Footage of Ryan Reynolds' 'Green Lantern' shines a light ... for some
When the trailer for Ryan Reynolds' "Green Lantern" hit back in the fall, it threw both fanboys and general audiences for a loop, with only oblique references to the comic book mythology or, for that matter, to a larger story.
A new four minutes of footage from the Martin Campbell-directed "Lantern" may have turned it around for one group -- and confused the other even further.
Hardcore fanboys will find much to scrutinize about the new material, which you can check out below. There are lots of Oans in heavy makeup in the Hal Jordan tale, and lights and weapons flashing on distant planets; indeed, but for a few shots, most of the trailer takes place somewhere other than Earth. The "Green Lantern" oath is recited not once but twice, and lines like "I am Tomar-Re, Protector of Sector 2813" are intoned with deep significance.
There's a moment of Reynolds humor/skepticism, but it's quickly dispensed with. There isn't a single woman in the entire four minutes. And there are just a couple of lines that someone without knowledge of the mythology would fully comprehend (e.g., "the ring turns thought into reality").
You know pretty much right away where you stand when the footage opens with an account of what happens when, as one fan blog put it, "Abin-Sur is attacked by the Parallax."
Perhaps the biggest shift is away from the early trailer's focus on the odyssey of one man from slacker to superhero and toward the galactic, the-world-could-soon-end stakes.
The material originated at this last weekend's WonderCon, a fanboy gathering. But the fact that the scenes, which Warner Bros. knew would go viral, lean so heavily this way suggests that the studio is trying a different tack at this stage of the marketing campaign. Unlike an "Iron Man" or a "Green Hornet," which in the months before release used humor and a human story to reel in a broad demographic, "Green Lantern" is playing straight to the core audience, even though it is, in the end, a big-budget summer tent pole that needs to cut a broad swath.
Toward the end of the material, Mark Strong's Sinestro addresses a group of Oans and says: "I don't need to tell you who we are." It's a fitting line -- this is footage for people who don't need to be told much of anything.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Ryan Reynolds in "Green Lantern." Credit: Warner Bros.