C'MON HOLLYWOOD: Time to step up your game DC!
By now, the smoke has cleared after the debacle that was GREEN LANTERN, and Iíve no doubt DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., are trying to figure out their next move. So far, they havenít formally announced whether or not GREEN LANTERN will be getting a follow-up, but considering the lackluster box office (while the North American box-office is merely a disappointing $100 million, the overseas take is a disastrous $34 million), I wouldnít hold my breath. The most GREEN LANTERN fans can hope for at this point would be a reboot in a few years, which seems like a more likely scenario than a sequel to an out-and-out flop.
For my money, one of the biggest mistakes DC and Warners made with GREEN LANTERN (and they made MANY), was the fact that they tried to go the Marvel route of hiring a journeyman director to launch a franchise that seems designed towards an endgame of making a JUSTICE LEAGUE movie, just like Marvel did with THE AVENGERS. That idea has certainly paid off for Marvel, but the reason is that as a company, they have a precise vision as to how their properties should translate to the silver screen.
DC does not seem to have that vision.
GREEN LANTERN has not been their only flop. Letís not forget THE LOSERS, or last yearís JONAH HEX, which makes GREEN LANTERN look like a blockbuster by comparison. Thereís also that ill-conceived WONDER WOMAN TV show, which will likely never see the light of day, and- had it actually reached the airwaves, might have killed that prospective franchise.
At the same time, DCís also been home to the biggest and best superhero franchise of them all- the Christopher Nolan BATMAN series. Rather than a film made by committee (as good as the Marvel films are, thatís what they are and that approach works for them), the BATMAN films were the vision of a strong director, and as such, has not only made the studio billions, but has also give the superhero genre real critical legitimacy.
So why did DC not continue down that road? Why chose a guy like Martin Campbell, whoís perfectly good directing a Bond film (which remain the vision of the Broccoli family, regardless of whoís directing), but doesnít really have a great track record unless working with top producers, such as Steven Spielberg on THE MASK OF ZORRO. Heís a journeyman and while thereís nothing wrong with that, GREEN LANTERN needed someone with passion.
Imagine what a guy like Edgar Wright could have done with GREEN LANTERN? Or Joe Wright (HANNA)? How about the Hughes Brothers, who, I thought, did a more than credible job with THE BOOK OF ELI. How about Duncan Jones? All that was needed was someone behind the camera with some flair, and imagination.
Luckily, this lesson may not be completely lost of DC. Like him or loathe him (I float between the two), Zack Snyder is the choice to do THE MAN OF STEEL (under Nolanís stewardship), and while itís too early to tell whether itíll be a good film, at least it will either be aggressively good, or aggressively bad, with no middle ground. For my money, an ambitious attempt that falls flat, such as SUCKER PUNCH, trumps the mediocrity or GREEN LANTERN.
|Extra Tidbit:||No offense to Jon Favreau, Kenneth Branagh, or Joe Johnston by classifying them as journeymen. Favreau on the first IRON MAN was exactly the kind of director DC needs, and COWBOYS VS. ALIENS will take him to another class altogether. Branagh's also great, but I doubt even he would claim THOR was a passion project.|