With X-Men: First Class opening today to critical raves, comic book fans will soon be turning their attention towards the arrival of another costumed warrior(s) flick on the big screen - DC's Green Lantern. By this point, if the epic 3D Lantern trailer and exciting TV spots haven't convinced you that director Martin Campbell's film is poised to become the most visually-rich superhero picture of the summer, then seemingly nothing (but the movie itself) will.
Actually, that's not entirely true - two more Green Lantern featurettes have been released, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the grand effects work and gorgeous conceptual art being used to realize the Latern world of Oa in live-action cinematic form. They might do the trick.
One of the common complaints about the Green Lantern footage unveiled so so far has been the heavy reliance on CGI to bring the imaginative extraterrestrial settings and creatures to life. Digital imagery simply isn't everyone's cup of tea, regardless of how realistic or convincing it looks; even films that have boasted state-of-the-art visual effects (see: Avatar) have also earned their fair share of criticisms for looking too "computer-ish".
However, the Lantern universe (as star Ryan Reynolds has pointed out numerous times) is one that's arguably too complex and ethereal in scope to properly bring to life without some digital trickery. As evidenced by the detailed look of alien characters like Tomar-Re and Kilowog, Green Lantern also looks to blur the line between convincing prosthetics and makeup (like that used to transform Peter Sarsgaard into a cerebrally-enhanced Hector Hammond) and realistic CGI creatures.
For a better look at the effects of Green Lantern and the work put into bringing the world of Oa to life, check out the featurettes below:
The original Green Lantern trailer definitely rubbed a lot of people the wrong way - and not without reason. Between the incomplete effects (including Reynold's now infamous "pasted on" mask) and the seemingly ill-fitting comedic tone in some of the footage, many a fan was left discouraged. For the record, though, we never actually jumped onboard the hate train for this picture; Screen Rant's Kofi Outlaw even did a shot-by-shot breakdown and analysis to point out how the CGI Lantern costume could be improved.
Fast-forward to the present and Lantern really does look a whole lot more promising; even the humorous bits with Reynolds in the latest featurettes actually seem to fit better in the context of the film as a whole. Plus, with actors like Sarsgaard playing the villainous Hammond and Mark Strong portraying the morally ambiguous Sinestro, it seems all the more likely that Green Lantern will boast some great live-action incarnations of those characters - along with the excellent visuals.
Green Lantern will be released this month on June 17th, in 2D and 3D - and unlike this summer's other superhero films (see: Thor and Captain America) this movie could actually be worth coughing up the extra bucks to see in 3D. Take that as you will.