Oh, Green Lantern, will Warners ever get you right? The lackluster 2011 solo film sent Warners’ into a tizzy, thinking a course correction in the direction of grim and gritty fare was in order. That led to the disappointing Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Another course correction towards adding more humor was somewhat more effective with Suicide Squad, but it looks like they are going to err again with Green Lantern Corps by having it mimic another of the once successful franchises.
Deadline is reporting that Warners has hired David Goyer and Justin Rhodes to pen Green Lantern Corps, with Goyer producing and with DC heads Geoff Johns and Jon Berg executive producing. The focus will be on the team of Hal Jordan and John Stewart with the rest of the Corps. Their take on the film is being sold as…wait…for…it…Lethal Weapon in space.
For you young’uns out there, wondering why Warners is using a Fox TV show as the inspiration for the film, Lethal Weapon was once a successful film franchise for Warner Brothers from 1987 to 1998. It featured a loose cannon white cop partnered with a world-weary black cop who overcome their differences solve cases and eventually become friends. It breathed life into the buddy action flick formula and inspired a bunch of imitators before running its course. Lately, Warners has taken a renewed interest in the franchise. In addition to the TV series (which is produced by Warner Brothers Television), there is also a film “sequelboot” in the works with Chris Hemsworth at one time attached.
Now, typically this kind of thing is just shorthand to describe the project to the press and executives. Hal Jordan will probably not be suicidal, John Stewart will not be constantly saying he too old for this $#!t, and, I don’t know, Kilowog won’t be yelling at the pair for not playing by the rules. But trying to ape a one-time popular formula smells of desperation. Warners is trying to make the safest bet it can with the concept, almost as if it is still shell-shocked by the 2011 film’s poor performance. Instead of going in a truly new and unique direction, it is going to go in a direction that is familiar with filmgoers that is simply new to the genre. But it’s one that might not be the best fit for the characters or the mythos.
No word on whether or not Ryan Reynolds will return to play Jordan, a question that wouldn’t have even been asked before Deadpool came into the picture.
Green Lantern Corps is set to open July 24, 2020.