Green Lantern comes out today; but here's what other colored Lantern movies might look like
Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds, the world's leading collector of failed superhero franchise leads, opens today. Reynolds plays Hal Jordon, a fearless test pilot who's chosen to become part of an intergalactic peacekeeping force called the Green Lanterns. They use their power rings to harness the green energy of "willpower" (members of the Lantern Corps have been raised on summer blockbusters, so their expressions of willpower look like bad CG) against the yellow force of fear.
There are power rings for every color and emotion of the spectrum in the Green Lantern world. Here's a look at what those Lanterns' movies would be like.
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power...
Green Lantern's Light!
The OGs of space protection, y'all. These dudes have been around for three billion years, operating in more than 3,500 sectors of the galaxy. They were founded and are run by an immortal race called the Guardians, who live on the Lantern headquarters of the planet Oa.
Notable Lanterns: Hal Jordon, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, Sinestro, Abin Sur, Tomar-Re, Kilowog.
What the movie should be: In theory, we already have it.* Martin Campbell, who's responsible for the only decent Pierce Brosnan Bond movie, and the only awesome Daniel Craig Bond movie, is (hopefully) bringing us a story of drama and action on a cosmic scale that presents and begins to explore the deep mythology of the Green Lanterns. The film needs a headstrong main character who slowly begins to realize that his intense cockiness is a front for how scared he is, of everything, all the time (Reynolds can do that in spades), but as challenges are presented to him, his newfound confidence in himself and the Corps, as well as his innate sense of duty, loyalty, and perseverance, allow him to overcome fear and save the planet. I'm just sayin', if Blake Lively was my girlfriend, Earth would be the best protected sector in the history of the galaxy.
In blackest day, in brightest night,
Beware your fears made into light
Let those who try to stop what's right,
Burn like his power...
The sworn enemies of the Green Lanterns, the Yellow Lanterns are the Sinestro Corps, lead by a former Green Lantern (spoiler for the new movie. His name is Sinestro. What I mean to say is, if you trust him, you're dumb).
Notable Lanterns: Sinestro, The Anti-Monitor, Parallax, one of the Superboys.
What the movie should be: First of all, it has to be written and directed by John Carpenter. One of the greatest horror directors of all time, Carpenter has an inherent understanding of the power of fear and how it can effect behavior and perception. Some of his later, underrated films, like In the Mouth of Madness, have been entirely about the power of fear and madness, and the way it can lead to a sort of intoxication. He would have to turn Sinestro into a sort of anti-hero, with a strong moral code. He's not a good guy, but the audience needs to be able to get behind him. Carpenter's done this a few times, kinda well, like when he created Snake fucking Plissken, or my favorite Carpenter anti-hero, Napoleon Wilson from Assault on Precinct 13. The flick would have to be some kind of action/horror movie hybrid: while we'd never be able to buy Sinestro as a hero, he'd have to remain a likable protagonist, like the late-period Freddy Kruger. One kid was the "hero" that got to momentarily defeat Kruger at the end of the movie, but the audience was really there to cheer for the bad guy and watch him kill obnoxious teenagers in cheesy ways.
In fearful day, in raging night,
With strong hearts full, our souls ignite,
When all seems lost in the War of Light,
Look to the stars-- For hope burns bright!
Formed by two banished Guardians on the planet Odym, the Blue Lanterns are more of a a support force for the Greenies, as hope isn't especially useful without the willpower to enact it. A Blue Lantern hanging around a Green boosts the Green's power, as the Green Lantern channels the wearer's optimism. It's pretty dumb.
Notable Lanters: The Flash becomes a Blue Lantern for a while. Mostly the Blue power rings are held by guys who're already Green Lanterns. Kyle Rayner has had one, Hal Jordan has too.
What the movie should be: How about a sequel to Green Lantern? It's a really easy way to continue riding the emotional powers as a theme that can resonate with a wide audience. Jordan has overcome his fear and saved the planet, but the great Green Lantern Sinestro has broken off and formed his own evil Corps, and with the Anti-Monitor's power at his side, the Yellow Corps seem unstoppable. Jordan has to undergo a new crisis of faith, and when he feels all hope is lost, the Blue Lanterns come along to re-invigorate him. No one tells a story of optimism lost and gained again, entirely without subtlely, like Sam Raimi, who's explored superheroes (Spiderman 2 is still the best superhero movie ever made), hope (For Love of the Game kinda works when you can't feel Kevin Costner's hands all over it), and people utterly without it (A Simple Plan, Drag me to Hell). The man was born to knock Part 2s out of the park, like the aforementioned Spidey, and the horror/comedy masterpiece sequel to Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.
They have an oath, but it hasn't been revealed yet, beyond "Mine!"
Agent Orange, or Larfleeze, was a thief who ended up stealing a treasure map that led him straight to an Orange Lantern on the planet Okarra. He's the first Lantern to ever wield the orange power of greed, and for a long time, the only one (he obviously wanted to keep it all for himself), only forming a Corps to defend the planet when a group of Guardians came to take the power for themselves.
Notable Lanterns: Larfleeze. Lex Luthor for 24 hours.
What the movie should be: Larfleeze is a self-centered, greedy bonehead. He has to have an adventure that acknowledges that and allows him to grow without sacrificing those greedy parts of his core. Orange is also special because it draws and absorbs the energy of the other rings, 'cept for blue, 'cause hope is selfless. At one point Larfleeze manages to get a hold of a blue ring, and has a moment of respite from his greedy hunger. The orange ring also resurrects anyone the bearer kills, making them into an orange powered construct. So it's sorta a zombie maker. There's only one person who could handle the humor and honesty of telling a story about finding the balance between greed and hope (with zombies), and that's Edgar Wright. That kinda funny sincerity is the man's bread and butter. Plus, Larfleez wants STUFF, and no one can pack STUFF into a movie like Wright.