When script details about the upcoming live-action Green Lantern movie hit the ‘Net last summer, it was clear that the film was going to be epic in scale. The script had kick-ass battles set on both Earth and in space, requiring a whole F/X bonanza in order to bring the emerald power rings of the Green Lanterns (and all the rings’ crazy manifestations) to life on the big-screen.

Well it seems as though Warner Bros. isn’t backing down from challenges of the Green Lantern script: The Hollywood Reporter is…well, reporting that Green Lantern‘s budget has been tagged at $150 million, roughly the same amount of dough Warner Bros. dished out for Watchmen.

Slash Film did a great job putting together a comparative budget list of recent superhero flicks, in order to show where Green Lantern falls on the scale: above Iron Man, but well below The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3. Still, for a second-tier superhero like GL, who is not (yet) part of the cultural mainstream, that’s a pretty hefty wad of cash.

The Green Lantern is currently slated to go into pre-production later this summer, with principal shooting scheduled to begin this fall. The movie is being filmed over at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, where the recent decline of the Australian dollar should help stretch that $150 million budget even further. I’ve also got to wonder if the Watchmen lawsuit settlement between Fox and Warner Bros this past winter had any bearing on the decision to make Green Lantern at a Fox-owned studio.

With a script, a budget and a shooting location and schedule all locked down, the only task left is for Green Lantern to nail down it’s cast–especially the titular role of Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, which has yet to be cast, despite months and months of rumors stating that DC/Warner Bros. were eyeing everyone from Ryan Gosling to Anton Yelchin to Chris Pine for the role (oh, and Brian Austin Green also wants a crack at it, too).

A big budget and good script are lovely things to have, but that lead role needs to be filled with just the right leading man, or The Green Lantern runs the risk of being dead before it even has a chance to get off the ground.

On a curious note: Green Lantern is currently listed as a December 17, 2010 release, which is very surprising; you would think this film would be an obvious summer tentpole for Warner Bros.  Maybe the studio thinks that a December release will guarantee their film is the only blockbuster at the box office? Or maybe they plan to tout Green Lantern as a “prestigious superhero flick” rather than popcorn fun? I just hope this isn’t one of those cases where we get close to the release date and the studio “suddenly decides” to push the movie back to 2011 because they feel it’s a “Summer contender.” That’s become somewhat of a lame trend lately (cough, Harry Potter 6, cough).

Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) is directing The Green Lantern, and the script was written by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green.

If you need a Green Lantern fix between now and December of 2010, you can also check out DC Universe’s animated feature, Green Lantern: First Flight, which hits DVD/Blu-ray on July 21, 2009.

How do you feel about the $150 million budget for Green Lantern? Do you think it guarantees that the film is going to be awesome and epic? Or is money an insufficient guarantee that the film will be awesome?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter via Slash Film