Green Lantern was without a doubt the ‘Bell of the Ball’ at Comic-Con this year. Mania began day three of the convention at 5:30 am to join those holding vigil in line for the a seat within Hall H. We weren't the only ones. Within a few hours, the line had mushroomed to over 10,000 attendees hoping to gain entrance into the coveted event.
We were finally rewarded with entry into the San Diego Convention center's fabled Hall o' waiting, where the Green Lantern panel kicked off Saturday’s agenda just before noon. Thunderous applause greeted DC Comics' Chief Creative Officer (and Green Lantern comic writer) Geoff Johns, director Martin Campbell, Peter Sarsgaard (Hector Hammond), Mark Strong (Sinestro), Blake Lively (Carol Ferris), and Ryan Reynolds (Hal Jordan).
Reynolds told fans he felt he would only consider the role prior to testing, but upon meeting the director, seeing the worlds that would be created for the film, and reading for the screen test, he was hooked.
The movie is an origin story, exploring the relationship Hal has with his father, his career as a test pilot, and his relationship with his employer Carol Ferris, prior to the fateful day he met Abin Sur.
Reynolds explained that Jordan was a cocky test pilot who receives this awesome responsibility, which deeply humbles him. This character arc is what he found most interesting, and one of the things that drew him to the role. Reynolds hinted that Jordan must learn to overcome his fear, and that Parallax is indeed an element of the story line, although he would not go into detail.
Johns and Campbell did confirm that Kilowog and other Lanterns are in the film.
Granting the request of the now-famous "Comic-Con Kid", Reynolds carefully recited the Green Lantern oath for the packed auditorium.
Before the panel ended, Reynolds actually gave away the Green Lantern ring he was wearing to one lucky member of the audience who had a certificate taped under their seat.
Lively said she enjoyed playing the strong female lead, and shared that she rescues Jordon on more than one occasion. She hopes to continue playing the role in subsequent films, and would like to see her character eventually become Star Sapphire.
Sarsgaard made frequent comments about the natural size of his head, which made him the likely choice to play the mushroom-domed Hammond. Of course, Sarsgaard said that under makeup his noggin becomes "big … really big” throughout the course of the film.
Strong described Sinestro as a being who does not believe a human could ever become a Lantern, and like a seasoned drill sergeant, reluctantly trains Jordan in the ways of the corps.
Fans were then treated to a few minutes worth of footage from the film and it looked fantastic! We particularly enjoyed the scenes from what appeared to be the Corps home planet of OA. The alien landscape appeared to have mountain formations with gleaming citadels, a large planet against a splash of stars in the background.
Another scene shows Jordon getting the crap kicked out of him (possibly outside of a bar), whereby he picks himself up and in a fit of rage, takes a swing at one of the assailants. To his surprise, a giant green fist emanates from the power ring, punching all the thugs across the court yard.
Fleeting scenes seemed to show Ferris Aviation, and an early view of Hector Hammond. Another showed a giant glowing cylinder with a bed in the middle containing the body of Abin Sur. The footage was made up of short burst scenes without a discernable flow, and ended with the power ring glowing on Green Lanterns fist.
Unfortunately fans were denied any lingering looks at a full view of Green Lantern, Sinestro, or other Lanterns that were promised to be in the film.
After the trailer, Reynolds and Strong commented on their flying scenes, where most was done with wire work as opposed to CGI in post.
Based on the audience reaction, next summer can’t come soon enough. Green Lantern is sure to be the event movie of 2011.