I was more than shocked to read in passing that ‘[Geoff] Johns is really excited about Ryan Reynolds as GL.’ This was during the Blackest Night panel at the San Diego Comic-Con. While I’m sure Geoff Johns was just being polite and towing the company line, DC (or should I say, Warner Bros.?) must be stark, raving mad to sign an actor connected with not just one, but two sword-slinging, smart-mouthed Marvel properties, to portray their now-flagship character, Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern. I am of course referring to Reynolds’ turn as Hannibal King of Blade fame, but more importantly, to his recent role as Deadpool in the Wolverine film (soon to be reprised in a central, starring capacity).
I couldn’t tell you how many hits Bat-Shark Repellent receives on a daily basis, from Google searches on “deadpool”, “deadpool movie”, and “deadpool ryan reynolds” [sic], but I can tell you it’s a lot. I can tell you first hand that there is a lot of interest surrounding Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool film, and despite Marvel’s mishandling of the character in Wolverine‘s final act, their interest is well-placed. Reynolds’ nailed the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ aspect of the character, with a lithe, muscular physique to boot. He’s perfect for the part.
But not for Green Lantern. Hal Jordan is a straight-shooter with a carefree abandon, but he’s not a smartass. Not to Ryan Reynolds levels, he isn’t. Hal Jordan’s wit and charm hearken back to the James Deans and the Steve McQueens of the day – the ‘Rat Pack’, not the ‘Brat Pack’. In fact, I was watching The Great Escape the other day, and Hal Jordan is exactly like Steve McQueen. He dislikes authority; he plays by his own rules; and he can’t be couped up because he wants to be free, no matter the cost. So in the absence of Steve McQueen, WB should be signing someone like him.
Witty one-liners are the skill of the superhero – more important than flying or super-strength – but there are different brands of wit, and I’m sorry, but Reynolds just doesn’t have Hal Jordan’s. But hey, what do I know? This is Hollywood we’re talking about here, and I very much doubt that Warner Bros. concern themselves with stuff like this. No-one outside of Comicdom really knows Hal Jordan, so they’re likely thinking of him as a blank slate – not a sacred cow like Batman or Superman. The pitch probably went something like this: “think Wolverine meets Superman” and BAMMO! “Get Ryan Reynolds’ agent on the phone, pronto!”
Reynolds must love him some comics, as this deal would make him the first actor to portray characters from both Marvel and DC. He was also attached to play the Flash a few years ago. Now that I can see, provided they meant the quick-witted Wally West Flash and not the straight-down-the-line Barry Allen Flash.
To my mind – and I’m sure to many others’ – Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool. Steve McQueen is Green Lantern! I’ll probably see this film regardless – and I’m sure Warner Bros. know this – more out of morbid curiousity than anything else. But who knows? Maybe Reynolds can channel McQueen and all will be right in Sector 2814. (That’s Earth.)
For my money, this Green Lantern fan’s vision of a film starring Nathan Fillon makes a whole lot more sense: