Can Green Lantern really be the next Star Wars?

Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern.

Image via Wikipedia

After reading the article over at IGN.com, I was left wondering if Green Lantern really could be the next Star Wars? After thinking it through, my conclusion was:

Intergalactic spectacle? Check. Aliens? Check. Love story? Check.

The recipe was there but sadly Green Lantern has already lost the potential to be the next Star Wars.

If Green Lantern was ever going to stand a chance of becoming the next Star Wars it would have needed to have been strongly marketed months ago. So far all we’ve received is a very average looking trailer, and four minutes of Wonder-Con footage. If Warner Bros. had just resisted releasing that first trailer so soon then maybe the movie wouldn’t be fighting an uphill battle with over a month left before its release.

At least the WonderCon footage showed some promise from Reynold’s performance. But what of the other characters?  We’ve only seen a glimpse of Mark Strong’s portrayal as leader of the Green Lantern Corps Sinestro. I’m convinced Blake Lively is going to be the Jar Jar Blinks of the franchise already as her portrayal as Carol Ferris in the trailer was extremely dull and wooden. Heck, I was more one over by Geoffrey Rush’s voice over as alien Tomar-Re then I was for any of the other characters.

I have nothing against the Green Lantern character. I am actually a big fan of the comic books, and I truly believe this film had so much potential. But the studio just isn’t doing enough to generate enough hype for the movie to be as big as Star Wars.

A big method of generating hype would have been to release Green Lantern merchandise months in advance. I remember seeing Star Wars toys from The Phantom Menace hit shelves before I even knew that the film was coming out. This meant the public (children) could familiarize themselves with the characters in advance, as Green Lantern is not a strong enough character for the move to sell itself. Whilst the tie-in video game Rise Of The Man Hunters does look promising, its release date is too close to the film for it to really pay off. If you look at what Marvel has done with Thor, they’ve already released two excellent trailers, several TV spots, video-game footage, posters and a toy line. Thor doesn’t even come out for another three weeks.

Your average non Green Lantern fan probably doesn’t know Hal Jordan from Guy Gardner; therefore the characters need effective merchandise marketing, for the film to generate enough hype.

Whilst I really do hope the folks at Warner Bros. turn it around and make Green Lantern into the spectacle it should be (footage from Kapow comic-con suggests it might), I sadly feel when it comes to being the next Star Wars, they’ve already dug their own grave.

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    • Reed Solomon
    • April 12th, 2011

    I think it would have been better to go the secrecy route on this ala JJ Abrams and cloverfield, rather than release the original trailer.. which I think really pushed people away. As it stands though, I don’t think its unsalvageable. WB seems to truly believe they have something great that can replace Harry Potter and suppliment Batman in the box office megaspectacle catagory. WB hasn’t really spent all that much marketing this thing yet either so if they did give it a final push at some point.. well we’ll just have to wait and see. I believe its too soon to say what will happen.

    • Thanks for commenting,
      I agree with the points you make, but my biggest issue is that Green Lantern is not a popular enough character for his film to reach megaspectacle, without heavy marketing. Harry Potter and Batman are WB’s biggest money makers because they’re dark films, and people seem to like films with a dark nature.

      Green Lantern has the potential to be dark, (Hal’s fall from grace into the evil villain Parallax) but Ryan Reynolds just doesn’t fit that mold. I think that’s why the first trailer came off as more rom-com then sci-fi. I still hope the movie is a success however as I want DC to finally move away from just Batman and Superman.

        • dnno1
        • April 30th, 2011

        Simon Walters :
        Thanks for commenting,
        I agree with the points you make, but my biggest issue is that Green Lantern is not a popular enough character for his film to reach megaspectacle, without heavy marketing. Harry Potter and Batman are WB’s biggest money makers because they’re dark films, and people seem to like films with a dark nature.
        Green Lantern has the potential to be dark, (Hal’s fall from grace into the evil villain Parallax) but Ryan Reynolds just doesn’t fit that mold. I think that’s why the first trailer came off as more rom-com then sci-fi. I still hope the movie is a success however as I want DC to finally move away from just Batman and Superman.

        Simon, the one factor that is a saving grace for Green Lantern is the fact that I has a space based SciFi element to it. That type of genre is very popular (see the reaction to films like “2001: a Space Odyssey”, “2010”, “Alien”, “The Black Hole”, “Close Encounters of the Thrid Kind, and “Asteroid”). People will go see a SciFi film (especially when it’s good) and some of them tend to make good franchises. Don’t worry, Green lantern will be successful.

    • dnno1
    • April 19th, 2011

    I am sure that everyone would agree that with enough marketing you could sell anything, but I don’t entirely agree that “Star Wars” (1977) was marketed as heavily as you might think. Back then, the studio was unhappy with “Star Wars” as a title after negative market testing. A competition was held during shooting for cast and crew to come up with a better one but nothing stuck. Furthermore, the film was originally scheduled for release in 1976, but was delayed because post production took longer than expected. When 20th Century Fox attempted to distribute the film in the U.S., fewer than 40 theaters agreed to show it. It toook a threat from Fox to refuse the rights to screen “The Other Side of Midnight” (which ended up grossing one tenth of what “Star Wars” did) to get theaters to buy in. What really helped that film succeed was the fact that it was promoted at the San Diego ComicCon, as well as other SciFy conventions. The last three film in the “Star Wars” franchise were heavily marketed, yes, but their box office revenues were nothing like was was made on the original film back in 1977.

    The author criticises the Green Lanern franchise saying that they should have released Green Lantern merchandise months in advance. I beg to differ. First off, you could always buy Green Lantern merchandise (as in T-shirts, belt buckles, jackets, et. al.) at any comic book or specialty store for years now, and the film merchandise was announced a year ago and has been available for sale since March (which counts as months in advance of the film’s release in June). As of today, (just like Thor) they have also released two trailers (the Kapow footage now counts as an Internet trailer), two TV ad spots (in time for March Madness and the NBA playoofs), a two video game trailers, a trailer for a DTV animated film, and a clip from an up comming TV series this fall. I wouldn’t really compare this film to Thor since the critics are already saying that that film is not trully epic and the earth scenes come off as flat whereas the comments comign from both CinemaCon and WonderCon are that “Green Lanter” will be epic. Do not fret, this will be DC’s “Star Wars” and don’t be surprized if it turns out grossing more than the first Iron Man film.

    • Thanks for commenting first of all. It’s greatly appreciated.

      I want Green lantern to be a summer hit, as I’m not so big on X-Men first class and Cap. I’m just worried that a character that is not particularly mainstream won’t out gross Iron Man without heavy marketing. Iron Man had the ‘cool’ factor. It had everything from blowing stuff up to drama. It was basically accessible to anyone. A sci-fi comic book movie that doesn’t have a cast (like Star Wars did) might not be a big enough draw on its own.

      Plus, I live in the UK and I’ve seen no Green Lantern merchandise available in high street stores. I can always go to my local comic book store yes (and pick up belt buckles, comic book ets), but Star Wars episode 1 merchandise dominated high street stores here upon its release.

      Green Lantern has a Disney’s Cars2 very close to it and that could be a huge hit for the Green Lantern film.

    • dnno1
    • April 29th, 2011

    I don’t think that the original Star Wars (episode IV) was marketed all that well. What really sold that film was word of mouth from the SciFi conventions and news reports of people camping out to get a ticket to see the movie. If Green Lantern gets that king of buzz look out. It will be the highest grossing film of the summer.

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