Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role, under the direction of Martin Campbell. Campbell directed the film from a screenplay by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg, story by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim, based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The film also stars Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett and Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins, as well as Temuera Morrison, Jay O. Sanders, Jon Tenney and Taika Waititi.
The film’s behind-the-scenes creative team is led by a number of Academy Award® winners, including director of photography Dion Beebe (“Memoirs of a Geisha”), production designer Grant Major (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), and costume designer Ngila Dickson (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), as well as Oscar®-nominated editor and longtime Campbell collaborator, Stuart Baird (“Gorillas in the Mist,” “Superman”). The film’s visual effects were overseen by Oscar® nominees Jim Berney (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”) and Kent Houston (“The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”), and Karen Goulekas (“Spider-Man”) and John “DJ” DesJardin (“Watchmen”).
In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite, powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. Warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him the ability to create anything his mind can imagine. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds).
Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal’s humanity is one weapon no member of the Corps has ever had, and if—with willpower, determination and the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively)—Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will save the Earth and all of mankind from certain destruction.
About the production
“Superhero movies are meant to capture our imagination in some of the most impossible ways,” says Ryan Reynolds, who takes on the title role. “To that end, Green Lantern is a perfect character to bring to the movies because he really has it all—action, adventure, humor and humanity.”
As with every superhero movie, the “Green Lantern” filmmakers knew that the fans’ greatest concern was likely to be the visual representation of the world they know and love from the comics. Campbell and his creative team, led by production designer Grant Major, set out to make every location from Coast City to Oa, and each character from Abin Sur to Sinestro, just right. To that end, they took pains to faithfully recreate every detail and to enhance the imagery for the big-screen experience.
Co-producer and Green Lantern specialist Geoff Johns declares, “The first time I saw the production art, what they planned to do with the Corps and Oa and the Guardians, I was blown away. It was exactly what anyone who loves Green Lantern would dream of; my dreams for the film were realized when I saw it.”
“Even though Oa is completely digital,” Campbell says, “the design had to be organic and believable. And because it is alien, it couldn’t be Earth-like in any way; the only thing from Earth would be Hal, when he arrives there. Everything else had to be fantastical, while at the same time plausible.”
Once the overall look of Oa was established, two areas of the planet’s vast terrain had to be created: the Citadel, where the Guardians reign; and the Great Hall, where Hal and the audience would get to see the gathering of the entire Lantern federation—and where avid readers of the comics will recognize many of their favorite members of the Corps. Those integral set pieces would ultimately be accomplished through CGI; however, Major’s design team did construct large-scale models of each set to serve as reference points for Campbell’s staging of the scenes. The visual effects team then turned the sets into a virtual reality, where the action unfolded.
Several ideas were worked through for the Green Lantern power ring, which also incorporated the prism motif. Each one was tried on Ryan Reynolds’ hand, to ensure that the size and shape and fit were just so. The actor’s opinion was important as they wanted him, like Hal, to feel powerful wearing it, as though he could wield the ring as a weapon.
After a period of trial and error, costume designer Ngila Dickson hit on what became the final look, a perfect balance of power and masculinity. The ring was made from brass, with nickel plating, while the green stone, which carries the Green Lantern symbol, was made from dyed resin, with the intent that it, like the lantern, appear to be a relic from Oa.
In addition to her contribution to the ring design, it was, ironically, Ngila Dickson who suggested that the movie’s most vital costume—the Green Lantern suit—be fashioned in the computer instead of on a sewing machine. Therefore, the suit would be created by the visual effects team in post production.
Thus Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong and Temuera Morrison would have to spend much of their days during production in motion capture suits or, as Reynolds affectionately put it, “a gun metal gray outfit that made me look like a crash test dummy. ‘Skin-tight bodysuit’ and ‘kicking ass’ are words that don’t normally go together, but once you see how it finally looks with all the muscle fibers, almost like a human body without the skin on, I had to admit it was pretty ingenious.”
From the costumes to the energy constructs created by the Corps, the primary color of the entire production was, naturally, green, presenting a challenge to director of photography Dion Beebe and his team. Beebe relates, “Green is a tough color, and not one that sits well on the human face. Therefore, in our tests, we concluded that the green energy in the story needed to be more of an aura…something in the atmosphere that instead plays across the face.”
Martin Campbell concludes, “Green Lantern is a fantastic hero who was made to be seen in a way that’s larger than life. The story is involving and emotional, not to mention very funny. It’s everything we wanted it to be, and we believe audiences will think so, too.”