Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern” was one of the most divisive comic book movies of all time, with fans criticizing things from the C.G.I. to the campy plot to the overall performances of the cast, particularly Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. Some of the flak was a bit harsh, but overall, the movie was lacking and we’re sure it provided insight for Marvel Studios on how not to chart their own course forward.
Warner Bros. subsequently decided to bring DC’s superheroes to life, rebooting Superman, Batman and of course, introducing the other members for their “Justice League” film, while making it clear that the Green Lantern mythos would be receiving the same revamp treatment: one meant for a more dark, gritty and war-like universe featuring the Corps. With that in mind, CBR decided to look at 15 ways how the franchise can be rebooted!
SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for the “Green Lantern” movie and comics.
15. EACH CORPS IN THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM
When Geoff Johns engineered his new take on the Green Lantern mythos, he expanded things via a war of light that didn’t just include the Green and Yellow Corps. The latter belonged to the power-hungry ex-Green Lantern, Sinestro, but Johns decided to make the battle for the universe bigger with Atrocitus’ Red Lanterns, Larfleeze’s Orange Lantern constructs, the Blue Lanterns, the Indigo Tribe and the Star Sapphires being expanded into becoming a Corps of their own (which Hal’s ex-lover, Carol Ferris, belonged to).
This would be a smart move for the films to mimic because it would be a lot to slowly build the origins and intentions of each Corps over time. This time, we deserve to see the Corps in all their glory, and this way, Warner Bros. would have a plethora of villains for the vast number of Green Lanterns to battle. This path would focus on the many, not just the few, and help carve out a true ensemble film.
14. SINESTRO ALREADY A VILLAIN
One of the best parts of Campbell’s movie was the post-credits scene, where we saw Sinestro (played by Mark Strong) don a yellow ring powered by fear, which he wanted to harness to fight Parallax. He turned into the first Yellow Lantern, and gave us ample reason to want a sequel. It’s unlikely Strong will return, but when we get Sinestro again, there’s no need to see his backstory. We already know him to be a fallen Green Lantern who has impacted on the likes of Hal and the Guardians.
It’s about time we just get him as a general and war-mongerer like we did with Zack Snyder’s Zod. Sinestro is ruthless and simply wants more power, so the conversations between him and the senior Green Lanterns would speak volumes on his treachery. We want to see Sinestro and his Corps cutting loose, especially on Qward, where they made their base to wage war on the universe. Giving him all fellow criminals, such as Mongul, could even provide Sinestro with enough firepower to take on the Justice League.
13. EPIC CONSTRUCTS
The constructs we saw in 2011 were pretty decent for that era. We saw Reynolds and company unleashing a barrage of swords, guns, shields, discs, slings and blades, and it helped build the essence of the Green Lanterns as soldiers, and an overall army, that could truly battle a powerful entity like Parallax. The constructs weren’t gratuitous, and felt like they had a purpose in the film’s narrative.
After watching movies like “Man of Steel” and “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” we’ve seen what the DC filmverse can offer in terms of C.G.I. so we’re expecting the constructs to look even better. Marvel Studios has also done big things with their own “Guardians of the Galaxy” space saga in terms of S.F.X., so seeing constructs taken to a bigger level would be a big move. Imagine the Green Lanterns’ willpower being used to create a legion of bombs, or a big hammer, or some other weapon that’s nothing short of a spectacle. The possibilities are endless, especially if so many Corps from the emotional spectrum end up roaming the spaceways and working together.
12. KRONA & THE ENTITIES
DC’s emotional entities are creatures that embody the emotional spectrum, and which are affiliated with each Corps. The seven are the Butcher, a red bull-like creature fueled by rage; Ophidian, an orange serpent fueled by greed; Parallax, a yellow insectoid fueled by fear; Ion, a green whale-like creature fueled by willpower; Adara, a blue bird-like creature that embodies hope; Proselyte, a cephalopod embodying compassion; and the Predator, another insect-like creature fueled by love. The story can even hint at Nekron and the Entity, which embody death and life respectively.
If we get all these Corps, it would make sense to show how they are the driving force of all the armies, as seen in “Brightest Day.” It would also help to tie in Krona, a former guardian who was the entities’ caretaker, and also, show him as the being who created a device that let him look upon the creation of the universe, with the emotional spectrum then being split. These are big parts of the mythos for all Lanterns, and wouldn’t take long to translate to viewers in flashbacks.
11. JESSICA CRUZ & SIMON BAZ CAMEOS
Modern “Green Lantern” stories opened up the lore in a diverse fashion, expanding its reach to more Earth-bound Lanterns to protect its designated sector, 2814. Jessica Cruz, a Latina, and Simon Baz, a Muslim, ended up receiving rings to continue bolster the Green Lantern ranks. Cruz received a corrupting ring from Power Ring (a villain from Earth-3) and it was only in “Darkseid War” that she managed to break free as a hero. Baz ended up receiving one that Hal and Sinestro fused together.
Later on, Hal combined Jessica and Simon’s power batteries in order to make them work as a team and put them in charge of protecting Earth because he wanted to prepare them for Justice League duty. It would be nice to see Hal and company doing a scan on Oa for potential recruits and having these two popping up, especially as this Corps has a tendency to go for humans such as Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner as well. It would be really amazing fan service and show that the reboot isn’t limiting its scope.
10. FRESH GREEN LANTERN FACES
We’re certain that we’ll get familiar faces in the Green Lantern Corps, such as Tomar-Re and, of course, the drill master called Kilowog. However, this reboot is a chance to freshen things up with some new but relevant faces. Soranik Natu is a key member, as she was a former love interest of Kyle, but also she took over the Yellow Lanterns to try to use them for good. On top of that, she’s Sinestro’s daughter! Sodam Yat was a young Daxamite and hopeful explorer who ended up hosting the Ion entity, so he’s another potential powerhouse.
As for building on legacy, Tomar-Tu would be a neat addition as the son of the deceased Tomar-Re. The latter was a loyal soldier and friend of Hal, so seeing Hal inspiring Tomar-Tu about his father’s heroics, pushing him to greatness, is another emotive angle for the writers to play on. Since Marvel Studios is bringing their living planet, Ego, to life, hopefully this movie can also one up them with Mogo, another Lantern who’s always ready to fight alongside John Stewart and company.
9. SCAR & THE BOOK OF THE BLACK
Scar was a very underused Guardian on Oa in the 2011 movie, but one who should have been played up more due to her ties to the “Blackest Night” story. After being scarred by the Anti-Monitor, she eventually became corrupted by Nekron and his dark drive to destroy the universe via his Black Lanterns. As a traitor, she also wrote the “The Book of the Black,” containing prophecies on the destructive days to come, which the Guardians tried to play down.
Scar would be a key figure because, while Sinestro represents a lost Lantern, she is a fallen Guardian, who shows how fickle their principles can be at times. She also reminds Sayd and Ganthet, the senior Guardians, just how dangerous they can be if they fall from grace, truly reminding the Corps that anyone of them is potentially a threat. This would be a brave addition to test the philosophies of all Green Lanterns, and hint at the zombie madness that could ensue as their motto’s words hinted at.
8. NO HAL & CAROL ROMANCE
The Predator was one of the main reasons Carol ended up hating Hal in her space adventures, outside of their failed attempts at romance. It made her more aggressive and led to the rivalry with the Green Lanterns. Later on, it would be revealed that the entity had feelings for her, and influenced her to be more hostile to ward off suitors. In terms of the Hal and Carol romance though, we saw enough of that in the last film, and even in the comics, it’s something that isn’t milked to death anymore.
That’s a clever way of going forward because we know of the duo’s past on Earth, and having them as familiar strangers adds great depth through mystery. Their backstory could also be recapped quickly through flashbacks, or even using more subtle storytelling. Glances, stares and conversations could do the trick, where less is more, as seen in “Kong: Skull Island” and “Rogue One” where romance wasn’t at the forefront of the narrative, allowing it to focus on substance and action.
7. SAYD & GANTHET’S ROGUE MINDSET
What makes these two Guardians so important is that they’ve often stood up to their comrades and tried to put the concept of good even beyond the Corps. Sayd discovered what “Blackest Night” was hinting at, but she and Ganthet were rebuffed when they tried to warn the council of Guardians, which led to them eventually forming the Blue Lantern Corps. Sayd would later go over to the Orange Corps, but whatever reasons they both have for scheming, they’ve always maintained that the galaxy’s safety is first and foremost.
They were even chastised for loving each other, which goes to show how emotional and caring they are. Their philosophies and rogue mindsets have also influenced Corps members like Hal and Kyle, while also making the Guardians even colder than usual. The duo’s ability to think on their own has been an inspiration to the Corps, and it’s about time we saw this unfold on screen, because their behavior would influence how the Guardians and Corps members operate in the war of light, when even the Green Lanterns must be held accountable for their actions.
6. JUSTICE LEAGUE PARTNERSHIP
A Green Lantern is rumored to appear in Snyder’s “Justice League” movie, so if this happens, it would be nice to see the Green Lanterns as an army ready to aid them against universal threats. The likes of Despero, Mongul and the Manhunters are all armies that these two units can unite against. Whether it’s a Lantern now getting his ring at the end of Snyder’s movie, or one of them coming to warn about Darkseid’s invasion, a partnership is very feasible.
The Green Lanterns of Sector 2814 have all been part of the Justice League, so what would be even cooler is if we see other Lanterns in this movie, such as Sodam Yat or even Kilowog, being up for induction. It would flip the mythos of both teams nicely and open things up to new stories. These two teams are definitely going to be major players in safeguarding the galaxy, so having Superman or the Martian Manhunter appear to help out would show the ambition of Warner Bros.
5. DEATH IN THE CORPS
In terms of death, there are a lot of Green Lanterns that could be taken off the table. This doesn’t mean they have to die, as we recently saw Hal in a version of Green Lantern Heaven meeting Abin Sur. However, it’s likely that they’ll stay permanently dead given that Snyder wants DC’s filmverse to be a terrain of war. Some options include Kyle Rayner, who also became a White Lantern, so that’s a possibility to subvert and explore.
Guy Gardner, a humorous but badass soldier, is another candidate, especially with the likes of Cruz and Baz ready to replace them if needed. There are also non-humans such as Tomar-Re and Arisia Rrab to factor in if we want expendables. After all, it would be biased if other Corps lose members but the Green one doesn’t. It would also provide a great opportunity to see a wondrous tribute service a la “Thor: The Dark World,” when Queen Frigga (Rene Russo) died, reminding us how high the stakes can be in times of war.
4. KILOWOG UNLEASHED
The last movie didn’t utilize Kilowog to the fullest. We got our fill during the training of Hal, but that was about it. This time, we want to see him more in the field, truly showing the general that he is. In all the comics and cartoons, we’ve seen Kilowog unleashed and as a leader, not just a drill sergeant. The character needs to be done justice and we really want to see him with Hal and the rest of the team dishing it out in space.
Last time, we got the late Michael Clarke Duncan to voice him, so this time around, another intimidating voice is mandatory, such as Keith David or Kevin Grevioux. As long as that aura of seniority is built, then that’s all that matters. Let’s not make the mistake and repeat him as a peripheral figure because Kilowog is one of the tried, tested and proven members, and a major asset when it comes to the battlefield.
3. KEEP A GALACTIC FOCUS
The last movie struggled to keep the balance of action on Earth and in space. The mythos of all Lanterns is a space saga, after all, so let’s keep it that way. Campbell’s movie strayed to Earth way too much, but understandably so as it was an origins story. The issues of Hector Hammond and Carol all had to be addressed, but now, once we don’t deal with the origins, we can focus on the galactic warfare.
With all the Corps established, the only times we should be going back to Earth would be in flashbacks, in reference to the “Blackest Night,” if there’s a Justice League crossover angle, or for easter eggs and cameos with Cruz and Baz. The Green Lanterns should be patrolling and exploring space, as with the new “Star Trek” franchise, discovering all the other Corps who are plotting against them. When it comes to the entities as well, we need to see them in all their glory in space, like how Campbell pit Hal against Parallax in his 2011 finale, as opposed to just on Earth, which is so cliched.
2. GREEN LANTERN TEAM-UPS
There are so many Earth-based Green Lanterns that having them as pairs would be pretty epic. It would give that buddy-cop dynamic, for example, with Hal and Guy. It would remind Hal of the brashness within himself, and help Guy mature. They’re reflections of each other, so there could be immense fun in playing their partnership up. Another team-up could be with Kyle and John, who are more stoic and militant, and really focused on exploring the greater galaxy.
Having this balance would make for an entertaining film because it shows who’s all about business and who can mix humor with action. Each of these Lanterns has such flair and distinct personality that almost any combination used, we’re more or less assured a great time on-screen. This would also allow the writers to spread out narratives and give everyone enough screen time, because when it comes to these four in particular, we should all get ample time to soak in why they are the way they are. It’s a diverse quartet, but an altruistic one at day’s end.
1. NO ORIGIN STORIES
We don’t need any origin stories for the Green Lanterns because whether it’s Hal, John, Guy or Kyle, this movie is about the entire Corps. If we do need to reference any origin, they could be glossed over or told in war stories like a true battalion because even in books like “Green Lantern: Rebirth” and “Green Lantern: Secret Origins,” it’s never been about how they came into being, but more about how they operated as a tactical unit.
Any origin would detract from the story at hand. The movie could be fast-tracked by either having a bunch of humans chosen for the depleted Corps due to Darkseid’s reign sweeping across the universe, or by having them return to Earth years after being called-up to protect their home. What we need here is to see an army at the galaxy’s disposal, where everyone is considered equal. If the studio decides to do spinoffs after, that’s their choice, but moving past the origins phase takes us straight into the action with a team that could also teach the Justice League about discipline.
Thoughts on our picks? Let us know in the comments what would make the Green Lantern franchise reboot stand out!