The Beginning Is The End
Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern from 2011 will forever hold the ignominious honor of being a cinematic universe ‘false start’. It’s now joined by the likes of Tom Cruise’s disastrous “The Mummy” Reboot in having such an undesired reputation. In addition to its failure at the box office, the critical response to the film was almost universally savage, with many critics left hugely underwhelmed by the VFX heavy spectacle.
The negative criticism leveled at the film is largely justified, although it is watchable and somewhat enjoyable in parts. The moments on Oa involving the Guardians, the Green Lantern Corps, and Mark Strong’s impressive Sinestro certainly make a positive impact. However, it’s the script, character development, plot logic, pacing, and tonal issues that truly undermine the film. The inconsistent, and at times jarringly terrible CGI, effectively destroys any notion of the film being regarded as anything less than an overall disappointment.
One aspect that did show promise, however, was the casting of Ryan Reynolds in the role of Hal Jordan, though we see it only in fleeting glimpses. Reynolds certainly has the requisite tools in his wheelhouse to produce a convincing take on the character, if molded by the right hands; Zack Snyder’s hands, to be precise. From an aesthetic perspective, he looks like his comic book counterpart. Reynolds is also never far from superhero levels of ‘in-shape’ condition. The actor’s trademark sarcasm, sharp-wit, and charming personality are also an excellent fit for the character. These traits could be more effectively rendered in context with the help of a Chris Terrio penned script.
Of course, Reynolds has done much to publicly distance himself from the 2011 film, going so far as to have his Deadpool character shoot him in the head for entertaining the idea of taking the role in the first place. Events have taken an interesting twist since then, though. The chatter surrounding the actor’s potential return to the role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, albeit in a relatively small cameo at first, simply refuse to go away. Additional photography is currently underway, and rumors are rife that he is involved.
The Rumor Corp.
The situation, as it stands, is a combination of factors. Reynolds caused a storm when he mentioned the then fabled “Snyder Cut” at CCXP Brazil in 2019. That was before he humorously skirted around the idea of his return in an ambiguous Twitter banter with The Rock. The other major red flag is the absence of a categorical denial by any of the parties involved. Many online commentators are adamant he will not return, but yet, there are no concrete facts to back up those assertions.
But what is beyond doubt at this point, is the existence of at least three Green Lanterns in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. We know Yalan Gur will appear in the extended “History Lesson”. Of course, he’ll fall in battle as he did in the theatrical release, and his ring will seek a new owner. Zack has clarified that the ancient warrior is not the Green Lantern in his film; strongly inferring, if not outright confirming, the presence of another.
In fact, he’ll also have two modern-day Lanterns in Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart. So, just for a moment, let’s pretend that the rumors are in fact true, and Reynolds gets to sling that famous ring one more time. Does that scenario have a potential downside? Surely everybody wins, right? Imagine adding another bona fide star with major box-office appeal to the project.
It’s a move that would certainly increase the general public’s interest and perhaps drive more subscriptions to HBO Max. The success of Zack’s cut will be a deciding factor in how DC properties are handled, or not, on the platform moving forward, so it’s entirely in his and their best interests to explore any and all options that will help in that regard. If you also factor the potential of series renewal (more seasons means Reynolds and company having plenty future work lined up), it’s a win for everyone involved.
Make Things Right
From Reynolds’ perspective, he has an opportunity to appear in one of next year’s most eagerly anticipated shows. He’ll likely snag a decent payday into the bargain. He also gets the chance to redeem himself as the character and consign the negativity of 2011’s offering to history. A Zack Snyder directed, and Chris Terrio written performance would go a long way to achieving that. Just imagine the hysteria, if in one of the episodes he appears only to pass the ring to another Lantern: John Stewart, for example. What an amazing capstone to his tenure as Hal Jordan that would make.
For many fans, though, it’s something more. Much more. It’s another wonderful wrinkle in the truly transformative, paradigm-shifting story playing out before us. A story of redemption. The “Release the Snyder Cut” movement, is built on the idea of providing an artist with the opportunity to realize their true vision. And this project offers many the chance to right a past wrong. A chance to set the record straight, and Reynolds potential as Hal Jordan certainly affords him a shot at redemption.
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