NRAMA: Can we talk to you about the Green Lantern movie? Are you guys still working on it?
MG: Oh, yeah! Actually, Greg and I are wrapping up the draft. I can’t tell you anything, to be honest with you. That’s the funny thing with these superhero movies; you do tend to develop them in secrecy. Maybe I’ll get smack from the message boards for this, but I think that’s in large part to how, when stuff leaks out, people hear about it out of context and get upset. There’s always the concern on the part of the studio that things will leak out out of context and people will get upset and make up their minds before the movie has even finished or even starts filming.
Although, I actually think fans are going to react really positively to the Green Lantern movie.
NRAMA: Can you tell us why you think the reaction will be positive?
MG: Because, it’s not only a respectful approach to the character, but it’s a loving approach to the entire mythos. So while there is this desire to be quiet and secretive and let the movie speak for itself, it’s hard for me, because I feel like I know – as a comic book fan – I know what I want to see in a comic book movie. And I know… look, I’m like everybody else. I vividly remember Tim Burton’s Batman movie. If you look back, there’s Superman: The Movie and the first Batman movie, and those two movies are the first big budget, superhero tent-pole movies.
And you kind of hold your breath because we’ve all seen the disastrous effect that the Batman TV series had on the respectability of comic books. So I actually feel like comic book movies need to be better than your average movie. I think it’s wonderful that we’re living in a time and I’m working at a time when comic books have really gained that respectability, but I don’t take it for granted. I don’t want us to lose mainstream respectability. I think comic books have come an incredibly far way and I want to make sure we don’t take a step back. I certainly don’t want my name on a movie that would take it back.
I think Green Lantern has the potential to be a very highly regarded superhero movie. We’re approaching it with such respect and such care. And really, it’s written to be a movie that everyone who’s not familiar with the character can enjoy, but there are so many nods to things that I know the fans love and care about that I think people will be very happy.
NRAMA: You said it’s the whole mythos. Can you tell us what characters might be included in that? We’ve been told it’s about Hal Jordan.
MG: I can confirm that it’s Hal Jordan, but I can’t really talk about anything else. I really wish I could, because there’s lots of stuff I want to brag about.
Green Lantern is a great, great character, and Greg and I are always talking at every step of the process about what makes Green Lantern great. We want to be focused on that. We always start all our meetings and story discussions and all of our scene discussions with, OK, what’s cool about Green Lantern? Why Green Lantern? And we always come from that place, which is an incredibly useful thing to do because you don’t want Green Lantern to be a generic superhero movie. You want it to be all the things you expect when you buy a $10 ticket that says Green Lantern on it.
NRAMA: Is there anything else you reveal about what’s in the script?
MG: It’s so tempting. Really. But not yet.
NRAMA: To pull off a Green Lantern movie, there has to be lots of special effects, doesn’t there? Is it a case of right now being the time for a Green Lantern movie because movie special effects are finally good enough that they can do the concept justice?
MG: Yes. That’s exactly it. That was one of the very first things, in our discussions with the studios, that we talked about. Basically, its time has come because now the technology exists to do it right. And you’re 100 percent correct that you would need to wait for that to happen.
And what’s great about Eli Stone is that we’re such a visual effects-heavy show. It’s given Greg and I an incredible amount of experience with visual effects and doing very ambitious computer and practical effects. I mention that because Greg is also going to direct the Green Lantern movie. So we’re getting our boot camp going on Eli, as far as the visual effects side of the equation.
NRAMA: Well, you have to know that expectations for superhero movies are high right now after the success of Iron Man. As a final question, do you see any similarities between Iron Man and Green Lantern? Either the movies or the characters?
MG: The similarity between Iron Man and Green Lantern is, unlike Superman or any of the X-Men or Spider-Man, anyone can be Green Lantern or Iron Man. All you need is the ring or the suit. Even Batman, who is a “normal” person, is really not normal [laughs] in the sense of who’s got millions of dollars and a decade to spend in East Asia training?
But the road to superpowers or superhero-dom is a lot quicker with Iron Man and Green Lantern. It’s just, put the thing on, whether the thing is a suit of armor or the thing is a ring. They both have in common that wish fulfillment, as well as incredible action and flying and cool powers. And all the fun things that you want to see in a superhero movie.