Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fair Jordan

AICN dropped the first word yesterday afternoon, and it spread rapidly from there before Variety finally confirmed the next big comic book casting. After months of speculation and a list that included Trek star Chis Pine and pop star Justin Timberlake, it's Ryan Reynolds who is going to don the black-and-green tights of DC Comics' Hal Jordan, a.k.a Green Lantern.

This is good news.

I've been a Green Lantern fan for about as long as I can remember, with a full run of the title stretching back to the mid-'80s, so this has always been a movie I've been hopeful for but wary of.

At one point in the '80s the folks at the WB wanted to use the property, about one of 3600 space cops who patrol universe with their willpower-driven rings, as a comedic vehicle for Eddie Murphy. More recently there were rumors that it would become a Jack Black movie, so there were a lot of ways this thing could have gone wrong.

Thankfully the current take plays it straight down the middle, with a script by TV/comic book scribe Marc Guggenheim (a classy guy who I had the opportunity to have a very brief conversation with recently) which early reviews describe as heavy on the epic, and direction by Martin Campbell, who previously worked his mojo on Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig's respective 007 entrees.

Pulling Reynolds into the Lantern tent is a pretty savvy move on the part of the studio, as it signs him to a multi-picture deal before his salary skyrockets (as it appears poised to). This would also make him the only actor to inhabit multiple characters over multiple comic book universes, having playing Nightstalker Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity, Wade "Deadpool" Wilson in May's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and now Jordan.

Reynolds had been attached to a spin-off flick based on his Wolverine appearance, though I'm not sure where this latest development leaves that. It'd be something if he could somehow manage to pull off both. As far as Green Lantern goes, there's lots of cause for optimism here, with a great crew attached to a great concept, and obviously we'll have a lot of time between now and the eventual release to watch it progress.

On a somewhat related note, early August sees the DVD release of Green Lantern: First Flight, the latest in DC's PG-13 animated features released directly to the home market. There have been some pretty great entries in this line since its debut in fall of '07, and this looks to be no exception. Check out the trailer here.

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