Come June 2011, Green Lantern will hit movie theaters with action, bombast and millions of dollars worth of green special effects. Sadly, it’s only the third DC superhero property to be adapted to the big screen as a major, semi-serious blockbuster – the other two being Batman and Superman, obviously – but it almost didn’t happen that way.
In fact, in 2006, Warner Bros. wanted to make an insanely different sort of Green Lantern film. Whereas the most recent trailer for GL was criticized far and wide for its over reliance on cracking jokes (a la Iron Man and its sequel), the version from a few years back, which would’ve starred Jack Black, would’ve been all about cracking jokes.
Jack Black was cast to play artist Kyle Rayner as opposed to test pilot Hal Jordan, who, in the comics, became Earth’s Green Lantern after Jordan sort of went crazy and destroyed the Green Lantern Corps. The screenplay was to be written by Robert Smigel, famous for his SNL TV Funhouse shorts, which probably would've made it a lot like The Ambiguously Gay Duo. Or something?
Jack Black talked to MTV Splashpage about the once-upon-a-role, but seemed somewhat reluctant to do so. Check out the video below:
It’s better this way, Jack Black – better than being loathed by every Green Lantern fan on the face of the planet.
Usually, I’m all for comic book adaptations being utterly unlike the source material they were derived from, especially after a fairly faithful first effort. For example, not only do I love Batman Returns, which is basically the darkest, weirdest, and most entertaining Tim Burton film ever (guest-starring Batman), but I also would’ve loved to see Burton’s strange-as-hell Lite-Brite iteration of the man of steel, otherwise known as Superman Lives.
However, a full-on comedic Green Lantern film starring Jack Black – probably making fart joke after fart joke after fat joke after fat joke – would’ve been downright infuriating. Maybe that’s just because I’m a massive fan of Green Lantern and have been for going on two decades, but there’s something about that equation that just offends me to my very core. I just can’t help it!
Thankfully, it offended almost everybody on the internet to his or her very core, too, because the fan backlash to this idea was so harsh that Warner Bros. decided to scrap it immediately. Now, instead, we have Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and Mark Strong. Only time will tell if it’s a worthy adaptation.
Green Lantern hits theaters July 17th, 2011. Gullivers Travel's, starring Jack Black, hits theaters December 25th, 2010.
Source: MTV Splashpage
Header image from Green Lantern: Reborn, drawn by Ethan Van Sciver