This weekend at the New York Comic Con, a panel will be held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of DC Comics’ long-running heroes , the intergalactic cop/superhero Green Lantern. Steeped in science-fiction, Green Lantern is armed with a power ring that can manifest out of pure energy anything its wielder commands, an imaginative and visual power that until recently would have proved difficult and expensive to realize on film. But now, Warner Brothers is in the process of doing just that- bring the emerald-hued hero to the big screen. William Gatevackes takes a look at the script currently in development.
The key to any successful film adaptation of a comic book property is to be faithful to the feel of the original book. You don’t have to have a slavish devotion to all the minutiae of the decades of comic book continuity, but you have to respect the themes and tenor of the original work. X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Dark Knight all strayed from the original comic’s history, but kept true to the spirit of the piece.
Notice that there was only one DC Comics adaptation on the above list. Most studios that adapt DC’s work have ignored this rule of faithfulness. Moviemakers seem to take pride in straying from the original concept. The result is you get the gaudy campiness of Joel Schumacher’s work on the Batman franchise and the tortuous development of the last Superman movie, which featured at times such canon-breaking plot points such as having Krypton not explode, Lex Luthor being a Kryptonian and Supes ditching his trademark suit for a Matrix-like black outfit.
But it looks like producers and screenwriters of DC properties have seen the writing on the wall, and decided to give more attention to more faithful adaptations. An example of this progression can be seen with the Green Lantern film.