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Geoff Johns talks developing script for Green Lantern Corps: ‘We gotta get it right’ first

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Feb 26, 2020, 3:48 PM EST (Updated)

DC has a few dangling albatrosses that dog the long memory of fans who wonder how the next effort to bring a storied comic book hero to the big screen will improve upon the last, sometimes not so well-received try. Naturally, Ryan Reynolds’ infamously joked-about turn as the Green Lantern in DC’s star-crossed 2011 movie ranks at or near the top of that list (even for Reynolds himself).

But former DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns, now in a role that focuses his energy on creative matters full time, says development on the churning Green Lantern Corps movie he’s writing and producing is leaving no possibility — past, present, or future — unexamined as he refines the script and readies the project to enter production.

“I think you look at everything that worked and didn’t work on anything. Like revamping a character, reintroducing a character — I’ve done it a lot,” he told Collider last week at San Diego Comic-Con. “The creative viewpoint… is informed by everything. It’s informed by comics, both what works and what doesn’t work.”

Taking the big-picture approach to a character that’s sure to attract extra scrutiny, much like whatever’s next for Jared Leto’s Joker from Suicide Squad, another maligned DC film, may be a cumbersome and time-consuming effort, but Johns said it’s also a necessary one — especially when so much is riding on the Green Lantern’s next appearance. Johns said the movie hasn’t even been officially cleared for development yet, and that it all comes down to telling a great story before taking the next step.

“Right now look I’m just writing a script, and hopefully this script gets into a place where Warner Bros. and Walter [Hamada] and everybody is really excited about it, and when we get that right then we’ll move ahead on the project,” he told Collider. “But we gotta get it right.”

Johns also said he prefers as many practical effects as a film can manage over relying on CGI, but that Reynolds’ CG-heavy suit from 2011 isn’t at the forefront of his mind when he sits down at a writing desk.

“[W]hen I’m writing the story I’m not like worried about the practicality yet of the suit,” he explained. “In my head, tangible is always cooler; an enhanced tangible suit is better. But… that’s a question [to be asked when] we get a great script and a great director and they wanna make the movie, then we’ll get there.”

With no official go-ahead from Warner Bros., and Johns taking a deliberate, measure-twice, cut-once approach, it’ll likely be a while before we get word that Green Lantern Corps is in development, or get our first look at a new actor, in a new suit, playing a familiar hero. Johns has plenty of other irons in the fire, too, including a confirmed Stargirl series that’s set to launch with the upcoming debut of the all-new streaming service DC Universe. So for the time being, at least, it looks like patience will continue to be the key word for Green Lantern fans.