Well, it appears that DC Comics is done fucking around in the film world. They’re charging full steam into franchises for some of their films, and with that progress comes some interesting possibilities.
We already know that Green Lantern is coming to theaters next year, starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern, as well as Blake Lively, Mark Strong, and Peter Sarsgaard. Directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Edge of Darkness), it’s going to be an origin story of the Green Lantern, focusing on his training with the Green Lantern Corps and his tutelage under Sinestro (who I’m assuming will at some point be revealed to turn to the dark side).
Now, Warner Brothers has hired the trio that wrote the Green Lantern screenplay to not only write Green Lantern 2, but also a screenplay for The Flash, a character that’s surprisingly popular in the comics community (depending on which incarnation you’re talking about — I’m a Barry Allen guy myself). The trio, Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, and Marc Guggenheim, is a mixed bag, talent-wise. Berlanti has mostly done television writing, including “Eli Stone” and “Everwood,” while Greenhas written mostly for “Smallville” (the earlier, non-crappy seasons), “Everwood,” and last year’s ill-fated “Kings.” Guggenheim also worked on Eli Stone” and has a pretty interesting list of video game writing credits to his name as well (the decent X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Perfect Dark Zero, Call of Duty 3).
The Flash, for those who don’t follow, is the name given to several different guys in the DC universe, the most famous of whom are probably Barry Allen and Wally West. Whichever the incarnation, he was usually given his powers due to some combination of chemical accident and either electrical mishap or a lightning strike. As a result, he could move, run, and react at superhuman speeds. It’s way cooler than it sounds, and he’s a great character in the comic book universe (and was well-adapted in DC Animated’s Justice League: New Frontier and a couple episodes of “Superman: The Animated Series.”) He also had a quickly-killed live action TV series in the early ’90s that starred John Wesley Shipp.
In any event, the writing team is an unusual mix, but if Green Lantern comes out firing, it’ll be a great setup with serious crossover potential. Warners and DC already are working on a third Batman film with Nolan back in the chair, as well as a (hopefully better) Superman film in early development (with Nolan working on that as well). The Flash movie will likely be the Barry Allen incarnation, which is intriguing since he’s a close friend and frequently works with the Hal Jordan Green Lantern. Will we see the two show up in each other’s films, Avengers-style? It’d be great if they can make it happen. The thought of two series of superhero movies with interwoven characters makes me a little bit giddy.
It’s unlikely we’d ever see a full-fledged Justice League film, I think. Batman is too entrenched in his own, real-world (meaning no aliens, magic or other superheros) universe. Superman already has a pretty firmly established history in cinema that doesn’t have any roots with other heroes. But who knows. At the very least, it means we’ve got more to look forward to.
Of course, this all hinges on Green Lantern, you know, not sucking. A boy can dream.