Could Green Lantern’s CGI Costume Ruin the Movie?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 7th, 2012 at 1:26 pm,

green lantern trailer140 Could Green Lantern’s CGI Costume Ruin the Movie?

It’s no secret that Superman and Batman are the two biggest characters in the DC comic and movie universes, but the famous duo may have to clear space next year when fan-favorite Green Lantern shines in theaters.

Most of Warner Bros.’ decisions, so far, have all been the right ones as they attempt to bring a second-tier DC character to the big screen – hiring Martin Campbell (Casino Royal) to direct, bringing Greg Berlanti (Dirty Sexy Money), Michael Goldenberg (Contact) and Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone) onboard to write the screenplay, securing the musical talents of composer James Howard (The Dark Knight) and casting fanboy favorite Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) as Green Lantern himself.

However, the filmmakers’ decision to ditch the standard latex/leather/spandex combination for Green Lantern’s superhero costume in favor of a more modern, completely CG costume remains the most questionable choice they’ve made to date.

WB and other involved parties have supported this decision from the get go – at least publicly – telling fans to expect a truly masterful sight on screen. However, every trailer or picture released up to this point doesn’t seem to support their claims. After taking a good hard look at more stills from the Green Lantern trailer, I’m very worried the SFX of this movie may be headed into realm of SyFy channel original movie.

Before fanboys starting coming at me with the “CG isn’t done yet” argument, I fully understand there are still likely hundreds of man hours worth of work left on SFX.  But I have to call foul on that argument because a trailer is supposed to give potential audiences a reason to see a film…not reasons to doubt a film’s success.

green lanter movie still2 570x243 Could Green Lantern’s CGI Costume Ruin the Movie?

Putting out shoddy CG and expecting viewers to forgive it because it’s unfinished is like a five-star chef serving food while he’s still preparing it, then telling his patrons, “Don’t worry; it’ll taste better when I’m finished cooking it.” No one would wait around to find out if he is true to his word; they would just move on to better food.

The first picture of Reynold as Green Lantern which debuted on the cover of Entertainment Weekly looked pretty good even if the “alien grooved” concept wasn’t warmly received right away – but from there it has mostly been a downhill slide. The transformation scene at the end of the first trailer (see the picture at top) was almost laughable because of the cheap looking CGI and off-putting tone of the color scheme. These latest pictures aren’t helping the situation either.

Nothing really seems to have changed in this latest round of stills – the color scheme is still off, the suit still looks too fake, the hands, arms and feet look ridiculous and then there’s the awful mask. Even if the CG animators are able to fix the colors and add more realism to the suit, if they aren’t able to make Green Lantern’s mask look like it actually belongs on Reynolds’s face then the entire suit concept is sunk.

green lanter movie still1 570x243 Could Green Lantern’s CGI Costume Ruin the Movie?

As the suit looks right now, there is no way it could possibly make our top six superhero costumes list – although it could reside easily next to Steel and the infamous “Bat Nipples” of 1997. There have been plenty of great-looking practical superhero costumes made for movies in the past few years, and there have been plenty of movie characters who were either created entirely from CG or at least enhanced with it.

Marvel’s Incredible Hulk looked fantastic as an entirely CG character and James Cameron’s epic film Avatar consisted almost entirely of CG created Na’vi and those looked incredible as motion capture characters –  so why then can’t the Green Lantern suit look just as good?

Answer – because neither the Hulk nor the Na’vi tried to combine the flesh and blood tones of a live actor with a CG effects. This is, as I see it, the main problem with the Green Lantern suit. Reynolds’ face doesn’t look like he’s wearing a mask, there’s no bunching or indentations on his face where the edges of the mask would sit, nor any of the other little nuances that just can’t be recreated within a computer environment. For all of its vast technical achievements, even Avatar had its moments of unrealistic CG and they spent YEARS perfecting those graphics – the Green Lantern CG staff has no such window of time in which to churn this out.

green lantern the ring1 570x243 Could Green Lantern’s CGI Costume Ruin the Movie?

It could be the case that when Green Lantern releases in theaters next year WB has another Dark Knight-type success on its hands with Oscar-worthy story, acting and directing; however, if the quality of the all-CG suit becomes a distraction to audiences, then none of the good things about the film will be remembered.

Do you think Green Lantern’s all CG suit currently looks sub-par and has the potential to derail the film if not corrected, or does it even matter to you what it looks like?

Green Lantern protects the universe from evil June 17th, 2011.

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  1. I personally like the CG costume and I think that a real costume would look horrible. I mean seriously, would it look good to have a guy prancing around in spandex, no matter how ripped the guy is, it’s always going to look stupid. I mean look at half of the costumed superheroes prancing around on Smallville. No disrespect to the show, which I like, but you have to admit that they screwed up on the costume front, probably cuz they don’t have a big enough budget. And second, a CG costume is actually more, well….”realistic” for the Green Lantern anyway. I mean his outfit is supposed to be made out of pure light right? Yeah, it is, it’s a light construct, just like the other things that come out of his ring. So seriously, leave the suit alone. It looks good.

  2. I’ve been against the CGI suit from the get go and it looks even worse than I thought it would. It simply looks awful and based on where it is now even with improvements it can’t looks much better and will never look as good as it could of with practical material .

    Still as much as that bothered me I’m far more bothered by the tone of it. You can say that it’s just a trailer, but the point of the trailer is to give you an idea of what the film is going to be. So either they failed to convey what the film will be or they conveyed it perfectly and it’s terrible. It’s what I expected from a Reynolds film, but I hoped he would be different and take the role seriously. It’s fairly clear from the trailer that it’s not the case. This will be Fantastic Four in tone, but with worse CGI.

    • its not his fault, the script is to blame, he can perform really well if given the right guidance from someone who knows what they’re doing. for instance he was pretty good in smoking aces and was very good in buried. i think most people look back at his older roles and think RR = comedic actor.

      i for one am disappointed that they didn’t give him proper directions (both script and acting wise(RE GL movie)) and despite not being a DC comic reader (besides a little batman and superman) this is going to ruin the mood for both the character and movie.

  3. The suit doesn’t bother me much but the eye mask was the only hing I hate and also the other character which is the alien looks awfully CGI wasn’t CGI was meant to make unrealistic object become realistic?

  4. I think it may work fine. I suspect when he first “wears” the suit, he will examine it closely (with the audience), and that will be the selling point. If it fails there, then I agree the rest of the time with the suit could be a distraction.

    The mask thing may be “explained” by the fact that it’s not a mask in the sense of a plastic formed shaped attached to his face somehow, but rather I gather it’s a part of the suit, some kind of organic thing?

    I confess I didn’t know very much about Green Lantern prior to this movie, so I may be talking out of my you-know-what…

  5. Composer James Howard (the dark knight). Huh? Am I missing something here?

    • Him and Hans both co-wrote the Batman scores.


      • Wasn’t aware of that LOL. Need to check my TDK blu ray credits now.

        Thanks Bri!

  6. i am opptomistic about the whole movie as it is. i think the cg effects will pull it off. and in the realm of it in the action sequences it should be able to hold its own.

  7. It looks fine, they’ve spent more than enough money on it, and I imagine when the film hits the big screen the suit will be the last thing folks complain about if they do complain at all.

  8. I think the suit and mask Sucks!It looks real cheap and nasty.

  9. I believe the CGI on this film is currently so bad that it ended Mr. Reynolds marriage.

    What, too soon!

  10. Looks fine to me..I love how people over analyze every detail..makes me glad I’m not a perfectionist..Is there anyone actually losing sleep over this because judging from some of the comments it would seem there are. It certainly looks like a mask to me and it looks like it’s on his face..

    Mask : a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one’s identity.

    Much ado about nothing…

  11. The mask is just as concealing as Clark Kent’s glasses.;( Obviously I don’t work for DC/WB but if it were up to me, I would’ve given the mask a superhuman purpose for being there for instance: Allow him to see far distances, be able to see through different light spectrum, and other superhuman vision abilities. As for the suit, the way that it should have been done was to show it visibly pulsate with light energy and or little light nodes streaming through(in a subtle way). If it’s a suit made of energy,then they should have made it seem alive with energy flowing through it constantly like some of the creatures and looks in “Avatar”. But so far it just does not nothing,if that’s the case then they should have just given him a uniform made of material.

    • Very interesting idea. You should call the studio with that, quick before post production is over with. :)

  12. Spiderman was a great movie. The cgi was a liiiiittle off in places, and Tobey did’nt quiiiite nail Peter Parker. But so what? We got a great movie. I have yet to see a perfect film adaptation of a comic book super hero, but I’ve enjoyed some great movies and some good ones and suffered through a couple. Give G.L. a chance. The suit doesn’t have to make or break the movie. It could work. And the mask will work too, I’m wearing one right now. I’m actually Dr. Sam Beckett, couldn’t you guys tell?

  13. :) :) :)

  14. Look at the trailer. He looks ridiculous has Hal Jordan, let alone Green Lantern.


    • Caps rage….tone it down there buddy.

      • Caps Rage and wrong topic…

  16. Oh forget you. This movie will be awesome, The suit looks fine. Just a bunch of crap.

    • Very mature adam.. Yay another troll

      • No personal attacks guys……

    • Adam,

      You have now popped up on my radar screen.

      You have been warned.


  17. I agree with everyone who says they should have had Reynolds wear an actual costume, and mask, and then use CGI to spruce it up, add color, add spectacle.
    When will they learn that CGI should be used like spice, or frosting? I’d hate to buy a cake from Hollywood — it’d be 95 percent frosting.

  18. Is the CGI suit used only in the transformation process or it will be CGI the whole movie? They will waste time and energy if it used for the whole movie.

  19. The CGI is not going to ruin the movie. How utterly stupid.

    Using the CGI to form the alien and otherworldly GL suit was the best decision they made!

    It would have been horrendous to see a green latex or spandex suit try to look otherworldly when the GL suits transform in a blink of an eye from the ring!

    Think people think!

  20. Honestly, the only thing I hate about the costume is the mask. I think the uniform looks about as good as you could get but the mask is just so….creepy looking. It would help if they didn’t go for the Kyle Rayner look in the mask (don’t hate if you don’t agree, I just see it that way) with them covering his nose just a bit. Its perfectly easy to create a domino mask using an application of colored latex to pull of the look and look well, but I guess they just figured they made the rest of the costume cgi.

  21. *shrugs* I think it looks fine. Honestly, it’s not going to affect my opinion of the movie all that much.

  22. CGI can make something less “realistic”.
    I mean, did the suit really need to be in CGI?

    Anyway, I think someone who doesn’t look like Ben Stiller would be a better start.

  23. I’m not sure what to think, I’m reserving any real comments until the film goes live. The only thing that bothers me, is that this “Hal” comes off more like Kyle. Most definitely influenced by RDJ IM as well. I’m really skeptical of that. If the movie is enjoyable (like IM 1 was), then I won’t care. I’ll also mention RDJ IM is nothing like the Tony Stark I read for YEARS. It worked within the film, so it didn’t matter. It bit itself in the ass in IM 2 though. Too much silly nonsense. Do all non Nolan superhero movies have to have that now?


  24. I don’t care about the costume, in these type of movies it doesn’t bother me the way they look I could care less to me it’s no big deal.

  25. Okay, it’s plain and simple for the suit, and the film, to be a success:

    The sooner those involved in this production realize that CGI is supposed to be a TOOL, something to AUGMENT or ENHANCE existing practical effects, the sooner this film will no longer be in trouble of becoming a laughing stock.

    An actual PHYSICAL suit on Mr. Reynolds, with a REAL mask for the CGI team to work with, is in order here.

  26. What I really love is that when it was announced Ryan got the part there were people saying “It’s gonna be to kid friendly” “it’s gonna be a comedy” and the response was mostly well wait until we here more or at least until a trailer.

    We hear the suit will be CGI and people get angry talking about how it will look awful and it’s a terrible idea and then a few people come on and say “You have not even seen pics yet wait until the pics are out”

    We get pics people still complain the response is “We’ve havent seen any video yet at least wait until we get some clips see it in action” we get some clips still heavy negative response in fact even worse than before. Both the comic tone is there and the awful looking suit. So whats the response? “This isn’t even an official trailer at least wait and see what the trailer looks like” the trailer comes out and the suit looks the same just as awful and the trailer puts a heavy focus on the family friendly comedy. Finally we are allowed to complain right? Nope. The response from some is “Wait until the film is out this is just one trailer it doesn’t mean the whole film will have this tone it just means this trailer does. ” and “They still have time to fix the suit wait until the film is out ”

    So when are we finally allowed to decide if we want to see this ? I can tell you this now once the film comes out if it still looks bad to you some one will say “You have to at least watch it. The trailers didn’t do it justic.” or “Oh ignore the critics they don’t know what they are talking about decide for your self”

    At some point we have to decide if we want to spend our money on this. We can’t just watch every film that ever comes out at 10 bucks pop in the theater. If the images, the casting and the trailer all look bad to us then it probably isn’t a movie for us.

    Will I see Green lantern? He’s one of my fave heroes so probably will at some point. Will I pay 6-12 bucks to see it in theaters ? Hell no. Not a chance. This looks awful I didn’t like fantastic four and this looks exactly like Fantastic four except they at least had a decent trailer. Nothing and I mean not one damn thing about this film looks good. I’m out for now and some point down the road I’ll probably check it out, but more than likely it will be a 1$ theater viewing or (gasp) I may download it when a dvd scnr comes out. Because I can already tell you for me it’s simply not worth a theaters asking price. Bad cast, bad CGI and terrible tone with poor comedy is not worth 6 let alone 10 bucks. Thats my decision and if someone decides they don’t like that to bad. I’m a 26 year old man and I’ve earned the right to decide how I want to spend my money. You can feel free to watch it and pretend it was good to justify the spending of your money, but DO NOT dictate to me that I don’t have the right to judge it based on the truck ton of crap that’s been placed in front of me.

    • Hear hear. ^^^ This. ^^^

      • Daniel you should be a writer LOL 😎

    • We’ll, I got ya by 10 years :), but I agree with your points. I’m a huge GL fan as well, and I have serious reservations about this. I refused to see the FF films and X3/Wolverine in the theaters, Spidey 3 too. I’ll go see GL anyway, even though I’m expecting to be disappointed. Sometimes films turn out better for me when I have low expectations. Too see a Power Ring in action, I feel I have to go, even though I’ve been semi-cringing so far. We’ll see. I’m more worried about Thor anyway, he’s my all time fav and I’m REALLY worried.


      • I think Thor looks good so far. Not sold on the look of Asgard especially the Throne room and while Sir Anthony probably has a breath taking performance he looks terrible in that armor and pimp daddy eye patch. Despite my reservations I am cautiously optimistic about Thor the story looks pretty decent and the acting seems to be top notch. This is a case where the casting was pretty darn good unlike GL or Captain America.

        Honestly it’s hard for me to list comic character, but if I had to it would go something like this.


        2. Wolverine
        3. Thor
        4. Green lantern
        5. The Punisher
        6. Colossus

        The big space between one and two is intended all others pale in comparison to The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, Worlds Greatest Detective, The Batman.

        • i agree with th batman statement:D like, he has no powers, yet he STILL manages to keep up with(if not surpass) all the other superpowered heroes.

        • Yeah, Anthony looks like he’s gonna deliver some cool(he’s in my top 3 easily), but yes the costume design and the look of the throne room in general are throwing me. Hard to take seriously, even with Anthony.

          Other things are bothering me too, such as what I have seen of the fight scenes. Thor pulling himself up on a ceiling hang to kick a shield agent is pretty laughable. Of course, if he’s running at 1/50th strength or something, well then that would be more understandable. I hate trailers to be honest, always have. Taking things out of context can really screw up everything.

          I’m with you on Batman, it wasn’t until my 20’s when I ran a comic/video game store and read years of Bat books that I fully appreciated him. Thor was my childhood hero, as was Iron Man and the Surfer. I had some love for Colossus too, and especially his little sister Illyanna, whom I named my daughter after. Yeah, seriously. lol

          I never liked Frank Castle, but I digress. I hope GL doesn’t suck.


          • I’m actually upset with my self over the ranking I forgot Ironman he’s actually number 3 with Thor and Gl moving down one.

            I think I’ve been so let down by IM the last 4 or 5 years I forget him sometimes. He was such a great charcter and has been hurt badly last few years both with the comics and the movies. The comics for IM have gotten over the top even for a comic and down right awful last few years and while the films were fun they were big let downs. I expected so much from the first film and sadly it was a mindless action flick that didn’t try to be anything more not to mention the last 25 mins or so was just awful film making had the rest of the film been made that poorly the movie would of epicaply failed. IM2 improved in a lot of ways while still failing in new ones. IM2 tried to be a little more than mindless fun but failed at it and the big bad guy fight was slightly better but not much. Plus the Avengers build was to much and drawn iron man. I don’t think IM was better than IM2 like most I think they are pretty even actually neither was as good as it could of been and both ended up being mindless fun which is a big let down for one of the best written characters in comics. While other heroes were struggling with the cheese factor in the 70 and 80s IM was putting at some great character driven stories. If I was 26 in the mid to late 80s IM would probably be my fave character because as much as I love Batman he didn’t really get great writing until the early 90s. He had good stories before that but not many. I grew up on the 90s Batman so he became my Dave character I didn’t read the awful batman stories pre 70s until I was already 16 by then I was already passionate about the character. Back on to point though IM has some very meaningful deep character stories and I was let down to see them thrown out the window to make two mindless action/comedy films esoecialy in a world with films like X2,Batman Begins and TDK. They could of done better.

            As far as Thor goes at that point in the film where he is fighting Soldiers Thor is a strong well trained regular guy Odin has taken his power. That’s why he is fighting the way he is. Hope that helps. My only problems are Asgard , Odins look and in some parts the Hammer looks plastic lol but the story looks great and the acting is fantastic. The Hammer can be touched up but sadly gonna have to deal with Odins pimp suit and Asgard.

    • I have been defending the cg suit ’cause the way cg effects work is like this; the first time something is tried in the cg world, critics poke holes and find the tinniest inconsistencys. Did everyone forget the constant dissection of Terminator 2 and all of it’s flawed special effects, some not even cg? Bottom line is it’s the design that is really the problem here, not so much the tech. Cause I agree now that it does look ‘off’, but I think it has more to do with the design of the mask (no shadow in his eye sockets, no bunching from muscles under the mask) and the striated ‘muscley’ look that looks like skin and not cloth or other traditional material. Would you rather have green dyed leather? Not me. For now I’m willing to let this costume live because the next time, someone’s gonna nail the “cg suit”.

    • great judge on only 2 mins and 30 seconds if the film.
      If you said this around May? I would agree with you. but sinse it is December and the trailer was released in November so much can be fixed since they know evryones opinion.
      and to be honest when they released the photo of Green Lantern and all of the other Lanterns near the oa in the background, many people said “that the movie might just have hope yet” or “this shines some light on the trailer”

      Sure Green Lantern didn’t look all to well in it.
      the only thing I didn’t like was the mask and the bright green from the costume.
      but I think other Lantrens will look amazing.
      In the poster I saw the back of Stel and I thought ohh god he is gonna look really cool. Personally lets all see the other Lanterns because I think that is what its all about.
      Sinestro’s suit looked pretty cool and the diffrence about his and Hal’s is that his was darker and Hals was really bright for me. so I think they can edit it.
      But this is just my opinion, but everyone seems to forget about the other Lanterns.

    • Well Its not hard to import it into an editor and see, and I did, and it’s not a spectacular improvement. Going the way they did I’d say the colors, at least the gloves, aren’t the problem. I think the problem is the green color tone. I think it’s optimized for 3-D not for 2-D and they’re not adjusting for that, which is a mistake if they leave it that way for 2-D.

      This might actually be the first film where the audience is being forced to choose 3-D for aesthetic reasons and the studio wants you to choose 3-D. It makes them more money and further justifies all the expense up and down stream of the delivery system…

    • That actually looks much much better and sleeker. Ryan Reynolds said “the white gloves aren’t there because they are lame”. Personally the white gloves add a signature look to Hal’s suit that also make this suit look like it’s missing something. The white gloves CAN be made to look cool(if they glow with energy),how I would do it is; they are white because they are the controlled energy conduits through his hands that regulate how much power will be at his disposal and he’s a rookie so that’s what identifies rookies from veterans. So when he puts on the ring on either hand he can’t do certain things just yet,he still needs training and is being monitored or on probation hence the “white gloves” he’s still clean,untouched or pure. When he proves himself worthy then the white “energy” gloves would come off. That’s how I would have done it!!!! Then I would let them remain at Hal’s request becauase he likes the look and the gloves become de-powered but remain.

  27. I think it is the best looking comic-to-movie translation to date (though the Dark Knight holds a close second)

    I just don’t understand the CGI hatred.
    Everyone seems to be interpreting something differnt than what is intended:
    The green areas are like glowing gel. custom-fabricated around the anatomical structure of the wearer.
    I’ll admit, Imitating light is a surprising effect b/c it’s not what people were expecting. leaving it to be just been written off as “bad CG”… since it doesn’t look like material.

    But it’s awesome. They could never have achieved the lighting and the moving biological quality with practical effects.

    It shows an attempt at something differnt to set it apart from an (overcrowded) spandex movie heap. ANd it makes sense for the “mytho-logic” of the character.

    IT LOOKS GREAT. and i usually hate it when CG is mis-appropriated.

  28. I agree with Danile F aboove. Couldn’t have said it better.

    Realistic CG relies heavily on matching the lighting conditions on set. Whenever a creative team decides to add a glow affect, this throws everything off. You see it here and you saw it on the Hulk. The filmmakers really should have set the glow affect aside for both films.

    But aside from that, it’s just bad design. I really don’t know why they felt the need to alter the suit. Like Superman, you could have easily gone with latex and called it an alien fabric. Green lantern is supposed to be all about the power ring. Right? Well, this suit design will certainly distract from that.