If there's one thing Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds learned from the failure of 2011's Green Lantern, it's that the script is crucial. And, well, it's nice if you can actually see one before committing to a role.
"When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script, because the script didn’t exist," the actor told Yahoo! Movies while promoting Marjane Satrapi's The Voices. "I’m not complaining about it — it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and if I were to go back and retrace my steps, I would probably do everything the exact same way. But script, that’s what’s different on this one.
"We’ve had a script for three years," Reynolds continued, contrasting Deadpool with that big-budget Warner Bros. film. "The script got leaked, and people even loved that. That says a lot — if you can create a script around a comic-book character that is directly within the canon of the character and be embraced. That’s a huge step in the right direction. I’ve since learned that a lot of superhero movies don’t really have a fully functioning draft of the screenplay ready until they’re already well into shooting."
With a reported production budget of $200 million, Green Lantern grossed a disappointing $220 million worldwide and was met by largely negative response from fans and critics alike. Although the film was envisioned as the tentpole for a multimedia franchise, following its poor performance, Warner Bros. scuttled plans for a sequel, and canceled the related Green Lantern: The Animated Series after just one season. Within a year of Green Lantern's release, there was already talk of a reboot, which we now know is scheduled to arrive in 2020.
If there's a bright side to be found, it's that the failure of Green Lantern is by many accounts the catalyst for Warner Bros.' current approach to an interconnected DC Comics cinematic universe. Had it succeeded, odds are we'd be discussing plans for Green Lantern 3, and not the 2016 release of Fox's Deadpool. And maybe not Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, either.