Director Martin Campbell's live-action Green Lantern movie arrives on DVD and Blu-ray later this week. However, many a Lantern fan is really waiting to find out if Green Lantern 2 will actually happen... or is the franchise going to be left in stasis until Warner Bros. decides to try and (dare it be said) reboot the comic book franchise sometime in the future?
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes previously stated that the Green Lantern sequel's status is (for now) uncertain. Nonetheless, DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns remains hopeful that a direct followup to Campbell's adaptation will actually happen.
Quibbles about the thematic quality of Green Lantern aside (for now...), it was the film's box office performance that was ultimately responsible for the sequel's current condition. Campbell's movie managed a worthy worldwide gross of about $220 million, but it cost approximately $200 million to produce. When you factor in marketing costs - and that studios only receive about half of a film's ticket sales - it becomes clearer that Lantern must make a tidy sum in home video sales to actually become a profitable undertaking.
DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns is definitely hoping for just that - seeing how he had the following words to offer to those in attendance at the 2011 New York Comic-Con, on the topic of a Green Lantern followup:
"There is the hope that we will eventually see ['Green Lantern 2']... I hope that the character gets another film, and it will be live-action again - I guarantee... There was a lot of really good stuff in [Campbell's] movie."
Johns also mentioned that the upcoming director's cut of Green Lantern will include additional footage that helps to flesh out the film's storyline and characters - and, hopefully, be well-received enough to get more fans enthused about the prospect of a sequel.
On the topic of Green Lantern's cinematic qualities - most fans and film buffs remain set in their assertion that the theatrical version of the film was clumsy and underwhelming. However, there nonetheless remains a noteworthy faction of fans who remain adamant that Lantern was unfairly trashed by the masses.
However, one thing that both sides can (hopefully) agree on is that the director's cut of Green Lantern has the potential to mark a notable improvement on the version released in theaters. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, it's hard to deny that there were moments in Lantern where certain characters' motivation or behavior was unclear or poorly explained. Sometimes, it was arguably apparent that a scene or two had been removed, thus creating a somewhat disjointed feel - in terms of narrative continuity, that is.
Getting to the point: If Campbell's cut of Green Lantern follows in the footsteps of director Mark Steven Johnson's preferred version of Daredevil - a cut that virtually everyone seems to agree is far superior to its theatrical counterpart - then maybe the Lantern detractors will be more open to the idea of a sequel... and, in turn, Warner Bros. heads will listen.
Ryan Reynolds previously indicated that he was game for Green Lantern 2 - which, according to Warner Bros. Film Group President Jeff Robinov, would in fact be "a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action." Lantern's critics would also argue that Reynolds' part in the sequel (ie. test pilot-turned-superhero Hal Jordan) ought also be better fleshed out. Going the customary "edgier and darker" route would make sense in this case - given the indications of the first film's mid-credits sequence with Sinestro (Mark Strong).
It pretty much boils down to this: Everyone wants the next live-action Lantern movie - be it a direct sequel, a partial franchise reboot (see: next year's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), or a complete relaunching of the series (see: the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man) - to be good. So, like Johns says, all we can do now is wait and see what happens next.
We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Green Lantern 2 as the story develops.