With filming set to commence at the beginning of March, casting news is now hitting the entertainment media outlets about the much anticipated Green Lantern film.
Look, I’ll admit it: I’m a born-again fan of the whole Green Lantern mythos. I followed the character when I was younger but got into him again (in a big way) about five years ago when DC Comics rebooted the series. Still, making a hit movie of the character is not going to be easy work. It’s a strange, strange universe that GL plays in and it’s going to need some explanation. If anything, it should be likened it to the deep, grandiose mythology of Star Wars. Hope that doesn’t scare you!
Without going into too much detail, Green Lantern (well, our Green Lantern – more on that in a paragraph or two) is actually Hal Jordan, a fighter jet test pilot, famous for pushing the envelope of airplane technology since he has “no fear”. Jordan gets recruited into the Green Lantern Corps by a dying alien named Abin Sur, who crash lands on earth. The Corps is basically an intergalactic police force, fighting crime throughout the cosmos. Wielding a green power ring that can emit energy into the shape of whatever its wearer imagines, Hal Jordon, become the Green Lantern of space sector 2814, which puts Earth under his dutiful watch.
This also means there are other space sectors that need tending to – which means there are hundreds – nay thousands – of other Green Lanterns throughout the galaxy. I suppose that the universe is a very naughty place and, apparently, we’ll get to see all of these space cops in the upcoming film.
Martin Campbell, director of the brilliant Casino Royale is set to paint the blackness of space, uh, well, green. Leading the charge of talent involved in the film (and the characters they play) are:
Hal Jordan – Ryan Reynolds
The titular hero of our story, Jordan knows no fear and possesses immense willpower making him a natural leader of the Green Lantern Corps. He’s dashing and headstrong, which will often put him odds with the Guardians of the Universe, a collection of short, blue-skinned, hobbit-like aliens who have, for over a millennia, run the intergalactic police force. (They’re basically the chief-of-police in outer space and they want things done their way.) Canadian Ryan Reynolds has been cast in the role that is sure to put him over the top with fanboys everywhere who loved his fast mouth and brazen attitude in Blade 2, while women adored his muscular physique. (Yeah, he was ripped.) Ryan’s at the right age, he’s got the right look, he possesses the perfect personality for the role, not to mention some pretty strong box-office pull. Inspired casting, I say.
Carol Ferris – Blake Lively
Carol is not only the owner of Ferris Aircraft, with whom Jordan works, but the strong, independent woman is also his love interest. Blake Lively is a regular on Gossip Girl, a series I don’t follow. Still, she’s definitely easy on the eyes and hopefully she can act. So long as the studio dyes her hair the proper shade, I’ll trust the director’s choice of casting here. There’s a plot in the comics where Carol gets turned into a super villain called the Star Sapphire. That’s not going to happen in this film, but the seeds could be planted for future sequels. Has anyone seen her on her popular television series? Can you vouch for her ability in front of a camera? By all means, let us know and post away in the comments section of this article below…
(Editor’s Note: As a dyed-in-the-wool Gossip Girl fan, I will vouch for Blake Lively’s acting chops…and her other attributes too. Give her a good script and she’ll deliver. xoxo.)
Hector Hammond – Peter Sarsgaard
Hector Hammond looks to be the big bad in the film. In the comics, he’s basically a conniving, mean-spirited, but gifted consultant with Ferris Aircraft – with eyes for Carol Ferris and a hate-on for Hal Jordan. But a strange thing happens. A really strange thing. A space meteorite with extraordinary properties gifts the antagonist with powers akin to a god: a genius intellect, potent telepathic and telekinetic abilities and the capability to absorb and redirect energy…all within a cranium that grows too big for his neck to sustain! No, you read that right. Metal rods are required to keep Hammonds head upright! The image is, admittedly, a little esoteric but 38 year old Peter Sarsgaard has the right look and the acting chops (Jarhead, Kinsey, Garden State) to pull the strangeness off. Also, if we’re playing a game of “DC Comics: Degrees of Separation,” the young actor is married to Maggie Gyllenhaall, who starred in The Dark Knight and that counts for something very positive.
Sinestro is one of the greatest Green Lanterns of all time and takes it upon himself to train the younger, inexperienced Hal Jordan. The two become good partners and great friends, however, disillusioned by the way the Corps delivers “justice” under the stewardship of the Guardians of the Universe, Sinestro rebels and forms his own army to go against them. This makes him Jordan’s one, true adversary – a friendship betrayed and a philosophical difference on the idea of justice. This first film will probably set the next two sequels into motion, relying on this opposition between characters as the primary story. No one has been cast as the older, wiry, lithe and downright despicable Sinestro yet, but some of the names being mentioned include Hugh Laurie from the successful television series House, John Malkovitch, seen this summer in another DC Comics film, Jonah Hex and Hugo Weaving.
Weaving is an interesting choice. Not only does he have the required acting ability but he’s already a hero in the eyes of many fans. If Green Lantern intends to be a tent-pole trilogy for DC Comics, Weaving has already shown that he’s game for character development over multiple films as seen in The Matrix and in Lord of the Rings. I might also mention his superb role in V for Vendetta. Weaving has a penchant for pop culture films and although I was an early proponent for Malkovich, I’m siding with Hugo these days. I think he’d be perfect as the hero-turned-villain.
The storyline of the current Green Lantern comic book series is as epic as they come.
Writer Geoff Johns, accompanied by a plethora of talented artists has created a new science fiction mythology for our time – truly an incredible achievement. If you’re interested in stories of intergalactic war, cops and robbers, racial politics or space-faring archaeology and myth, there are a number of hard and soft cover compilations to get you started.
Still, my one caveat with a film of the scope of Green Lantern is that it surely won’t be for everyone. It truly is weird universe. Because of all the otherworldly creatures, we are sure to be treated to strange visual sights where characters that look like hippopotamuses and squirrels wield power rings and superhero costumes alongside more traditional looking long-necked and big-eyed aliens. Green Lantern promises to be quite a ride. So long as Martin Campbell can keep true to the main characters and their relationships with each other, the ride should prove both exhilarating and monetarily successful.
Green Lantern is due to be released on June 17, 2011. I know you’ll be reading more about it here. I, for one, can’t wait till it lights up the screen, green, at my local theatre!