The Green Lantern’s CG Costume, And Why It May Work

In a world ‐ also known as The Internet ‐ where we are constantly groaning at the prospect of filmmakers and studios rehashing, reinventing and repackaging just about any idea they can get their hands on, we should be applauding new ideas and approaches. Whether they work or not, we have to give credit to those who are trying to innovate. In the corner of innovation this week is Warner Bros., who have decided to go with a CG suit for the titular character in their upcoming superhero flick Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds.

According to /Film, the suit will be created in post production using computer effects. They’ve been told by inside sources that the suit will still look very cool. And despite the fact that this is clearly coming from inside the studio machine, I’m inclined to believe them ‐ at least for now. Here’s the logic: “Green Lantern suit is something that should look alien ‐ it needs to seem other worldly. It encompasses any creature that wears the ring, and Hal Jordan is the first human to ever wear the suit. This was a chance for [costume designer Ngila] Dickson to do something different.”

The logic also spans the fact that Hal Jordan (Reynolds) changes into and out of the Green Lantern suit mid-scene, mid-moment. This is something that is completely unique to Green Lantern. He’s not like Superman, keeping his suit on under his regular clothes. Everything about him that’s super ‐ his suit, his weapons and his floatiness ‐ is generated by his power ring. And all of that will be generated by computers in post.

It is logical, but that doesn’t preclude it also being ambitious. Warner Bros. and director Martin Campbell will be introducing the world ‐ much of which is probably unfamiliar with Green Lantern ‐ to a new hero in the way that Jon Favreau and Marvel brought Iron Man to the big screen. In this situation, traditional wisdom would push them toward doing it as safely as possible.

This CG-suit is not safe, but it could very well show audiences something they’ve never seen before. And in the photo-real landscape of CG left in the wake of James Cameron’s Avatar, it could very well be awe-inspiring. If that happens, we may be witnesses to the rebirth of DC Comic on the big screen (Batman excluded, naturally). If it looks corny, it will be just another crater in the already messy battlefield of DC’s war on comic adaptation success. Having read most of the Green Lantern script and assessed the cast and creatives on the project, I’m pulling for this to work. Show me a geek who wouldn’t want to see an awesome Green Lantern movie that is unlike anything we expected and I’ll show you how to beat him up efficiently.

What do you think about the Green Lantern’s suit being computer generated?

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