It's no insult to say that Green Lantern was a box office letdown for Warner Bros., so early promises that Green Lantern 2 will be a better film have seemed overly optimistic - even to the biggest fans of the first film.
The common sense notion that a lot of people seem to be dancing around is that this is simply NOT how Hollywood works. Studios pour money into things they know, suspect, or at least gamble will work - they don't double-down on a franchise that hasn't shown good returns - typically speaking, that is.
Well, score one for common sense and one less for fan hopes: Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has slowed the roll on this Green Lantern 2 campaign.
Bewkes spoke with THR about the underperformance of Green Lantern, and WB's general strategy of replacing its Harry Potter cash-cow with DC movies. On the subject of Green Lantern:
"It did not live up to expectations - fell fairly far short of those," Bewkes said. Still, he didn't rule out a sequel at this point, saying that he was not in a position to tell at this time if there will be one. "We will be deciding that in due course," he said. Sources had previously told The Hollywood Reporter that Warner Bros. was not giving up on a sequel.
Bewkes, however, calmed Wall Street concerns about TW's plans to use superhero films from its DC arm to fill the void that will be left after the final film in the Harry Potter franchise. "I'm not concerned about DC's strategy," Bewkes emphasizing, predicting that it will be "a major contributor" of hits and franchises in the future. He pointed to a planned Superman film and next year's latest Batman release as upcoming projects.
There are a couple of things that can be extrapolated from those statements:
- Green Lantern 2 is an ongoing debate behind the scenes, most likely those in the "We've learned from our mistakes," camp vs. those in the "No more mistakes," camp.
- When the CEO says that a movie isn't certain, it's not certain - no matter what any other writers, producers, etc., say.
- Whenever you have to start answering questions about strategy concerns, you're probably a little concerned about strategy.
- (And this is totally in my opinion) There is reason to be concerned: if 2012 isn't a smash year for the superhero films with The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, and Man of Steel, the comic book movie bubble could burst. The signs of fatigue are already showing.
So there you have it, DC/WB isn't just jumping into Green Lantern 2 and sense is restored to the universe. I'm actually hoping that this franchise does get another chance to shine (pardon the phrasing): I have love for the character and what the comic has done for him in the last decade - I'm hoping that a sequel will actually meet that standard.
As always, we'll keep you updated on the status of Green Lantern 2 as more news develops.