Illustration for article titled Green Lantern Gets An Unexpected Surplus Villain

It's amazing that there hasn't been a Green Lantern movie until now. The concept (a space cop with a magic wishing ring given to him by aliens) is so perfect and provides just the right mix of escapism and grit. So I'm excited that a GL film finally seems to be trundling forward, and I continue to think that a movie based on the seminal origin story Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn would work great, minus the hero's alcoholism. But the latest script review, from Latino Review, does make me a tad nervous because of the two words that can wreck any superhero film: "villain clutter." As with previous drafts of the script that have been reviewed online, the draft that Latino Review got their hands on follows the storyline of Emerald Dawn pretty closely. Hal Jordan is a test pilot who's fearless and honest, but battling demons having to do with the death of his father. And then one day, a dying alien space cop named Abin Sur crashlands in the desert and orders his super-ring to find someone fearless to take his place. The ring passes by Guy Gardner — and Clark Kent! — and goes to Hal Jordan. Hal finds the alien, takes his ring and buries the alien's body in the desert. Then Hal makes his famous oath as Green Lantern by the end of the movie's first act. Then we have a long section of Hal learning about his powers and doing his first good deeds on Earth, while romancing his boss' daughter, Carol Ferris. Finally, he travels to Oa, the home planet of the Guardians, who created his make-anything ring in the first place. There, despite being the newest of the Green Lantern Corps., he leads the fight against the evil Legion, who has already killed several Lanterns (including Abin Sur) and defeats him. Along the way, Hal has to conquer his demons — although hopefully this doesn't involve sobering up. But apparently writers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green felt that the streamlined arc of the Emerald Dawn series wasn't fancy enough, so they've added a second villain to the mix. After Hal buries Abin Sur in the desert, the government digs him up and orders scientist Hector Hammond to do an autopsy. Hammond pulls out a piece of shrapnel, which is a piece of the evil Legion himself, and it infects him, turning him into a super-brained unstoppable killer. The reason Hal goes to the Guardian's planet Oa in the first place is to seek help fighting Hammond, whom he can't defeat alone. And in the movie's climax, the Lanterns fight Legion on Oa and simultaneously some of them take on Hammond back on Earth. I'm dubious that the film really needs a second villain, let alone a climax involving fighting two villains — on two different planets — at once. It sounds a bit Spider-Man 3 to me. The other tacked on addition is that apparently the golden age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, has a major role in the movie. Since Scott also has a magic ring, but his ring really is magic and didn't come from aliens, including him might just turn the whole enterprise into a mega-confusing muddle. Despite a few problems, stemming from the alcoholism thing and the fact that its writers quit after the first issue, Emerald Dawn is a pretty good template for a GL origin story. I wouldn't muck it up by tacking on too many other elements from other Green Lantern comics, just to please a handful of fanboys. In particular, if you need a second villain besides Legion, let Hal beat him/her in act two. Don't keep both villains around for the movie's climax, or it'll just cheapen the effort to defeat Legion. Oh, and separately, Latino Review throws cold water on the speculation that David Boreanaz will play Hal Jordan in the movie. Which is utterly shocking, because I had actually thought David Boreanaz was going to play all of the roles in the movie including Carol Ferris and all the little blue guys. He's that versatile. Way more details at the link, of course. [Latino Review]


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