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Green Lantern Director Admits “It Just Did Not Work”

By Fred Topel

Green Lantern Director Admits “It Just Did Not Work”

2011’s Green Lantern movie was supposed to start a new DC cinematic universe, as, finally, they made a movie about someone other than Batman or Superman. At the time of its $53 million opening, there was still talk of Green Lantern 2. Ultimately, though, the film got a critical drubbing like a green fist smacking that Sinestro post-credits tag into oblivion. Today, director Martin Campbell is honest about the film.

Green Lantern was a failure,” Campbell said during an interview promoting his new movie The Foreigner. “It just did not work and didn’t succeed. I think there were a few reasons for that.”

First, Campbell feels in retrospect the film’s choice of villain, Parallax, was inappropriate for a cinematic adaptation.


“One was, I think conceptually the movie was wrong,” Campbell said. “You can’t have a movie where, frankly, your bad guy is a cloud with a face on it. You simply can’t.”

Oh, snap! You gonna take that kind of trash talk from a director, Parallax? At least admit Peter Sarsgaard’s engorged brain was a worse villain than Parallax. 

Anyway, Campbell introduced the modern, gritty and realistic James Bond in Casino Royale. Perhaps Green Lantern could have brought grit to space rocks. 

“I think it could’ve been grittier and tougher,” Campbell said. “The studio wanted it to be not necessarily grittier and tougher. All in all, I just think the whole story should’ve been re-conceived." 


Campbell was at a disadvantage there. Greg Berlanti was scheduled to direct Green Lantern. When Campbell was hired, he inherited a lot of Berlanti’s plans. Berlanti did just fine bringing the DC universe to television, but now Campbell regrets he didn’t insist on starting over. Many Green Lantern fans regret it too. So does Ryan Reynolds, probably. 

“I came into it replacing another director and the concept was already set,” Campbell said. “The script was set but I think perhaps we should have perhaps thrown that away and redone it.”

That's a refreshingly honest self-reflection for a major Hollywood director. Campbell got his way with The Foreigner, starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan, in theaters October 13.

Images: Warner Bros.