Ryan Reynolds enjoyed both critical and commercial success with this year’s Deadpool, but the film wasn’t his first attempt at headlining a major superhero franchise.
Audiences will no doubt remember the disastrous Green Lantern, and now Reynolds is finally opening up on why that film never worked.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Reynolds was asked about the differences between Deadpool‘s success and Green Lantern‘s failure, and his response was every bit as candid as you might expect.
“Well it’s simple: Deadpool always knew what it was. With Green Lantern, I don’t think anyone ever figured out exactly what it was. That isn’t to say the hundreds of men and women didn’t work their fingers to the bone to make it as good as possible. It also fell victim to the process in Hollywood which is like poster first, release date second, script last.
“At the time, it was a huge opportunity for me, so I was excited to try and take part in it.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard an actor express these sort of sentiments about a failed superhero project – in fact, Andrew Garfield recently had similar comments regarding The Amazing Spider-Man 2, noting that “story and character were actually not top of the priority list.” It’s indicative of a larger problem with the way many studios approach their superhero properties, where spectacle is deemed more important than storytelling.
When Deadpool arrived with its foul-mouthed protagonist and its barrage of R-rated violence, it felt like something audiences hadn’t seen before, and much of that can be attributed to Reynolds himself, who spent years trying to get the project off the ground, but refusing to compromise on his vision.
As a long-time fan of the comic book character, Reynolds knew exactly what was needed to make a successful adaptation, and sticking to his guns paid off with a worldwide box office total of $782 million, and a sequel scheduled to begin production next year.
As for the Green Lantern character, Warner Bros. will recast the role for its DC Extended Universe, with Green Lantern Corps slated for release in 2019.
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