Many of us had an inkling the 2011 Green Lantern movie wasn’t shaping up to be a great idea, Ryan Reynolds knew it had disaster written all over it, and now director Martin Campbell himself agrees, as he weighs in on the infamous misfire.
Any filmmaker talented enough to make a living in this business for as long as Campbell has is bound to have a few misses among his hits, which probably explains why he is able to look back in retrospect with as much candor and sobriety as he does now. In an interview with ScreenRant, the GoldenEye, The Mask of Zorro, and Casino Royale director chalks up his regrettable experience on Green Lantern to a number of different pitfalls.
“We’ll put it this way: I did have my cut. The point was, right at the beginning of the movie, there was a whole sequence where he’s an 11 year old kid. It’s how his father dies in the air crash, which was a really good sequence. But [the production head] at the time decided that he wanted the death of the father intercut with Hal plunging in the plane, and he saw these flashbacks come to him. That was something that I didn’t like very much.”
Campbell’s fights with Warner Bros. over control of the movie are well-documented, but I can already hear the Extremely Online masses fetching their pitchforks and torches to demand that the studio #ReleaseTheCampbellCut. That doesn’t seem very likely, to put it mildly, as the veteran filmmaker is able to be frank about the reality of the situation while still taking the onus for what went wrong with the film within his power.
“But you know what? The film did not work, really. That’s the point, and I’m partly responsible for that. I shouldn’t have done it. Because with something like Bond – I love Bond, and I watched every Bond film before I ever directed it. Superhero movies are not my cup of tea, and for that reason, I shouldn’t have done it. But directors always have to carry the can for the failures. What do they say? Success has many fathers, failure has one. And that’s me.”
Insights and Hindsight
This is apparently the week of directors performing autopsies on and breaking down their own lackluster blockbusters, eh? Whatever’s in the water these days, I’m here for it. There’s something refreshing and insightful about filmmakers who are able to look back with the benefit of hindsight and speak honestly about their disappointing experiences. Filmmaking is an art, but there’s bound to be friction when it rubs up against the business-focused ventures of blockbusters.
Regarding Martin Campbell specifically, the director has proven his skills and abilities several times over and has easily earned the right to have the occasional misstep. Our eyes are set on his next project, The Protégé, which is set to arrive in theaters on August 20, 2021.
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