For ten years, the failed DC Comics film adaptation of “Green Lantern” has been the butt of many jokes, quite a few of which have been told by the film’s star Ryan Reynolds.
On paper though it had some potential, partly due to the involvement of New Zealand filmmaker Martin Campbell. Having helmed two great Bond films (“Goldeneye,” “Casino Royale”) and the still great “The Mask of Zorro,” Campbell knows a thing or two about franchise launching.
Out promoting his new work “The Protege,” Campbell has reflected on “Green Lantern” and told Screen Rant about one big change he had to make:
“We’ll put it this way: I did have my cut. The point was, right at the beginning of the movie, there was a whole sequence where he’s an 11-year-old kid. It’s how his father dies in the air crash, which was a really good sequence. But [the production head] at the time decided that he wanted the death of the father intercut with Hal plunging in the plane, and he saw these flashbacks come to him. That was something that I didn’t like very much.”
Later on he admits he was the wrong man for the job in a welcomely candid and honest act of accountability:
“But you know what? The film did not work, really. That’s the point, and I’m partly responsible for that. I shouldn’t have done it. Because with something like Bond – I love Bond, and I watched every Bond film before I ever directed it. Superhero movies are not my cup of tea, and for that reason, I shouldn’t have done it. But directors always have to carry the can for the failures. What do they say? Success has many fathers; failure has one. And that’s me.”
The film grossed $219.9 million off a $200 million budget in 2011 and so was considered a major dud at the time.