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. From what I see in the trailers, the CGI costume gets a bit distracting at times. But I’ll hold my judgment, this film may still have yet a chance to redeem itself from first impressions of the trailer.

  2. Guys I have figured out the costume.

    The wearer uses the ring to construct the suit right?

    So maybe they are introducing a new character trait for Hal … Bad Taste. Maybe Hal just things really ugly terrible looking crap is cool.

    • LOL

      I’m still going to give this a chance.

      • Thought of a few good tag lines for reviews.

        “Green Lantern film seems more like Blackest night than Brightest day for GL fans”

        “It seems Evil has escaped this Green Lanterns sight”

        “wrong shade of Green for this Lantern”

        “It seems Yellow isn’t the Green Lanterns only weakness”

        “Need a Lantern to find the good qualities in this very Green film”

        • On the other side of the spectrum

          “All other Superhero films will be Green with envy…”

          • Oh just think of all the one liners you can make at the box office lol

            “The Lantern sees Green”


            “This Green Lantern is afraid of his own color.”

            And so much more

            • Yup, they will have with it whether it does well or does badly

        • How about “fecal brown(tone of film)is the new green”.

  3. I was worried about the CGI costumed as well, but now seeing the preview I have to say it matches up with what has been said in the comics that “The green isn’t a fabric” and how the costume looks “Painted on”. They are going to modernize this classic tale and try to keep as true to the book as possible. I think it’s going to be great.

  4. Seeing as the costume is a creation of the Ring, I think it makes more sense for it to be CGI than for it to be spandex. I think that things such as Kyle’s adjustments to his GL mask give credence to the idea of a less spandexy costume. Spandexy?

    • Dread I agree and disagree.

      I think it should be Spandex err tights or whatever you want, but with CGI effects added. Use a practical costume highlighted with CGI. Not an all CGI costume.

      Still if they simply had to do it all CGI (Which is dumb) they could of at least had a better design. Even if the CGI looked good (which it doesn’t it looks photoshoped) the design is just awful.

      • I’m not crazy about the design shown in the trailer, but I’ll wait and see what the final product is. In the end, I’m mostly hoping for a costume that doesn’t take away from the acting and story. Overall ‘design’ is not a major concern for me.

      • Daniel F, I agree. Look at what Spielberg did in “Jurassic Park”. His dinosaurs were CG but that didn’t keep him from creating a life-size animatronic T-Rex head for close ups that looked absolutely phenomenal. And gave it a lifelike quality that CG (even as good as it is today) has a hard time imitating.

        Your point is spot on. Create a practical costume and enhance it with CG. Now I’m not a special effects expert, but it seems that if you have him actually wearing a suit and then enhance that digitally, then you get away from the mask looking ridiculous, his arms looking too thin, and all sorts of other issues this suit has.

        • Yes the CGI is overdone in movies. Who thinks the new Star Wars films look more realistic than the original? But I think if they tweek the nose piece they can make the costume look much better. He looks like Ben Stiller.

      • Daniels totally right. You all should listen.

        • I will not watch a film were the lead character (male) is wearing an uber tight flesh suit. Neither will any of my friends. If they don’t change the suit, the fan boys (and gay community (no bias or harm intended)) just aren’t that strong in force to make this film anythink other than a flop.

      • I’m sorry Scott, but I know the character history very well. I’ve been reading GL comics for years and I still think the CGI over all is a bad idea. A practical suit with CGI effects to give it a glow is fine, but the fully CGI suit is terrible. It’s not just casual movie goes who think so. I’m a very big GL fan and have been for years.

        • @Daniel F, Totally agree, if he would had a been wearing a practical “GL” suit it would have given them a better template to work with in order to know what would or wouldn’t work. They just decided to “paint” CGI over his body or “mocap” suit,dumb idea.

            • Scott really?!!

              CGI is CGI. The suit looks like somethink you would wear if you were….. I wish I could say but Vic wouldn’t appreciate me referencing gender issues.

  5. I have been a supporter of the Green Lantern movie from day 1, and even I have been skeptical since they revealed that the suit would be CG. I gave it a chance and was disappointed when I saw the teaser trailer. I just keep telling myself that they still have time to tweak the suit and make it look less like something out of a Looney Tunes cartoon before it hits theaters!

  6. Doesn’t matter I like the costume

  7. I have liked Green Lantern since I was kid and I have been awaiting a long time for the movie. I am disappointed with the CGI costume. It simply looks to fake to my eyes. I think CGI is great for effects or to be used for certain scenes, but when it comes to real people I don’t think it works. Vic Stathopoulos

    • I’ll second that!

  8. @Paul

    I share your views on the costume and indeed the whole trailer itself gave the film a very plastic, artifical look even for a comic book film looking to provide CGI spectacle. It’s certainly miles away from the serious hardcore adventure that the Thor trailer promises to give.

    It’s quite clear from the film, CG aminated series (which I’m not conivinced of by the way) and the feature length animated movie, DC is pushing hard to make Green Lantern well established in the mainstream as Superman and Batman. So from that point of view I hope the films a success.

    Despite this, we must not judge too quickly. As you’ve said the effects still have to be finished off. From what I also recall there was muCh a baclkash over the initial Avatar trailer with many uncovinced by the CGI terms such as ferngully and smurfs were frequenlty used.

    Although the costume is important in a comic book movie, it shouldn’t define on how good or bad it is overall.

  9. I dont know anything about the comic series, so just going with my first impression, it’s cheesy looking.

    I like the way all the other superheroes look but not this one.

  10. Well, I’m sure all the women will be disappointed. RR holds the “Sexiest Man Alive” title, he has an incredible body, and we’re NOT going to see him in spandex and leather? What a waste!

    • I heard recently that Reynolds split from Scarlett Johannsson. Is that true?? If it is I’ll be at the front of the queue – for Johannson that is…

  11. The costume looks fine to me. If anything, I think it should look MORE CGI than it already does, because the costume is supposed to be a construct of his ring, and should have an energy quality. I think this will be a great movie.

  12. I think the green, rounded nose beak his mask gives him is hilarious.

  13. Fey costume designer strikes again!!

    Why not just put him in the Technicolor Dreamcoat and be done with it

    First the Liberace -Nick Cage Superman suit

    Then the crappy Captain and Tenile inspired redesigns of the so so Bryan Singer Supes suit

    Now more of this FAB garbage

    I know all supercostumes are fairly homoerotic when you think about it and I’m all for gay rights and marriage but can we please keep the real over the top screaming queens away from our Superhero designs? Please?? Just let Alex Ross do everything

    And no more fetish latex, please?

    • funny but true.

  14. Will the costume ruin the movie? Nah.
    Will the one-dimensional lead ruin the movie? Yes.
    Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger worked because the characters they played were NOT Mr. Mom and the guy from Brokeback, while Ryan’s “Hal Jordan” is nothing we haven’t already seen a million times before.

    • Patriot is on to something…

  15. Ryan Reynolds sucks as green lantern,
    Here are my choices:

    Dane Cook
    Channing Tatum
    Vin Diesel
    John Cena

    • Dane Cook is a very one note actor, he has shown no range in any movie he has been in. He must have a phenomenal agent or be good on the casting couch.

      Diesel & Cena are too bulky to be Hal Jordan.

      Canning Tatum’s only good role in my opinion was “Fighting” and that was because he did not do much talking.

      If you think Reynolds is bad, Cook and Tatum would make him look like he was Orson Wells doing Hamlet.

      • true.
        i really think edward furlong can tackle the job

  16. meh

  17. He still looks ribbed for her pleasure! but it’s not the suit that’s gonna ruin this movie. Whats gonna ruin this movie is how far of a departure from Hal Jordan this is. I dont mind Ryan Reynolds but he was not the best choice for this. I guess soon we’ll see him flying through a drive through when the TV spots start, sorry I had to have a jab at the other green guy to.
    Whats up with the green movies anyway?

  18. Vic you are 100% correct but you already knew I fully supported your point of view on the horrid GL suit of craptastic badness. :)

    The mask is far and away the worst part of the whole thing. It just looks fake. Also there is something about his hair color combined with his skin tone that makes the mask color look just wrong and probably even more fake (if that is possible)

    They should have gone with a real suit that was CGI enhanced. period.

  19. For all arguing that the CGI is incomplete in this trailer (which it probably is), why would they include that clip at the end specifically showing off the costume? Apparently someone at WB thinks the suit, even unfinished, warrants a showcase in the trailer. This does not bode well for the rest of the movie I’m afraid – hope I’m proven wrong

    Compared to the first IM trailer, I don’t recall the unfinished CGI looking that bad, although you could tell there were touch-ups done, you knew what they were going for and it was good, while with GL, it just doesn’t look so hot IMO.

    for the design, just because the suit is made by the ring doesn’t mean it has to look like muscle tissue. I don’t ever recall the suit in the comics looking like that, then again I haven’t read GL since the 90′s (except for the rebirth series a few years ago)

  20. No, CGI will NOT ruin the Green Lantern movie. Ryan Reynold’s acting, the Fantastic Four-ish FX, and really messed up comedic one liners WILL RUIN THIS MOVIE. It was doomed from the beginning, similar to Marvel movies (All of Them!)

  21. I don’t like it. They had good intentions but it looks fake, and what’s up with the mask? it makes me want to reach out and adjust it.

  22. i couldn’t even get myself to read the comments of this article. they’d just be so ridiculous i imagine.

  23. Xmen Origins: Wolverine is an example of a studio putting trailers out before they were finished with the final cut.
    I watched each trailer that came out and in each one you could see a gradual improvement of Wolverine’s claws.
    However, when the movie finally hit theatres there were scenes where it was obvious that they ran out of time and were not able to make improvements (i.e. the scene in the old farmers bathroom.)
    Even though I liked the movie in spite of its foibles, that scene especially was a distraction and disappointing.
    I’m concerned that in the end the studio will fix some things with GL’s suit and hopefully the alien planet but will run out of time and we will have to make do with what they provided.
    It’s possible that there will be no improvements at all, Look at the crap that came out with Terminator Salvation and Transformers 2.
    People had high expectations for both of these movies and were let down terribly. Not everyone but there was a lot of people upset, no one can deny that.

  24. Wait, then i read this article. I’m sorry is this article trying to actually answer the question it’s posing, or just disguising it’s own rant abo- (oh. rant. screen rant. GOT IT).

    Seriously, this article is just fan boy crying put up for everyone to read. I was expecting a thorough article (like a lot of the ones here) talking about the effects of bad and good CGI on past films. But here it’s just the comment section of a green lantern trailer article put in paragraph form.

    Y’know what will happen if people think it looks bad, for 5 minutes they’ll think “oh that suit is wonky”, then they’ll forget about it. You wanna know why the CGI at the end of The A-Team was so jarring? Not just cause it was bad, but because there was NOTHING like that before in the movie. People tend to adjust when it comes to things like that.

    I think the Green Lantern crew are up against it a bit, but will the costume CGI ruin the movie? No.

    • First of all, I’m not a GL fanboy. As a matter of fact, I knew nothing of GL before this movie was made. I just like to watch movies.
      I wasn’t saying that GL would be ruined by the CGI effects but that it would be possible to have a few unfinished scenes that may be a distraction or disappointing.
      I like movies to be finished and not cut up and rushed into the theatres because someone wants to make some money.
      I prefer that the studio delay the release date in order to finish the movie if need be but I know they have deadlines.
      I felt that Wolverine was a little rushed and that Terminator Salvation and Transformers 2 suffered from too many story line flaws and some CGI problems.
      When I first saw the trailer for GL I had the same reaction as others about the appearance of the suit looking too CGI but after concidering the idea that the ring creates the suit it made it easier to except as others have suggested though I hope for some rework to be done.
      As far as CGI is concerned, the more real it looks the better for me.
      Even if the CGI remains as it is shown in the trailers I will still go and see it when it is out in the theatres.
      I will say that I saw the trailer in front of the Harry Potter movie and I felt better about what was shown.

    • geep,

      We started out “fanboy” here at Screen Rant and once in a while we stray back into that territory.

      And I don’t think the costume will be an issue in the final film, either.


  25. I could not possibly disagree with you more. First, I think the costume (even without final tweaks that may occur) looks great.

    Second, I think that many non-CGI costumes look ridiculous (i.e. the costumes for the Justice Society members on Smallville). No matter what you do, it ends up looking like a spandex gymnastics suit adorned with plastic armor.

    The CGI suit looks like what it is supposed to be – an energy-based costume.

    Stop your whining. If you don’t like the direction the movie is going in, don’t watch it.

  26. Ok so the costumes for Smallville’s Absolute Justice weren’t fantastic, but they convinced more when in full motion and ended up not taking anything away from the experience as a whole which is what may also save Green Lantern.

    I’m more concerned with the direction of the film overall than the costume but I have to say it could definitely do with some improvements. The mask most definitely has to be altered, why not just colour it black??

    We need to see a more complete trailer with finished effects before to make a realistic judgement.

  27. Could this all be just an issue of lighting? I mean it could be that when seen in the darker theatre the suit looks better where as on TV or a computer where the ligtening is very different the costume looks cheesy?

    I find it hard to believe that no one who screened the trailer beofre it was released would not have also found issues with it and had something done considering the investment they have in this film. I mean if I were part of the team and saw the suit like this during the screening of the trailer I certainly woudl have said “we can’t send the trailer out with teh suit like that or we may be looking at pink slips”.

  28. No matter what the trailer looked like, there would be bloggers/random forum posters on the internet saying that it was horrible and that the movie is going to suck. That’s how comic book fans are. You can never please all of them.

    Heck, I’ve seen biting criticism of The Dark Knight and Ironman, two comic movies that most would agree were excellent.

  29. So……hypothetically there will be 5 REALLY BIG Headed characters in this GL movie. Wasup with the big hydrocephalic head syndrome fetish?