Friday, July 10, 2009

If I'd waited one more day, no one would've hated me...

So, yesterday I tossed out all my geek street-cred by coming out as "I'd be okay with this" in regards to the rumors that Justin Timberlake was on the short-list to play The Green Lantern... it turns out, nobody needed to get worked-up about anything either way. Regardless of whether Timberlake was ever on "the list" or not, Green Lantern will apparently be played by Ryan Reynolds:

This will be met with near-universal acclaim and celebration by the film-geek set, of which I will have no trouble joining in. How much do nerds love Ryan Reynolds? Well, he participated in Blade 3, the desecration of "Deadpool" in the Wolverine movie, he appears largely in romantic comedies otherwise... and we DON'T hate him. That makes him damn near invincible. WHY do nerds love Ryan Reynolds? Well, because he openly gives the impression that he's "one of us" only much more handsome and successful, which makes him a first-class foil for projected self-image (see also: Bruce Campbell, Nathan Fillion.) For my part, I'm in debt to Reynolds because every film role he takes is a role that DIDN'T go to Dane Cook - in THAT respect, the man is doing the lord's work.

"So," some of you may be asking "that was WAY too fast to not have been mostly decided already; so why the business about Timberlake?" Who knows, really. But if a Z-lister internet film-commentator had to guess (and I do) I'd say it was a quick attempt to "work the web" - i.e. freaking the geek-set out with rumors of a choice most of them were bound to hate ("ZOMG! A pop-star my sister likes playing a DC hero!!??") in order to make the "good" real casting sound that much better.

Either way, while I stand by the notion that Timberlake would've been a good choice, there's no question that Reynolds is among the best anyone could hope for in the age-range that Warners was going to limit itself to for this role. For those not ultra-familiar with this particular franchise (but who still read this far) the version of Green Lantern apparently being done here is named Hal Jordan - a fearless-to-the-point-of-cocky US Army test-pilot who gets drafted as the Earth-jurisdiction arm of The Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic police force who's agents fight spacecrime with magic rings that can create any object or image the wearer has the will and imagination to conjur. Can you see Reynolds being good in that? I can.

As for Timberlake... frankly, I hope both his "people" and various casting entities were paying attention to the fact that this "rumor" wasn't met with anything NEAR the bile anyone was expecting - I actually wasn't so "alone" in this at all, it turns out. Evidently, the "he's okay" blessing of nerd-demigod Andy Samberg was enough to make Timberlake palatable for a lot of people, in which case... hey, not for nothing, but his comic timing and substantial physical skills (ANYONE who can dance that well has action chops, plain and simple. I bet Fred Astaire lost very few fights in his day) would make him one terrific Barry "The Flash" Allen ;)


GamerFromJump said...

It's not so much the casting I'm hoping they don't screw up, as the characterization. No whiny-angsty crap, please!

The Green Lantern is an essentially ordinary person, given great power. That power is driven by the will of the person wielding it. As in, its effectiveness is directly proportional to the mental strength of the user. Why else would it go to people like test pilots and former Marines? Personally, I think of him as a very humanistic superhero (along with Batman and Spider-man).

They can not make the Green Lantern the kind of emo-bitch teenage girls seem to be in love with right now, without totally derailing characterization. Here's hoping they do as good a job as was done with Iron Man.

Mischlings said...

Rereading this in the context of having seen what the Green Lantern movie became is quite amusing. I almost want Timberlake to have taken the role because Ryan Reynolds was so awful in it.