WonderCon 2011: GREEN LANTERN Presentation

     April 1, 2011

Before the Green Lantern panel, my thoughts regarding WonderCon could be boiled down to “My, how quaint.”  After the madness of Comic-Con, the experience of being able to walk freely and cover the exhibitor’s floor in about ten minutes was refreshing.  But the Comic-Con experience made itself known as fans lined out the door to get a new look at Green Lantern.  The Esplanade Ballroom at the Moscone Center was packed and I was eager to see the footage that Steve saw yesterday at CinemaCon.  It didn’t disappoint.  Hit the jump for my recap and thoughts on the Green Lantern footage.

Scribbling as fast as I could in the dark while the footage played, here’s what they showed us:

The first scene is Abin-Sur (Temuera Morrison) aboard his spacecraft having a discussion with Sinestro (Mark Strong).  Suddenly, the ship is attacked by Parallax and Abin-Sur is mortally wounded while trying to escape.  He manages to make it to an escape pod and lands on Earth.  Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) sees the downed spacecraft and pulls Abin-Sur free.  He tells Abin-Sur to hold on and that he’ll get him to a hospital, but Abin-Sur protests that Hal take the ring, the lantern (which is inside the escape pod), and recite the oath, but Hal doesn’t know what the oath is.  Before Abin-Sur can explain, he dies.  With his death, the light of Abin-Sur’s Green Lantern outfit, along with the outfit itself, goes out.

Green-Lantern-movie-image (1)

The next scene has Hal sitting in front of the lantern trying to figure out the oath.  He puts on the ring and starts ad-libbing an oath: “I, Hal Jordan, pledge allegiance, to the lantern…”  I don’t remember the rest, but it was very funny.  Then the lantern lights up, mesmerizes Hal, and he recites the real oath: “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!”  Hal is then rocketed into space surrounded by the ring’s green light and he is pulled towards Oa.

We then skip ahead and see Hal entirely in his Green Lantern outfit.  Tomar-Re (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) explains to Hal that the mask is only necessary when he’s trying to hide his identity to those outside the Corps and that on Oa, no one wears the mask.  Tomar-Re then beings to mention his species and Hal interjects by reciting the species home planet and population.  Hal then asks nervously how he could possibly know that information.  Tomar-Re says the information is implanted on the ring-bearers mind, but explains that the Green Lantern Corps has never taken in a species as young as humans and admits his surprise that Hal can process the information the ring imparts. He then takes Hal outside to look at Oa.  The design is really magnificent.  It looks grand and otherworldly but also fresh.  The cinematography was also impressive.  Yes, there will be lots of action in Green Lantern, but it looks like director Martin Campbell and DP Dion Beebe have managed to keep the film captivating even when stuff isn’t blowing up.  Side-note: Green Lantern is in 3D, but the footage we were shown was in 2D.

We next move on to Sinestro giving a speech to the Corps.  He explains the threat of Parallax and how it was able to kill even their greatest warrior Abin-Sur.  Sinestro then makes a none-too-subtle dig at Hal by saying how Abin-Sur can never be replaced.  Sintestro then rallies the troops and says that together, the Green Lantern Corps is still invincible.  The members of the Corps then all light up their rings and shoot a beam of green light into the Oa sky.

We then get a lot of quick action scenes, including Hal fighting Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) and the footage ends with a really-cool image of Hal firing a ring-generated mini-gun.

While my worries about the visuals have subsided (although I don’t know how it will all look in 3D), I’m now curious to see how the plot fits together.  Based solely on the footage we saw today, there’s more than enough story to see Hal’s journey of becoming a Green Lantern and dealing with Parallax.  So how does Hammond fit into this story?  Where’s the time to develop Hal’s relationship with love-interest Carol Ferris (Blake Lively)?  I’m satisfied that Green Lantern will look cool, but now I’m eager to learn more about the plot.

Afterwards, there was a panel featuring Reynolds and Lively and moderated by DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns.  Both actors were upbeat and happy to talk about working on the film, but didn’t have any new info to offer Green Lantern or other projects.  It’s worth mentioning that Reynolds charmed everyone in the audience with his quick wit.  When Johns asked how Reynolds got in shape for the role, Reynolds calmly replied that he had a steady diet of adorable orphans.  When a member of the audience commented on the nice alliteration of Reynolds’ name, he responded by saying that his middle name is actually Rodney after an uncle that the family doesn’t talk to anymore.  If there’s charm incarnate, it’s Ryan Reynolds.

Reynolds was asked about Deadpool, but it’s clear that he’s waiting on 20th Century Fox to make the next move.  However, when asked if it’s more fun to play the hero like Green Lantern or if he prefers the villain like Deadpool, Reynolds quickly interjected, “Deadpool’s not a villain.  He’s an ass-hole.”  While I don’t think there’s much chance of Fox moving forward on a hard-R anti-superhero movie—even with Reynolds attached—it looks like it will be one of the great “What ifs” of movie history.

However, you won’t have to wait long to wonder if Hal Jordan and the GLC have successfully made it to the big screen. Green Lantern opens in 3D on June 17th.

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