While promoting his latest film, Green Lantern director Martin Campbell talks about how he feels he never should have directed a superhero movie.
Green Lantern director Martin Campbell talks about how he regrets working on Ryan Reynolds’ DC movie. Campbell has established himself as one of Hollywood’s top action directors, having revitalized the James Bond franchise twice with GoldenEye (1995) and Casino Royale (2006). His 1998 film The Mask of Zorro is another fan favorite, and he is currently promoting his latest film, Memory, starring Liam Neeson, Monica Bellucci, Guy Pearce, and Taj Atwal. In 2011, Campbell tried his hand at superhero movies when he got the chance to helm Green Lantern.
Following his already-disappointing debut as Wade Wilson/Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Reynolds played Hal Jordan in Green Lantern. The cast also included Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Angela Bassett, Tim Robbins, and Taika Waititi. Despite its talented cast, the film was a critical and commercial failure, bringing in only $219 million at the box office on a $200 million budget. Many involved with the film have since been critical of it, with Reynolds repeatedly taking jabs at it on social media and in the Deadpool films—which saw its titular character travel through time and prevent Reynolds from ever signing the Green Lantern contract. Campbell has also been open about his time working on the film.
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In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Campbell talked about directing Green Lantern. When asked whether he’d ever consider doing another superhero film or anything like that, the director admitted he shouldn’t have done Green Lantern to begin with. Read what he had to say below:
“No, I’m not good at superhero movies. Green Lantern? People didn’t like that movie, and frankly, I shouldn’t have done it. I did it because I’ve never done one. You work just as hard on the movies that really are not successful as you do on the ones that are. I think there are people better qualified than me to do a superhero movie.”
It’s reasonable for filmmakers to want to branch outside of their usual genre and/or comfort zone. Many directors, with no experience working on comic book adaptations, have brought something new and exciting to superhero cinema—from Sam Raimi and Christopher Nolan to Ryan Coogler and Green Lantern alum, Waititi. That said, the genre has certainly evolved and become less formulaic since 2011. In previous interviews, Reynolds has accused the studio of rushing to make Green Lantern without a script and, while Warner Bros./DC Films has a track record for interference, Campbell maintains Green Lantern’s failures are on him. Regardless, he likely wasn’t in a position to save the film.
Campbell’s Green Lantern candor is refreshing, and certainly worse comic book movies have been made. After finally watching the film last year, Reynolds even said it wasn’t as bad as he thought it was. The fact that the movie didn’t turn into a franchise has ultimately been a good thing. Reynolds has gone on to become the definitive Deadpool—who will officially become a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Shawn Levy’s Deadpool 3—and HBO Max’s upcoming Green Lantern Corps looks to revitalize that IP. That said, as superhero movies and television shows continue to become accessible to all different kinds of filmmakers, fans would surely give Campbell a second chance.
More: How HBO Max’s Green Lantern Differs From Zack Snyder’s Justice League
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Josh Plainse is a writer, movie, and television fanatic based out of Wisconsin. Josh works for Screen Rant covering the latest in entertainment while simultaneously pursuing the never-ending dream of becoming an established novelist, screenwriter, and/or decent human being. Josh would accredit characters such as Goku, Han Solo, Simba, and Maximus Decimus Meridius for instilling within him an affinity for storytelling. It is this incessant obsession which has propelled him to seek opportunities that inform, entertain, and inspire others.
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