Arguably, one of the most surprisingly disappointing comic book adaptations in history is still DC’s 2011 Ryan Reynolds-starring Green Lantern film, which received poor reviews from both critics and fans alike. It was surprising because, as comic book fans know, the property itself seems to be one of the more easily adaptable for the big screen, with its unique mythology and giant space opera stories ready to be mined from it. Because of this, fans have been openly excited for and interested in the studio’s intended reboot of the franchise, titled Green Lantern Corps.
After several years of silence from the studio regarding the property, its as confirmed last week the film would follow Hal Jordan and John Stewart, two of the most prominent/iconic human Green Lanterns from the comic books, in a film that’s been described as “Lethal Weapon in space.” Since then, some exciting casting possibilities for the two leads have arisen, and talk of what exactly the film could end up being has continued to grow.
Duncan Jones, no stranger to sci-fi and fantasy films, thanks to projects like Moon, Source Code, and Warcraft, decided to take the opportunity to share his idea for what a Green Lantern film should be on his personal Twitter account. Based on the small pitch, it sounds like the film would put a heavy focus on imagination and the actual process of using the Green Lantern ring itself:
Green Lantern should be about a simple-minded jock who has to come up with imaginative, new ideas every time he uses the ring.— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 13, 2017
The limit on the rings power should not be about battery life, but the need to be original every time you use it.— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 13, 2017
The hook in the "dumb jock" version of Green Lantern is that he has the power, but lacks the wits to use it. Endearingly frustrating.— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 13, 2017
Jones doesn’t go into much more detail about the idea itself other than those few tweets, later going on to say he wouldn’t really be interested in making a Green Lantern film, or many superhero movies. Considering the artistic freedom that he’s had so far with all of his films, that’s not necessarily surprising, given that both DC and Marvel have come under fire over the past few years from fans and critics for using a corporate, studio environment to keep constantly turning out what some consider to be, too similar, safe films. As those who saw Moon, Source Code, or even Warcraft for that matter can likely attest, those aren’t the kinds of films that seem like they would intrigue Jones as a filmmaker or writer.
Still, his tweets bring up an interesting fact about adapting Green Lantern for the big screen, and one of the biggest hurdles DC may run into when writing and developing Green Lantern Corps. Which is that, with such an expansive world ready to explore, how do the writers manage to both explain the mythology of that world, and also create an exciting character-driven film? In a perfect world, the two would be able to work together in harmony, but as comic book fans have seen many times before, it can become very easy for comic book films to either get too caught up in their world-building to successfully focus on anything else, or too thinly sketch out the world and characters for a film’s plot or franchise needs.
Source: Duncan Jones