Why Green Lantern is more Star Wars than Superman

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

You can explain most comic-book superheroes in one sentence. Alien from Krypton is indestructible under Earth's sun. Billionaire builds super gadgets, costumes and vehicles to beat up criminals. Teenager gets bitten by spider, can climb walls and shoot webs. And so on. Green Lantern is a little more complicated than that. It involves aliens, outer space and mental constructs. Maybe that's why screenwriter Greg Berlanti is describing it more like Star Wars than Superman.

"It was a melding of a real traditional superhero film on Earth and a space opera in space," Berlanti said in a group interview on Aug. 1 in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting his upcoming TV series No Ordinary Family. "I think that was a melding of genres."

Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is a pilot tapped by the Guardians of Oa to police the galaxy. They give him a power ring that allows him to construct any item he can imagine through willpower. Kind of like the Force, right?

"Hal Jordan has been compared to the Luke Skywalker of the DC universe," Berlanti said. "So I think it does have comparisons to that."

The film version is currently in production in New Orleans. The constructs are still in the works as the crew comes up with bigger ones than even Berlanti wrote in the script.

"When we were first writing it, we were a little timid about writing all of it into the script because we thought, 'How will that read? Will they think it's too goofy?' So we wrote in one of the initial drafts just a lot of blasts or a ring blast or a shot from the ring. We didn't always get as detailed."

Now that the effects artists are designing specific Green Lantern constructs, Berlanti can confirm that they're awesome!

"As we got later and later into drafts, they could provide more artwork and really show people what the movie could be. We could be more explicit about what those things were without it coming off too goofy."

Green Lantern is due in 2011.