FAN-CAST: Green Lantern
What a Green Lantern fan wishes the movie could have been...
Green Lantern was awful, there’s no other way to put it.
The directing was awful. The writing was awful. The story was awful. The aesthetic design was awful. The acting was awful (okay, Mark Strong was pretty good).
I’m not going to mince words, the movie was a massive cluster[frick]. If it did one thing, it probably convinced studios that Green Lantern would never work on film. And the most painful thing about it is, that is so wrong. Green Lantern could have the same appeal as Star Trek or Iron Man, if it was adapted well-enough.
We all know how it goes when it comes to poor CBMs. “Woul’ve, could’ve, should’ve.” It’s really no use dwelling on what might have been.
But screw it, I’m a bitter fanboy.
For daredevil test-pilot Hal Jordan, life is a never-ending thrill ride... but isn’t without its speed bumps. Alienated from his brothers and ailing mother, and deeply embittered by the loss of his father, Jordan’s life is headed into a dreadful downward spiral.
But when the dying alien Abin Sur inducts him into the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps, Hal finds a chance at redemption. With the Universe threatened by Atrocitus and his vengeful Red Lanterns, Hal must learn to set aside his anger and embrace his newfound purpose.
If Danny Boyle is known for anything, it’s for making colorful films with endearing characters. He may not be a “blockbuster” director, but he nonetheless has a unique visual style and an ability to craft memorable, emotional stories.
Since a large part of the Green Lantern mythos focuses on color and emotion, I’d say he fits this project like a glove.
Boyle has previously dabbled in science-fiction in the zombie-horror film 28 Days Later and the space odyssey Sunshine, proving that he can handle large-scale special effects with much aplomb.
Also Considered: Pete Travis, Gore Verbinski
Lawrence Kasdan and Alex Garland
For those of you who don’t know (and I’d be surprised if you didn’t) Lawrence Kasdan is the screenwriter behind such legendary adventure films as Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back. Considering the fact that Green Lantern is practically the Star Wars of comic books, and that protagonist Hal Jordan bears some strong similarities to Indiana Jones, I’d say Kasdan would be perfect for screenwriting duties on a Green Lantern movie.
Alex Garland, conversely, is the man behind the solid script for 2012’s Dredd, a movie that was a hit with critics but sadly failed at the box-office. Garland has worked with director Danny Boyle several times before and has a strong penchant for science-fiction material, as proven by his work on Dredd, Sunshine, and 28 Days Later.
Also Considered: None
Part 1: The Jordan Family
THE CHARACTER: Harold “Hal” Jordan is the Silver Age Green Lantern, created by John Broome and Gil Kane. He is the most well-known character to carry the title, and is often considered the greatest Green Lantern of all. Hal is the classic “space-faring cowboy” archetype a la Han Solo or Captain Kirk, characterized by his boldness and iron will. However, Jordan’s abilities often make him headstrong and cocky, leading to him charging into situations without much regard for consequence.
THE ACTOR: I’ve seen O’Loughlin suggested for a couple other roles on this site, including Daredevil and Batman. While I can’t exactly see him as either of those, I feel like he has the perfect “bad-boy” persona that Hal Jordan needs. O’Loughlin can certainly act, as evidenced by his performance on Hawaii Five-O, and would hopefully make Jordan less “Crybaby, ”more “Cool Hand Luke.”
Also Considered: Josh Duhamel, Chris Pine
THE CHARACTER: Martin Jordan was Hal Jordan’s father and childhood idol. A pilot for Ferris Aircraft, Martin was killed during a routine test-flight due to faulty machinery. His death inspired his son, Hal, to become a pilot and to live without fear.
THE ACTOR: Gibson is most well-known for playing seasoned FBI agent Aaron Hotchner on the CBS series Criminal Minds. He has a very rugged, fatherly air about him that I felt would work perfectly for Martin Jordan. Although the character doesn’t have a large part in the story, I felt he should have a talented actor to play him.
Also Considered: Nathan Fillion, Tim Daly
THE CHARACTER: Mother of Hal Jordan and wife of the late Martin Jordan. Following her husband’s death, Jessica became almost obsessively protective of her children. She resents Hal’s brash, dangerous behavior and fears for his safety as a pilot. In her age, Jessica has developed terminal cancer.
THE ACTOR: Frances McDormand is probably best known to geeks for playing Julie Hastings in Sam Raimi’s Darkman, or as Charlotte Mearing in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. McDormand is an immensely likable actress, who I feel would be able to ground a relatively melodramatic situation.
Also Considered: Cynthia Stevenson
THE CHARACTER: Eldest brother of the Jordan family. Jack is deeply resentful of Hal for his perceived irresponsibility, blaming him for the majority of the family’s problems. Jack is the main barrier preventing Hal from resolving his issues with his mother.
THE ACTOR: I first saw Peter Krause on HBO’s Six Feet Under, where he played a cynical man who inherited a mortuary from his deceased father. Kraus was able to hold his own opposite Michael C. Hall, which is a testament to his talent. He’s already proven that he can play bitter (but layered) characters, which is just what this role requires.
Also Considered: Geoff Stults
Matthew Gray Gubler
THE CHARACTER: James “Jim” Jordan is the younger brother of Jack and Hal Jordan. He has a much milder personality that either of his brothers, and is far more open to welcoming Hal back into the family.
THE ACTOR: Yet another Criminal Minds actor, best known for playing the socially-awkward Spencer Reid. Gubler’s youthful looks and somewhat mousy voice would be well-suited for Jim.
Also Considered: Jackson Rathbone
Part 2: Ferris Aircraft
THE CHARACTER: A childhood acquaintance of Hal Jordan and Vice President of Ferris Aircraft. Carol puts up a tough, no-nonsense exterior in order to hide her inner fears and insecurities. Much like Hal, she aspires to live up to her father, the President of the company.
THE ACTOR: Evangeline Lilly is probably most widely recognized as Kate from LOST, a fugitive who becomes a leader of the Survivors. Most recently she appeared in Real Steel opposite Hugh Jackman, where she played the owner of a boxing gym. Basically, she’s good at playing strong female leads with type-A personalities. So there you go.
Also Considered: Rose Byrne
THE CHARACTER: Carl Ferris is the father of Carol Ferris, and the former boss of Martin Jordan. Hal harbors a deep hatred toward Ferris, blaming him for his father’s death -- what Hal doesn’t realize is how guilty Ferris himself feels.
THE ACTOR: What led me to casting Ward as Ferris was his role as a gruff, wise-guy pilot in The Right Stuff. His part as Carl Ferris wouldn’t be very big, but Ward could certainly give the character a presence.
Also Considered: Stacy Keach
THE CHARACTER: Tom Kalmaku is a mechanic for Ferris Aircraft and a friend of Hal Jordan.
THE ACTOR: He might be a tad older than Tom from the comics, but Ken Leung is capable of playing likable characters without comic across as being cheesy or insincere. Tom would likely be a background character, anyway. (Ironically enough, Leung also starred in LOST).
Also Considered: Steven Yeun
THE CHARACTER: Ken Arden is a friend of Martin Jordan, and Hal Jordan’s boss. He retires after his company is bought-out by Ferris Aircraft.
THE ACTOR: You might recognize him as the American agent from Casino Royale. Besides looking almost exactly like the character from the comics, Jeffrey Wright is an incredibly underrated actor who has starred in films such as W., The Ides of March, and Source Code. He also simply seems to be a warm and personable guy, which is just the type of actor this character needs.
Also Considered: None
Part 3: Green Lantern Corps
THE CHARACTER: Sinestro is Hal Jordan’s mentor, and is considered by many (particularly himself) to be the greatest Lantern of them all. Though he is initially resentful of Jordan for replacing his friend Abin Sur, Sinestro eventually grows to respect him.
THE ACTOR: I don’t think I need to explain anything about Jeremy Irons. The guy is seriously just a fantastic actor, having appeared in too many excellent movies for me to list. The only reserves I had about choosing him for this list was his age. At 64, I’m wondering if he could play a role as physically demanding as Sinestro -- but hey, if Ian McKellen can play Gandalf at 73, why not?
Also Considered: Mark Strong, Viggo Mortensen
THE CHARACTER: Abin Sur was one of the most widely respected officers of the Green Lantern Corps until his death at the hands of Atrocitus. Due to this, his successor has some trouble proving his worth to the rest of the Corps.
THE ACTOR: Known for dying in practically every movie he has starred in, I thought it only fitting that he play a character who is defined by their death. It also helps that he’s a very strong performer.
Also Considered: Daniel Craig
Derek Mears (Prosthetics/Motion Capture) and Kevin Michael Richardson (Voice)
THE CHARACTER: The Green Lantern Corps’ brutal drill-sergeant with a heart of gold.
THE ACTOR(S): I haven’t seen any of Richardson’s work beyond Green Lantern: The Animated Series, in which he actually voices Kilowog. He balances warmth, sarcasm, surliness, and humor perfectly, and I can’t imagine anyone else playing the character. As for Derek Mears, he would be playing the character on-set using prosthetics and animatronics. If Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters can successfully create an animatronic troll (played by Mears himself), there's no reason why Green Lantern can't create an animatronic Kilowog.
Also Considered: Ving Rhames
THE CHARACTER: Keeper of the Book of Oa and a friend of Hal Jordan. Tomar-Re initially acts as an intermediary between Hal and Sinestro.
THE ACTOR: John Hurt has a very mellow, relaxing, and recognizable voice that would suit Tomar-Re’s reserved, intelligent personality. Plus he sounds similar to Geoffrey Rush, who I loved as Tomar-Re.
Also Considered: Cillian Murphy
THE CHARACTER: Ganthet is the most down-to-earth and reasonable of the Guardians of the Universe, often giving insightful aid to Hal Jordan and the other Lanterns.
THE ACTOR: Again, do I need to explain anything? Christopher Plummer is a legendary actor with an amazing voice, and would brilliantly convey Ganthet’s quiet wisdom.
Also Considered: Leonard Nimoy, John Noble
Part 4: Red Lanterns
Manu Bennett (Prosthetics/Motion Capture) and Jonathan Adams (Voice)
THE CHARACTER: After his entire Sector is eviscerated by the Guardians of the Universe, the vengeful alien Atrocitus creates the Red Lantern Corps in order to destroy the Green Lantern Corps.
THE ACTOR(S): I wish I could take credit for this choice, but I have to give it to CBM user BigEars for picking Manu Bennett as Atrocitus. After seeing him play gladiator Crixus in Spartacus, as well as Azog the Orc in The Hobbit, I was convinced that there was no one else who could play Atrocitus better. As for Jonathan Adams, I’d like to see him voice the character similar to what James Earl Jones did for Darth Vader. Adams really just made Atrocitus awesome in Green Lantern: TAS, and I think the character would benefit from having a voice that was more than a stereotypical “monster growl.”
Also Considered: None
THE CHARACTER: Atrocitus’ right hand and one of the leaders of the Red Lanterns.
THE ACTOR: If you take a look at Malthe’s track record, she has been in some poor movies. Rayne in Bloodrayne 2? Typhoid Mary in Elektra? Eugh. But hey, this is a very small, action-oriented role that she would do well in. She looks the part, too.
Also Considered: Maggie Q
So there you have it. Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.
Thanks for reading!
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