I’ve gone on record as saying that I loved the Green Lantern movie released this June. The film was poorly received by critics, and the box office was much lower than what Warner Bros. had projected and hoped for. Despite this, reports have surfaced that WB is planning to move forward with a sequel. With the Harry Potter franchise coming to an end, WB is searching for their next flagship.
I was fortunate to attend a Green Lantern screening two days before its release. The theater was packed, and it was obvious that most people in attendance were excited to see the movie. There were moments of laughter, applause, and even some “oohs and ahhs”. As a longtime fan of Green Lantern’s comic series, various cartoon appearances, and merchandise, it was a fantastic environment in which to see the long-awaited feature film debut of the character. It was a theater full of people who wanted to see a Green Lantern movie, not just movie-goers hoping to see a good movie (if that makes sense). The movie concluded to a round of applause, and I drove home proud of DC and WB, sure they would have a widely-accepted, critically-acclaimed hit on their hands. I was wrong. One thing I can say is that it seems the majority of comic and Green Lantern fans enjoyed the movie and held it in a much higher regard than non-GL fans. They made the movie the fans wanted to see, and as much as I’d like to see GL gain the mainstream acceptance that the Iron Man, Spider-Man and Batman characters have, I am thankful for that.
All that said, here are a few reasons a Green Lantern sequel would be a better movie than the first:
• More Sinestro. Mark Strong was spectacular as Sinestro, perfectly bringing to life a character that WB wanted to almost completely redesign. In pre-production, Strong lobbied to keep the character true to his comic roots, as opposed to the sweeping changes that were proposed (see: pony tails and tribal gear). In Green Lantern, Sinestro is a member of the Green Lantern Corps, and is an ally of Hal Jordan. In a sequel, Sinestro would be a full-on yellow-clad baddie, and rightfully take his place as Hal Jordan’s arch enemy. Viewers who stuck around through the first chunk of Green Lantern‘s closing credits got a taste of this. A 90 minute showdown between Green Lantern and Sinestro with little screen time dedicated to background story will be an action-packed delight.
• Less Carol Ferris.Blake Lively had a hard time keeping up with screenmates Peter Saarsgard and Ryan Reynolds. Due to their differences in age and acting chops, it was difficult to believe that the trio had grown up together and was playing on the same field. In the comics, Hal Jordan’s new role in the Green Lantern Corps expectedly takes him away from earth for the majority of his time, and his relationship with Carol disintegrates. Screenwriters of a sequel would be wise to stay close to canon in this regard, as it would be a natural diversion from the Ferris character.
• A high-powered cameo. Unexpected hero or villain cameos create buzz. WB is said to be hot on the idea of a Justice League movie. The Justice League is the DC Comics version of Marvel’s Avengers. The Avengers movie is set to be released in 2012, and many of the members have already been introduced in their own films. DC would be wise to follow this formula, and now that the Green Lantern character has been established, he’s bound to have a brief run-in with Batman or Superman. It would have seemed forced in the first movie, but not in a sequel.
• No training sequence. A sequel would see Hal as a fully up-to-speed Green Lantern Corps member, which means no more training. I will admit, the lightning-fast training sequence in Green Lantern was painfully succinct, especially when compared to Bruce Wayne’s training in Batman Begins. The good news is that would all be behind us, and Hal would have full ring functionality and be able to dazzle viewers with his creative contructs and amazing abilities. After all, he does turn out to be the greatest Green Lantern of all time, and it would be a treat to see that.