GREEN LANTERN EXCLUSIVE: Marc Guggenheim - One Question/One Anaswer
In this exclusive interview with Green Lantern co-writer Marc Guggenheim, CBM Editor Ed Gross asks how the writer ended up collaborating with Greg Berlanti and Michael Green on the screenplay.
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SCIFI MEDIA ZONE: How did Greg Berlanti, you and Michael Green come together to work on the script for Green Lantern?
MARC GUGGENHEIM: Greg Berlanti wanted to do a Green Lantern movie, which, looking back on it, seems crazy that he even had that ambition, because at the time the three of us were working in TV. A lot of people had tried to adapt Green Lantern and failed, so there was no reason to think Warner Brothers would take us seriously. But Greg had a real vision for the way Green Lantern should be done as a movie; he’d always seen it as this sort of combination of Star Wars with superheroes.
I vividly recall Greg and I casting the pilot for our show, Eli Stone, and on the flight back he said, “Listen, there’s something I want to talk to you about. I have this idea for doing the Green Lantern movie,” and he pitched me this thing that was part space opera and part superhero movie and we just started talking and talking. By the time we landed, I think he thought this was something he really wanted to do, so we went to Warner Brothers and pitched not just the first movie, but a trilogy of movies. As part of the pitch he said he wanted to work with these two guys he’d worked with in the past, which was me and Michael Green. Well, Warner Brothers was really excited about his take. From our side, we always said we had no expectations of the movie getting made apart from the fact we just wanted to prove ourselves as screenwriters. The idea of the movie actually getting made was just sort of a pipe dream. We kept saying at every stage that we just wanted to write a really good script. That was the goal, and then even with the first draft the studio’s reaction was SO positive that we started to realize, “Oh my God, they’re going to make this thing.” So it all started with Greg and what in hindsight was a completely ludicrous notion.
I don’t really have the words to describe what this means to me on a personal level. One of my earliest memories is going to see Superman: The Movie in theatres, and despite the ubiquity of comic book movies, I always still get a personal charge seeing a comic book rendered as a movie, I think because it felt so impossible when I was growing up; it felt impossible from a technical point of view and a cultural point of view in the sense that comic books didn’t enjoy the mainstream status they have now. Back then a comic book movie was a much more rare thing. So this is our chance to prove to the mainstream public why comic books are good. Just the fact that a Green Lantern movie is being made blows my mind. The fact that my name is on it is sort of impossible for me to process.
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