Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov Talks GREEN LANTERN 2; Misunderstands Why GREEN LANTERN Failed

     August 2, 2011

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Now that all big four superhero movies have come out this summer, Green Lantern is clearly the biggest disappointment of the bunch.  Rather than charge into production on a sequel, Warner Bros. was forced to take a tepid wait-and-see approach to the international box office and home entertainment sales.  But Green Lantern 2 is certainly still in the studio’s mind and President Jeff Robinov believes that the problem wasn’t the concept but the execution.  However, the flaws he sees in the execution weren’t the ones that sunk the movie.

Hit the jump for what Robinov said the sequel needs to do in order to “improve” on the original.

Robinov tells Hero Complex:

“We had a decent opening* so we learned there is an audience. To go forward we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action… And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.”

None of that was why Green Lantern sucked.  I didn’t sit through Green Lantern thinking, “If only this movie where edgier, darker, and better balanced between the time spent in space and the time spent on Earth.”  I sat through Green Lantern thinking, “How many remedial screenwriting 101 students did it take to scribble this on to a cocktail napkin?”  The movie is a paint-by-numbers screenplay and yet it’s still an absolute mess.  I won’t squeeze in my own review of Green Lantern but you should really check out Topless Robot’s “re-write” if you want a inspired breakdown of why the movie is awful.

As we previously reported Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, and Marc Guggenheim had written a treatment for the sequel and that screenwriter Michael Goldenberg would return to write the script.  However, unnamed sources tell Hero Complex that “Warner will likely make significant changes to the outline, if not start over from scratch, in developing a sequel.”  That would be a step in the right direction.

Hero Complex reiterates that it’s unlikely that Martin Campbell would return to direct.  Warner Bros. were reportedly “not thrilled” with his work, which seems like an unfair criticism.  Campbell is a journeyman director who was saddled with an atrocious screenplay.  It’s the same reason I don’t hold any of the cast responsible.  Nothing in the movie is great but nothing is as bad as the script.  And if WB execs really think the problem was the tone or the balance of time between Earth and Oa, then I don’t have much hope for the sequel.

*Any opening will be decent if there’s enough marketing muscle behind a movie.  Warner Bros. didn’t dump millions upon millions selling and marketing Green Lantern to learn that there was an audience.  It was a disappointment by any metric.

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