Warner Bros. debuted the long-awaited trailer to Green Lantern last night, and reception has been a bit of a mixed bag. Some of you were excited by the first glimpses of the ring in action, OA, and appearances by notable members of the Green Lantern Corps, while others were decidedly less impressed by the look of the movie and light-hearted tone of the script. Either way, the trailer revealed a lot about the story and director Martin Campbell's interpretation of the Green Lantern universe. Let's go through the notable scenes in the trailer and point out a few revelations for both old and new Green Lantern fans alike. (Many spoilers below.)
== TEASER == The trailer starts off with Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) waking up in bed with comely companion, departing in earnest because he's late for an appointment. The scene sets Jordon up as an immature ladies man, a characterization reminiscent of Chris Evan's Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movies with a bit of Tony Stark thrown into the mix. The portrayal of Jordan is quintessential Reynolds--you could easily mistake him for Van Wilder at this point. The more important point is that this shows us all we need to know about Hal Jordon's character arc in the film: he'll start off cocky and irresponsible and will overcome insecurities to channel his fearlessness into bravery by the end of the movie. Very typical Hollywood fare.
The next scene shows Jordan speeding into the parking lot of Ferris Air, the aerospace company run by childhood friend Carol Ferris (Gossip Girl's Blake Lively). In the comics, Ferris Air is where Jordan works as a tests pilot, following the footsteps of his father, who he watched die in a plane crash. We don't know if that pivotal moment in Hal's childhood will be shown in the film, though we can expect it given that the entire Jordon family has been cast, as well as a young Carol Ferris.
Blake Lively only has two lines in this trailer, but those scenes are enough to get me worried about her ability to act opposite Reynolds as the female lead. Carol Ferris, who eventually becomes the Star Sapphire, is supposed to be both a no-nonsense boss and capable pilot in her own right. From these brief scenes, Lively looks to be unconvincing as either.
This is where we see the first deviation from Geoff John's Green Lantern: Secret Origin storyline. In the comics, Carol Ferris gives up her dream of becoming a pilot to run her father's company. Here, we see her piloting what looks to be an F-35 fighter jet alongside Jordan. Update: As many of you have pointed out, Carol's helmet sports a decal that looks like a Star Sapphire.
For reasons not explained in the trailer -- though we can assume it's due to Jordan taking an unnecessary risk with his plane -- we next see Jordan ejecting from this aircraft to parachute onto the desert floor below. This is presumably the point of the film where he is fired (by Carol) as a test pilot-- the only job he's ever known or wanted.
You can see that Reynolds as a "what am I doing with my life?" look on his face as he literally looks into the horizon for some direction.
And here's where the movie really begins. Hal sees a green streak in the sky, which is of course soon-to-be-deceased Abin Sur's ship crashing. The cause of Abin's crash varies depending on which origin of Green Lantern you've read, but the latest canon reveals that Abin was flying to Earth in search of answers to the Blackest Night prophecy, with future Red Lantern Atrocitus in tow. I doubt we'll see Atrocitus in the film, so it's more likely that the ship was brought down after an encounter with yellow energy, or even Parallax (the villain of the film).
Note that Abin's ship crashed near the ocean, and not in the desert as it is most often portrayed in the comics. Green Lantern was shot in New Orleans, so the Gulf of Mexico doubles as the Pacific Ocean, as Green Lantern's Earthbound adventures mostly take place in Coast City, a fictional southern Californian city half an hour away from Edwards Air Force base.
The first look at Abin Sur (Temuera Morrison, aka Jango Fett in Star Wars) tells us a lot about the production design of Green Lantern. Director Campbell and his team are going for a very organic look in both the character and costume design; Abin Sur has a much more textured face than he did in the comics, while still remaining immediately recognizable to fans. That's true of the other Green Lanterns shown later on in the trailer, which is one of the positive things going for the film.
Abin gives his famous speech to Hal Jordan in this scene, explaining who he is any why the ring has chosen Jordan to be his replacement.
We get a glimpse of Abin in the spherical cockpit of his vessel, which we see is catapulted by some larger docking station to propel him across the galaxy. I hope the movie addresses why Abin needed to use a ship to get to Earth, since Green Lanterns can fly with the power of the ring. In the comics, it's explained that he used a ship as he fell victim to fear, losing confidence in his energy constructs which ultimately led to his death.
This close-up shot of the ring is interesting more for the hand holding it than the ring itself. As has been explained in various interviews, the Green Lantern suit is more of an extension of the wearer's skin than an actual garment. Here, you can see that design in effect as Abin's hand almost looks like its painted green instead of wearing a glove.
Hal Jordan is tossed to the center of the universe to begin his training on Oa. The use of a black hole as a method of hyperspace travel is not new (Galaxy Quest and Superman have made use of it), but it may be a little confusing for viewers since it's also how Thor travels from Asgard to Earth in next summer's Thor movie (as seen from the Comic-Con footage).
Oa (the planet at the center of the universe) is magnificently realized in this series of quick cutaways. We get our first looks at famous Green Lantern Corps members like Tomar Re, Sinestro, and Kilowog. In the distance, you can see Oa's massive Green Lantern battery, the source of all of the Green Lantern's powers.
The first look at Sinestro (Mark Strong) is a reassuring one. Hal Jordan's mentor and teacher (and Abin Sur's former student) looks every bit the way we've imagined him in comics, big head and all. I actually didn't think that they needed to make his head that big, because it might look silly to new viewers. Mark Strong is a very capable actor, and I expect him to bring much gravitas to this important role.
One detail that might be worth noticing is the design of Sinestro's gloves. There are green bands around each finger, which could be an allusion to Parallax killing Green Lanterns to wear ten rings at once. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised in Warner Bros. combined the Hal Jordan version of Parallax from the comics with Sinestro's corruption in the film, so it is Sinestro to betrays the Corps and begins stealing rings.
One thing that bugged me about the trailer were how different the scenes on Oa felt from the ones on Earth. The look, tone, and scope of the two settings make it feel like there are two movies going on at once: an epic space drama vs a lighthearted action romp on Earth. We get more joking in this next scene, which is the first appearance of Tom Kalmaku (Taika Waititi). Tom is the film's plucky comic relief, the sidekick that Hal Jordon gets to play off of for laughs. This scene is notable because Tom is holding the Green Lantern's charging battery, so we know that part of the Lantern mythos will still be retained in the movie. As with Carol Ferris, Tom eventually becomes a bigger part of the GL world, but that's unlikely to happen in this story.
Hal has a heart to heart with Carol, where he reveals his identity as the Green Lantern and explains his powers to her. This scene probably occurs 3/4th the way through the movie, after Hal returns to Earth and rescues Carol in a moment of crisis (shown later on in the trailer). As his confidant, it's likely that she helps him overcome fear to fight the big bad at the end of the movie.
Green Lantern's constructs show up halfway through the trailer, in a scene that was also shown at Comic-Con. Hal gets into a fight with a bunch of thugs as he tries to stop a beating, and takes a beating of his own before putting on the ring and using his power. The fist construct looks very realistic (you can see the wrinkles and veins in the fist), which is a deviation from the cartoonish constructs seen in the comics and animated shows. The hope is that we get to see much more elaborate constructs later on in the movie-- a large part of what makes Green Lantern cool is his ability to create anything with his mind. It would be a huge waste if the film only showed his blasting energy beams with the ring instead of building elaborate creations.
While the Parallax entity is the true villain of the film, the antagonist is actually Doctor Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard), an astrophysicist who retrieves the wreckage of Abin Sur's crash, and in the film, his body as well. Peter Sarsgaard has remarked that he was cast because of his large noggin, so we have two prominent characters in the film with big foreheads. We don't know exactly how Hammond's storyline will unfold, but later shots of him being mutated indicate that he's either corrupted by the Parallax force or infected by something in Abin Sur's ship. Either way, he looks to be a standard Hollywood villain without much depth. Hammond was the main villain in the Secret Origins arc, where he acquired telepathic powers after exposure to Abin Sur's ship. In the film, Hammond is related to a Senator played by Tim Robbins, which is presumably how he gets access to the vessel in the first place.
We get a pretty sweet shot of Sinestro descending down to the bowels of Oa, possibly to meet with the Guardians of the Galaxy or to pay respects to his fallen mentor. Previously released concept art showed a massive tomb and memorial on Oa in honor of past Green Lanterns, so that's very well what we could be seeing here.
My most highly anticipated sequence from the film has to be Hal Jordan's training under the famed Drill Sergeant Kilowog. I just can't wait to hear him call Jordan a Poozer!
Another quick cut through several action scenes reveals Hammond's appearance after he transitions into full-on villain mode. Not only does his head get much bigger, his eyes glow yellow, which is a sign that the influence of Parallax may be at work here.
These two scenes with Reynolds in full Green Lantern regalia don't inspire much confidence in the action of the movie. We see Jordan giving Hammond a flying kick and then walking (really? walking?) into frame to save a young boy. Neither shots are particularly impressive, nor do they make good use of Green Lantern's power.
This next sequence of shots is downright disappointing, as it looks to be a mid-movie action scene where Green Lantern first saves the day when he returns to Earth. Saving socialites from falling signs and out-of-control helicopters isn't exactly the best way to show off the abilities of an intergalactic space cop with THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON IN THE UNIVERSE, and it's this contrast with the epic scope of the OA scenes that gives Green Lantern a bipolar feel.
Plus, it doesn't help that this show is way too reminiscent of the helicopter party crash at the beginning of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Another shot where Jordan uses his ring while standing on the ground. This bugs the heck out of me because you rarely see Green Lantern in the comics fighting while grounded. He's always hovering or flying while engaged in action, which makes more thematic sense because Hal Jordan is a trained pilot who loves to be in the sky. Keeping him grounded makes the production feel low budget or just not well thought out.
One final action shot shows a figure knocked out of a ship while facing a blinding yellow light. We can assume that this is Abin Sur (though it could be Sinestro) and this is how he crash lands on Earth.
The last bit of the trailer is yet another bit of comic relief, with Hal showing off his suit to Tom. The transformation effect is very cool, though the detail you should focus on is how the suit contorts and expands around his diaphragm as Jordan breathes in, emphasizing that it's more than just skin-tight: it's his second skin.
Things we didn't see in the trailer: Angela Basset as Dr. Amanda Waller, who masterminds the US's involvement in superhuman and alien affairs, and John Stewart (Nick Jones), who will likely make a cameo appearance but not take on a Green Lantern ring of his own.
What other details did you notice from the trailer? Share your insights and thoughts in the comments section below!
All the screencaps posted below.