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Why Green Lantern Could Be the Next Iron Man

Green Lantern Could Be the Next Iron Man” width=”560″/>

Nick Nadel’s Tuesday column examines the increasingly busy intersection between comic books and the movies.

With new comic book movies announced on a near weekly basis, it’s important to take the good (Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man) with the potentially bad (get ready for Shazam! from the guy who brought you The Nutty Professor II .) But the very good news is word that the Green Lantern movie is back on track. If DC Comics hopes to catch up to Marvel in the movie department, they would be wise to get a Green Lantern movie going immediately… especially now that the character has been liberated from the ill-fated Justice League: Mortal.

So far, the future looks bright for Lantern, with comic book and TV writer Marc Guggenheim one of the creative forces behind the project. If handled correctly, Green Lantern could be DC’s answer to Iron Man. His story’s got it all: Superheroics, aliens, romance, and, of course, that cool ring. Let’s take a look at why Green Lantern could be the next great superhero film.  

One Ring to Rule Them All
Here’s all you need to know about Green Lantern: His ring can do freakin’ anything. Whatever he thinks, it’ll do. Ten years ago, a Green Lantern movie wouldn’t have been possible, but with today’s technology, if a director wants Green Lantern’s ring to make a giant birdcage to trap some bank robbers, he’ll get a giant birdcage. And while not as iconic as the Batman or Superman symbols, the ring itself is a striking image that has turned up in popular culture over the years. (On T-shirts, posters, and there’s even a DJ Green Lantern.) Imagine how cool it’ll look on a teaser poster.

Hal Jordan Is a Character to Rival Tony Stark
The
most famous of the many Green Lanterns, Jordan was a jet pilot who was
given his all-powerful ring by a dying alien. (Think about
the thrilling opening flight sequences.) Like Tony Stark, Hal has a
daredevil spirit and an on-and-off romance with his long-suffering
boss, Carol Ferris. He’s also a great role for an offbeat dramatic
actor. (My suggestion: Firefly‘s Nathan Fillion.) Thankfully, the Jack Black rumors have been put to rest — I don’t even want to think about what Black would’ve made with the ring.

Green Lantern Corps = Instant Franchise
Any
sensible Green Lantern movie would end with Jordan joining the Green
Lantern Corps, basically an interstellar police force. In the comics,
the Corps features plenty of ready-made sequel characters, most
notably, John Stewart, the Green Lantern featured prominently in the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. (And nearly portrayed by Common in the Justice League film.) Much as Iron Man 2
will likely give us some “Terence Howard as War Machine” action, a
Lantern film could set up the Stewart character for future sequels or
spin-offs. And that’s not all: The Corps roster includes cocky
womanizer, Guy Gardner; sultry female member, Jade; and tons of bizarro
alien creatures. There’s even a walking, talking dog on the team. In terms of sheer weirdness, the Green Lantern Corps puts even  Mystery Men to shame.

Sinestro Is One Crazy Alien
Find Jeff Bridges’
Obadiah Stane a tad on the dull side? How about a nutzo alien with a
pencil-thin mustache? Green Lantern’s evil counterpart, Sinestro will
be catnip to scenery-chewing character actors. (Fun fact: He’s based
on the great British thespian David Niven.) Cast Alan Rickman or David
Thewlis in the role and get ready to witness a manical baddie to rival
the Joker.

So don’t mess it up, DC. To paraphrase the Green Lantern himself, “In brightest day, in blackest night, the Green Lantern film better be done right.”

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