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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Green Lantern Story Details And Casting Update

By El Mayimbe on September 16, 2008

I don’t do due requests, but due to overwhelming demand from fans, I decided to take a look at the first draft of THE GREEN LANTERN by Berlanti, Green and Guggenheim dated 6/9/08, 104 pages. IESB took a look at a different draft, most likely the 2nd draft or first rewrite which was 5 pages longer.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a die-hard Green Lantern fan. My only comic book experience with Green Lantern was during The Reign of the Supermen storyline in the early 1990s when Cyborg Superman destroyed Coast City and Hal Jordan lost his mind and became the villain Parallax. Catching up on my Lantern lore, courtesy of Wikipedia, I found out yesterday before checking out the script that Hal Jordan is now again the Green Lantern after 2004’s Rebirth mini-series. Gonna check that one out.

On the casting front, DAVID BOREANAZ is not up for the role of Green Lantern. Earlier today, news went around the net that the guy from BONES was up for the role. Don’t believe the hype. Here is the deal, which is what I expected when I inquired about the Boreanaz rumor - the script is out to a few name actors and David ISN’T NOT ONE OF THEM. For starters, Hal Jordan is 27 in the script and David is pushing 40.

Just because a concept artist used David’s likeness for storyboards doesn’t mean he got the gig. It is typical studio policy to go out to all the name actors available so that a studio has a “name” to market on what looks to be another $150 million tentpole huge special effects driven bonanza slated for 2010 to compete with Marvel’s slate.

So, that being said, my POV on the script is that of a story analyst, and a general fan of comic book movies. In other words, I rep the other quadrant or audience that is the non-Green Lantern fanboy contingent that this script has to attract.

The script is good. REALLY REALLY GOOD. Hence the B+ rating. I had a ball reading it and got very into it. The script for me is short of excellent and an A rating because of one particular stupid ignorant scene which offended and pissed me the hell off and took me out of the story which I will mention at the end of my review.

Fanboys are gonna love the shit out of it though. Reading this script and the exceptional work done on SUPERMAX aka GREEN ARROW, it is perfectly clear that Warner Bros. Pictures has upped their comic book movie game and want to go after MARVEL really hard.

There is some very excellent craft in THE GREEN LANTERN. The 3 writers clearly have writing chops, which is expected from writers who work under tight deadlines in television. The structure adheres closely to what I call – the “superhero origin movie paradigm.” Our hero, in this case Hal Jordan has a fear, limitation, block, or wound at the beginning of the story which he has to overcome (his character arc) or have some control by the midpoint of the script which is usually the time he becomes the superhero for the first time ie: BATMAN BEGINS. In GREEN LANTERN’s case, Hal Jordan has to overcome his selfishness and self pity over the death of his father Martin Jordan which takes place early in the script. Hal Jordan for the first 20 pages or so is a prick. The story follows the GREEN LANTERN origin closely and cinematically speaking – IT WORKS.

In a nutshell, ABIN SUR’s ship crash lands in the desert on Gaia aka Earth after his fight with LEGION in space. LEGION got a serious beef with the Green Lantern Corps and hunts them. Abin incurs some injuries with Legion which prove to be fatal. Legion is the biggest menace to the Green Lantern Corps and has already killed three of them. With his dying breath, Abin asks the ring to pick someone honest, someone brave. The ring passes Clark Kent and Guy Gardner and selects Hal Jordan.


Hal Jordan makes it back to Abin’s ship. Abin dies in Hal’s arms and Hal buries him in the desert. Hal also takes the famous Green Lantern oath by the end of act 1 – the crossing of the first threshold scene.

Also, while Hal is taking the oath, HECTOR HAMMOND at the request of the government, performs an autopsy on Abin Sur. Abin’s body was recovered at the crash site. During the autopsy, Hector removes a piece of shrapnel which is a piece of LEGION. It infects Hammond who will become the second villain of the script. LEGION is the the biggest threat to Oa, the Guardians of the universe, and the Green Lantern Corps, and Hector Hammond is the biggest threat to Earth, Hal Jordan and his loved ones. Legion is a bad motherfucker and a Green Lantern terminator, reminds of one of my favorite DC super villians – DOOMSDAY.


Also what was not previously mentioned is that ALAN SCOTT aka the first Green Lantern is also in this script and a major character, but I won’t say how.

The first part of the 2nd act, the test, allies, and enemies stage is where Hal Jordan gets accustomed to his new powers and the 2nd half of act 2 is Hal doing his first deeds on Earth as it’s newest hero. There is also a romantic subplot that Hal has with CAROL FERRIS. The 2nd half of act 2 has Hal losing his first fight with Hector Hammond. Green Lantern travels to Oa to ask the Guardians for help because he believes he cannot defeat Hector Hammond alone.



The 3rd act is wall to wall action where Hal Jordan joins all the other Lanterns on Oa in fighting Legion and then the other Lanterns like KILOWOG joining Hal on Earth to take on Hammond. Very cool and if executed as written, the script has the potential to be a HUGE blockbuster with serious franchise potential for further sequels and prequels as the script alludes to.


A special effects company will have a field day with THE GREEN LANTERN with all the green shapes and objects that Hal Jordan and his fellow Lanterns conjure up with the ring.

Overall, one of the most solid first draft superhero screenplays EVER. It turned me into a Green Lantern fan and I already ordered Emerald Dawn and Rebirth to read.


Now my beef. To most folks, it would seem minor, but to a Latin like me, it’s huge deal.

A note to the Berlanti, Green and Guggenheim and the creative execs on the project.

Guys, you know the character of HUGE MOTHERFUCKING BOYFRIEND?

Well, if you don’t want to incur the wrath of this HUGE MOTHERFUCKING AUTHOR AND STORY ANAYLYST then get rid of the dead Latino Meth Drug Dealer body at the bottom of page 27.

Do we need a stereotype and an inaccurate one at that in a superhero movie?!

First of all, you ignorant fools the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of crystal meth dealers are WHITE!

A statistical fact.

Does the dead Latin body that Hammond performs an autopsy on advance story or reveal character?

No. It only serves to perpetuate a stereotype and again an inaccurate one. It also serves to alienate the biggest movie going audience which according to a report issued on 8/14/08 by Hispanic Media Marketing, went to the movies this summer at unprecedented levels.

You see, a huge percentage of the half a billion bucks of The Dark Knight’s money came from the Latino movie going audience. Don’t believe me? Get the report and the tracking. So if you guys and the WB want us to embrace your movie then get rid of the stereotype. The body could remain, it doesn’t have to be a Latino and the scene would still work.

There is no need for stereotypes in Superhero movies.

I’m not asking you, I’m telling you…


That simple ignorance is the reason I can’t give this expertly crafted script the A it clearly and obviously deserves. The dead body changes ethnicity and I change the grade. Till then, I will be monitoring the rewrites so that dead body better not be Latino because the last thing my community needs in a tentpole movie is to inaccurately perpetuate the we deal crystal meth.

As the New Yorker in me would say, “Get the fuck out of here with that bullshit!”

In the meantime, you can follow my updates on TWITTER.

Mayimbe out.