probably the only positive of this movie is that this is where she and Reynold met; they later married in a plantation, which is still kind of weird to me). He soon goes to the home of the Green Lanterns, Oa, where he is trained by Tomar-Re (the voice of Geoffrey Rush), Kilowog (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Corps leader Sinestro (Mark Strong), who doubts Jordan to the point that he goes back to Earth.
Meanwhile, Senator Robert Hammond (Tim Robbins) has gotten the body of Abin Sur to his strange son Hector (Peter Sarsgaard) and as he’s exposed to Parallax’s energy, his head starts to grow and his evil side comes out. In the comics, Parallax caused Hal Jordan to turn evil. Here, it’s just a CGI monster to throw into the sun.
Reynolds hated the movie and working with Campbell, who wanted Bradley Cooper and felt stuck with the actor, who was happy when it combed. How happy? In Deadpool 2, he goes back in time and stops himself from taking the role.
Other than Amanda Waller (Angela Bassett, who joined the cast nine days before shooting), other DC characters include Green Lanterns Hannu, Apros, NautKeLoi, Norchavius, Voz, Larvox, Morro, MedPhyll, R’amry Holl, Rot Lop Fan. Boddikka, Galius Zed, Amanita, Penelops, Stel, Green Man, M’Dahna, Isamot Kol, Bzza, Lin Canar, Salakk and Chaselon. What, no Ch’P, Katma Tui or Arisia?