Green Lantern is probably one of the most memorable superheroes of the last ten years - although admittedly for the wrong reasons. With a Rotten Tomato score of just 26%, it's safe to say that this film was a bit of a disaster. In fact, many people view it as one of the most disappointing superhero movies of all time. Going even further, many claim that it's one of the worst films EVER. If we're going to talk about all the hidden details behind Green Lantern, we're inevitably going to end up telling the story behind its failure.
But hidden behind the poorly executed CGI face of Green Lantern lies a story filled with potential. Make no mistake - this could have been a terrific film. Some of the early scripts were actually quite promising, and this film could have gone down a very different path. In the end, we just have to sit back and accept that it was an ambitious film that fell short of expectations. Making massive movies like this is hard, and some are inevitably going to fail. Although the film itself was disappointing, the story behind its making is actually quite interesting. Here are 20 Hidden Details Only True Fans Knew About Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern movie:
20 Many Actors Were Considered For The Lead Role - Including Justin Timberlake
Back in 2009, Slash Film reported that Justin Timberlake was among the actors being considered for the lead role in Green Lantern. The two other options were Bradley Cooper and of course Ryan Reynolds. This really blows us away, and it makes us wonder what the film would have been like with either Justin Timberlake or Bradley Cooper.
Apparently, different people in high-level positions had different opinions on who should take the role, and there was quite a lot of back and forth discussion about the matter. But in the end, Ryan Reynolds came out on top - for better or for worse.
19 The First Deadpool Movie Constantly Makes Fun Of Green Lantern
Deadpool started filming right after Green Lantern was finished, and Ryan Reynold certainly carried some of his frustrations with him into this next project. The movie pokes fun at this Super-sized failure on two occasions, and both references were pretty hilarious. First, in the opening scene, a picture of Reynolds in his Green Lantern costume falls out of a wallet.
On another occasion, Wade says "Don't make the super suit green... or animated!" This is of course a reference to the use of CGI in Green Lantern, which some say went a bit overboard. From these jokes, it's obvious that Reynolds wasn't thrilled about the project... But the jokes were in good taste.
18 Ryan Reynolds Met His Future Wife On Set
Ryan Reynolds might have been thrilled about Green Lantern, but the film brought him closer to his future wife... So at least some good came out of the project. The two actors played love interests, but according to Elite Daily, they were actually dating other people when the movie was being filmed.
Still, it created a friendship between them, and they would later grow closer as a result of their shared experiences on the set of Green Lantern. Even though the movie won't go down in the history books, it played an important role in the romance between these two artists.
17 A Post Credit Scene In Deadpool 2 "Kills" The Green Lantern
It wasn't just the first Deadpool movie that referenced (or rather ridiculed) Green Lantern. The recurring joke was brought back in the sequel, although audiences had to wait until the post credit scenes for this hilarious moment. As most of us know, Deadpool 2 deals with time travel, and the mutant hero Cable visits Wade from the future.
Well, time travel was used to make some pretty hilarious jokes in the post credit scenes. At one point, Deadpool even travels back in time to eliminate Ryan Reynolds. Why? To prevent him from ever doing Green Lantern. Yep, it's fair to say that Reynolds regrets ever being part of Green Lantern...
16 A Sequel Was Quickly Cancelled
In 2010, Den Of Geek reported that a Green Lantern sequel was already in the works. This was even before the first Green Lantern ever came out. It's obvious that this was intended to be a massive super hero franchise, on the same level as Batman or Iron Man. Obviously, it didn't pan out that way, and the sequel was ultimately scrapped.
Why? It should be pretty obvious. The movie was completely steamrollered by critics, and audiences didn't respond well either. It was also a box office flop. In an intelligent decision, the studio execs decided to cut their losses and run.
15 Ryan Reynolds Was Relieved To See Green Lantern Fail, Because He Dreaded A Sequel
Ryan Reynold's problems with Green Lantern are widely known. But even though the actor clearly had a bad experience on set, he was technically still contracted to do another sequel if things went according to plan. As we previously mentioned, the movie flopped and the sequel was scrapped.
According to IMDB, this came as a massive relief to Ryan Reynolds, because he definitely didn't want to go through that entire process. Until the spectacular failure of Green Lantern, Reynolds was "dreading" going back to the same studio and filming another sequel. Luckily, he was let off the hook by the film's shortcomings.
14 Superman Was Originally Supposed To Have A Cameo
A few years back, Gizmodo quoted writer Marc Guggenheim as he explained various moments which never made it into the movie. This was all part of an original draft that was eventually transformed into the Green Lantern movie we saw in the end. One of the more interesting moments in this draft was a cameo by the man of steel, Superman.
Guggenheim stated: [The Superman cameo] is in the leaked script. It survived several drafts. Ultimately, it was cut for budgetary reasons. We took it out in one of our later drafts...The Clark Kent cameo is still near and dear to my heart. I really wanted it to be in the movie."
13 At One Point, Quentin Tarantino Was Going To Direct The Movie
While many actors were being considered for the lead role, there was also some confusion over who was going to direct Green Lantern. A number of candidates were considered, including Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer. But according to Geeky Tyrant, one of the most surprising names thrown into the hat was Quentin Tarantino.
Tarantino was quoted as saying: "I was offered the Green Lantern, Not since it's been a script, but just like, 'Hey we own the 'Green Lantern.' Would you like it?" One can only imagine what this movie would have been like with such a unique director at the helm...
12 The Studio Massively Interfered With The Director's Vision
It's no secret that the film we ended up seeing was not the same movie that director Martin Campbell made. In fact, the movie was still very much his own vision, until the studio got their hands on it. As mentioned in an article by Den Of Geek, Warner Bros interfered heavily in the final product, allegedly editing it "to the point of inscrutability."
Some sources state that it was the studio who picked Ryan Reynolds, not Martin Campbell - whose first choice was always Bradley Cooper. The studio also apparently decided to make the movie 3D at the last minute, which took control away from Campbell in the editing room. Many critics have pointed out that huge chunks of the film seem disjointed and confusing. This might be a result of the studio interfering in the final product.
11 Ryan Reynolds Was Seriously Injured During Shooting
Behind the scenes of Green Lantern, things were not going smoothly. One of the biggest issues on set was safety, as there were many stunts that the crew needed to pull off. Ryan Reynolds did many of these stunts himself, which eventually led to a serious shoulder injury. All of the necessary safety protocols were in place, but some mishaps are just unavoidable.
Back in 2010, MTV reported that Ryan Reynolds had suffered a serious injury on set, separating his shoulder while doing a stunt. According to reports, Reynolds was in serious pain, and the injury required a lot of ice. Interestingly, another shoulder injury was suffered by stuntman on set, suggesting this was a common mishap in one or two scenes.
10 An Early Version Of The Script Envisioned Jack Black As The Lead
Jack Black isn't really the first leading man that comes to mind when casting a superhero movie. But for whatever reason, Jack Black really was the first choice for Warner Bros when they initially started to play with the idea of a Green Lantern movie. According to Slash Film, this all started to take shape back in 2004.
The studio hired comedic writer Robert Smigel to create a screenplay for a Green Lantern movie, with Jack Black as the lead. This script obviously wasn't supposed to take itself too seriously. Jack Black read it, and immediately jumped on board. But after the concept leaked to the internet, Warner Bros had second thoughts and went with a more serious approach.
9 The Film Only Grossed $219 Million On A Budget Of $200 Million
There's no denying it - Green Lantern was one of the biggest box office flops of recent memory. The only silver lining is that it actually turned a profit - although it was hardly worth mentioning. These titanic superhero movies are supposed to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars of profit at the box office.
According to Box Office Mojo, the film only managed to gross 219 million worldwide on a budget of 200 million. A profit of 19 million dollars is hardly a success story. And according to Indie Wire, the real budget might have been much higher - at about 300 million. If this is true, then Green Lantern cost Warner Bros dearly.
8 The Green Lantern's Costume Was Completely CGI Animated
One of the most interesting things about Green Lantern was the super suit worn by the hero. This suit was actually completely rendered by CGI, and it's one of the more characteristic elements of the film. Ryan Reynolds probably wasn't thrilled about wearing a special suit for the duration of filming, but the end result is actually pretty cool.
Apparently, this was a conscious decision, to promote the idea that the suit was created out of pure energy, rather than being a physical object. People all have their own opinions about this decision, and many people felt it was a bad decision. Still, we can't deny that it was unique.
7 When Actors Auditioned For This Movie, The Script Didn't Even Exist
We often hear about actors who don't bother to read the script before signing on to a project, and it's something of a cliche in the Hollywood world. But according to Ryan Reynolds, he didn't actually have a choice. Not a single actor was given the chance to read the script during the auditioning process. No one know what they were getting themselves into.
Hollywood Reporter quoted Ryan Reynolds as saying: "When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script because the script didn't exist." If Ryan Reynolds saw the script, would he have still accepted the role?
6 Ryan Reynolds Drives A Dodge Challenger In The Movie
A neat little detail is the fact that Ryan Reynold's character drives what appears to be a 1970 RT Dodge Challenger in the movie. This is a seriously awesome classic car, and the particular model that made it into the movie was a brilliant shade of orange. Interestingly, Hot Wheels released a special Green Lantern edition of this car after the movie came out.
Geeky Tyrant seemed to suggest that the inclusion of the car and other "racing" elements of the movie were intentional, and intended to promote a merchandising deal: "...The studio meddling gave us a film with no shortage of ideas, but a severe lack of imagination in the execution. How else does the film's big set-piece involve Hal conjuring up a giant race track in order to give the film a merchandising tie-in with Hot Wheels?"
5 The CGI Was Rushed (And Totally Substandard)
Critics attacked various elements of Green Lantern, but almost all of them focused on the same point: the painfully substandard CGI. Many pointed out that the CGI in this movie was on par with a low budget television show, and they weren't wrong. For a movie which relied so heavily on CGI, this was one element which clearly couldn't afford to under-deliver. And yet it did.
This is probably due to the fact that a lot of these CGI additions were pretty last minute. As Geeky Tyrant reports, 9 million dollars was added to the VFX budget to make these last minute changes. And as the article notes, the focus was probably on meeting deadlines - and not on delivering a high quality final product.
4 A Reboot Called Green Lantern Corps Is Coming In 2020
The movie industry hasn't given up on the Green Lantern franchise... at least not yet. Warner Bros is going to try to reboot this series, with a new movie coming out as early as 2020. This movie is apparently called Green Lantern Corps, and will probably feature an entire team of villain, rather than focusing on just one lead character.
According to Movie Web, this film is pretty much confirmed, although we don't know about any of the specific details just yet. There are all kinds of theories about this upcoming film, with some even predicting that Christopher Nolan will act as the director.
3 A Green Lantern Ride Was Built In 2011, And It Was Later Branded As One Of The "Worst Roller Coasters Of All Time"
Six Flags Magic Mountain is one of the most famous and popular theme parks on Earth, and they decided to jump on board the Green Lantern hype train when they created a roller coaster with the same name back in 2011, just after the film was released. But funnily enough, this roller coaster proved to be just as much of a disaster as the film.
In March of 2019, the coaster was finally scrapped, with Mercury News branding it one of the worst roller coasters of all time. After just 6 years of operation, the ride was taken down, and fans of Six Flags cheered the decision. According to roller coaster enthusiasts, the ride just wasn't very interesting.
2 Ryan Reynolds Was Already Filming Test Footage For Deadpool On Green Lantern's Opening Weekend
Like any talented actor, Ryan Reynolds didn't let the failure of Green Lantern get him down. As soon as he finished shooting, he quickly moved on to another project - hoping to erase those memories from his psyche permanently. That next project would prove to be one of Ryan Reynolds' greatest commercial successes of all time. It was a little movie called Deadpool.
And as we reported back in 2018, Ryan Reynolds was actually filming test footage for Deadpool on the opening weekend of Green Lantern. Clearly, he didn't even want to appreciate his hard work in theaters alongside audiences. He was onto bigger and better things.
1 Ryan Reynolds Admitted That He's Never Actually Seen The Movie
So Ryan Reynolds wasn't interested in seeing the movie during the opening weekend... But did he EVER watch the film? Nope. Digital Spy quoted Reynolds as saying: "Look, I've never seen the full final version of Green Lantern. I saw a very late stage rough cut of the film."
But Reynolds later states in the same interview that he doesn't watch many of his films - even those that have received a lot of critical praise. So who knows - maybe we're just reading too much into this. But judging from all of his jokes and past comments, it's fair to say that Green Lantern isn't one of Reynolds' proudest moments.
References: cinemablend.com, denofgeek.com, mercurynews.com, digitalspy.com, screenrant.com, slashfilm.com, elitedaily.com, denofgeek.com, i09.gizmodo.com, slashfilm.com, boxofficemojo.com, indiewire.com, hollywoodreporter.com