Last night, I went to a Solstice celebration replete with a Labyrinth, candles, and the perfect Christmas cookie. I’m not talking about no namby pamby almond cherry monstrosities that can only be salvaged by coffee, either. Picture a chocolate covered ball of goodness that just happens to be crushed up Oreos blended with cream cheese.
Said cookies were so magical, so tasty, I wound up rewriting the Green Lantern movie in my sleep. I wake up, thinking that I, too, have millions of dollars at my disposal to create… the work… and then…
Reality strikes. DOM DOM DOM.
So instead, I posture said changes here, because what Green Lantern offers comic book fans is the desire to be him. He is the every man’s superhero and, quite possibly, the every woman’s. The ring chooses whomever is worthy — regardless of race/class/creed/gender/etc.
The biggest challenge Green Lantern faces is divulging too much world too quickly. The point of discovery and wonderment is part of what might attract new fans and also wow old ones. The setting is cool, but too much too soon and I expect that for the whole film.
So first things first? I’d cut the dreaded “Tell” in the introduction. When that’s taken out, it removes the set up. Instead, I’d put a cut scene where Abin Sur is being chased in the opening credits by the unknown assailant. Period.
Here’s where things got interesting for me. I felt that Hal’s “daddy issues” were too much in the distant past. They felt stale to me. They’re not real, because he’s dealing with a ghost we cannot relate to. For my opening scene? Since canon is only loosely followed in the film anyway, I’d have a present day tragedy that Hal accidentally causes because of his arrogance. Maybe he takes his nephew for a joy ride, takes him out for a spin, and they get into a serious accident. Or better yet, the love interest, Carol. Right there BAM! there’s the crisis of faith. Then, as he’s beating himself up, even though shit happens and it wasn’t his fault? That’s when Abin Sur crashes right in front of him. Not wanting to feel responsible for yet another injury, he feels compelled to help whoever crashed and realizes Abin Sur isn’t human. When Abin Sur dies, we still see the close-up of the yellow infestation, the ring flies off and hovers in front of Hal and leaves, as if Hal is not worthy of wearing it yet.
Wait, before you get all “That’s not how the ring works” on me… That’s when Sinestro shows up and accuses Hal of killing Abin Sur. Right when Sinestro starts to pummel him, the ring starts to circle back to Hal, but the two continue to fight. Sinestro knocks Hal unconcscious at the same the ring chooses him. In a moment of hesitation, Sinestro remembers his place and returns to grab his friend’s body. Unfortunately, the military has shown up and he’s forced to return to Oa with Hal.
The moment of discovery for the audience happens when Hal lands on Oa. The tension is also there because now there’s a mysterious assailant that killed the best of the Green Lanterns and there’s a lot more room for active internal conflict rather than passive. The audience, not being as stupid as you might think, would probably suspect a demon-looking alien called Sinestro of doing some very. bad. things. In this movie, though, Sinestro is the red herring. He’s not the bad guy, but he’s a good candidate for one, and it’s a great set up for the sequel.
There is one detail I would change in particular, I would ensure that the audience knows Hal was not the first human to become a Green Lantern. This removes the speshul snoflake from Hal and hints to the long, proud tradition.
So meanwhile, back on Earth, we have the meek scientist slowly affected by the yellow element. I’d take his daddy issues right out of the effing picture. I mean, no need to have two characters with stale issues. Creepy scientist is scary enough. Anyway, I would circle back to the love interest and focus on her. The scientist, now able to read people’s minds, visits Carol to see if he can confirm her feelings for him. She doesn’t, he gets pissed, but Carol puts him in his place and and tries to find Hal — who isn’t there. Carol believes he took off again, running from his problems, because he can’t face the reality of “the accident” and the fact that Hal’s actions have consequences.
Meanwhile… The yellow scary thing keeps coming…
And the Green Lantern ring starts to pulse! I mean, they established that there’s a warning sign when something bad is happening. Hal isn’t done with his training, but a few of the Green Lanterns go with him to check out the very. bad. thing. They fight Parallax and lose badly. Hal is told he has to return to Oa, but he can’t when he realizes it’s heading for Earth. Sinestro tells him he has to choose. Is it warn Earth or do his duty? Hal wants to warn Earth so he gives up the ring and wakes up at home. The yellow thing is still coming, but it’s not there just yet. Hal takes the opportunity to find love interest, beg forgiveness, have the slow scene, and confesses where he’s been. They have their moment, go to the party where he can warn military chiefs what to watch out for, and creepy scientist guy kidnaps love interest and flies off to welcome his master.
Hal, being a pilot, steals a plane to meet Hammond head on before he has a chance to warn the military. Again, highlighting his impulsiveness. Only, yellow thing causes turbulence, his plane is about to crash, and he’s rescued by Kilowog and Tomar-Re who gives him his ring back and defies Sinestro’s command. The three of them fight off Parallax back into the atmosphere. Hal has to make a choice. Leave Carol on the ground with Hector or element the bigger threat. This time, Hal has to decide whether or not to sacrifice the one (his true love) for the good of the many. There’s a moment when he tells Carol to not be afraid, to use that to fight Hector. She goes on fighting/running because she’s not afraid. She has faith that she has the ability to escape mostly unharmed. (After all, my female characters aren’t going to fall apart in a ball of goo because their man isn’t there to rescue them…)
They separate, Hal does his sun damage thing (Wonder what kind of SPF you’d need to block that…) he returns and finds Hector’s weakened, but not out. They duke it out, Hal reinforces his faith in the ring, says the oath and blammo! L’il scientist bits everywhere.
Amid the screaming sirens of military vehicles and cop cars, Carol says: “Well, that was fun.” Without hesitation, he grabs her, gives her a big smooch, says “Be home for dinner,” and flies off into the stars.
Oh, and that last scene with Sinestro? A yellow ring flies off of Parallax’s finger and lands in the palm of his hand.
Yep, I think I totally nerd-ed myself out. Sigh.
Mood: Effing Awesome.
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Two, but will divulge in more.
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Off day
Word Count Logged Yesterday (not including day job): Sacrificed writing time for cleaning time. In a cleaning groove. Watch out dastardly dust bunnies!
In My Ears: The Jack Pack 2 for Nightmare Before Christmas
Game Last Played: Farmerama
Movie Last Viewed: Red
Book Last Read: Leaves of Flame by Benjamin Tate
Latest Artistic Project: Byzantium chainmail bracelet with soft pink and black rings
Upcoming Release: Strange, Dead Love for Vampire: the Requiem