As much as I respect and admire Brandon Routh’s dedication to the Man of Steel both on-screen and off, Superman Returns and I just didn’t get along.
Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale, however, understand what it means to be Batman, and made two of the best movies I’ve ever seen.
The rest of the heroes from DC Comics haven’t fared so well, and that’s probably because they’re not quite as easy to adapt for the big screen as the (relatively) realistic cast of characters over at Marvel.
That’s about to change.
First up is Green Lantern, which has the potential to be for DC what Iron Man was for Marvel.
Green Lanterns are intergalactic guardians chosen for their courage and armed with “power rings” able to manifest the willpower of their wearers into weapons. The only limit is the user’s imagination. Every sector of space is assigned a Green Lantern to guard it from all kinds of interstellar nasties, and Earth’s sector, 2814, has more than one protector.
(Lots more info here.)
The movie will present the origin of Hal Jordan, a test pilot who discovers — or is he discovered by? — an alien Green Lantern who crash-lands into our planet. The dying Lantern gives his ring to Hal, who begins a new life of danger and adventure that takes him across the stars.
(It sounds silly, but it isn’t. Think of the rings as supercomputers that plug directly into the wearer’s imagination and interpret what they’re told into energy-based creations — anything from a simple green laser beam to a giant space hammer.)
Martin Campbell is set to direct, and he’s an excellent choice (even though I’d rather see him on a Superman movie). Campbell has an amazing eye for beautifully shooting actors, action, and locations. Just look at Casino Royale for as fine an example as I can think of. He also made The Mask of Zorro, which is as fun and as thrilling a film as you can ask for, and its sequel, The Legend of Zorro, which looks great even though its screenplay is one of the most insulting messes I’ve ever been asked to digest.
I really hope the movie captures the flavor and feel of the comics written by DC architect Geoff Johns, who masters both test-pilot romanticism and galaxy-sized action. I’m not so sure about screenwriters Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Michael Green based on the comic books I’ve read by them, but hopefully they can pull off a winner of a script. I certainly don’t have any doubts about Martin Campbell.
I can’t imagine a better man than Nathan Fillion to take on the role, and those who complain that the 38-year-old is “too old” should look at how capably a forty-something Robert Downey Jr. owned Iron Man. Jon Hamm from Mad Men and 30 Rock also gets mentioned by fans a lot, but I’d much rather see him play Superman.
(Dear Hollywood — If you want a skinny, out-of-shape Hal Jordan, call me.)
Check out this MTV story about the film absolutely having a sense of humor, which means you need a witty man playing Hal Jordan. Emphasis on “man.” Please don’t cast him as some 19-year-old male bimbo. When we live in a world where Christian Bale is Batman, Ed Norton is the Hulk, Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, and Robert Downey, Jr. is Iron Man, we need heroes who look and feel like they could really save our lives.
One candidate getting a lot of action on the rumor mill is Chris Pine, who’s set to play Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek film opening May 8. Pine’s got the look, and we’ll find out soon if he’s got the grit. More about his potential casting here, and I’ll post more news about this one as it happens.
In the meantime, DC is planning an animated Green Lantern film that you can read more about here.
Meanwhile, IESB has two reports about a new Wonder Woman movie — here and here. It sounds like Warner Bros. and producer Joel Silver are actively looking for new writers (cough, cough, I know of a couple of guys, cough) and a director.
Earthbound goddess Megan Gale was cast as Wonder Woman in the Justice League movie that didn’t happen. (Rapper Common was cast as Hal Jordan’s fellow Sector 2814 Green Lantern, John Stewart, in that one.) Check out this video of Megan. Look how she towers over the male talk show host! She’s beautiful. She looks powerful. She had my vote then and she’s got it now. Along with my heart, my soul, and my love.
But it’s also possible (and probably probable) that Silver’s team will go with a new actress, they need to remember that Wonder Woman isn’t just beautiful and strong. She should be able to convey the same centuries of goodness, wisdom, and grace that Lynda Carter gave her in the 1970s TV series.
And if you need a Wonder Woman fix right now, check out her new animated movie (from DC Comics and Warner Premiere) on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s like a cross between 300 and Batman Begins. I loved it.
And that’s all I know about these movies for now.
More to come!