Read The Script Then Tell Us: Would Robert Smigel’s Green Lantern Have Been The Better Option?

Some seven years ago, Robert Smigel was recruited to script a Green Lantern movie. As the creator of The Ambiguously Gay Duo, he had some experience with adventures in domino masks, or at least comical misadventures. As the creator of this –

and this –

he’d already shown his disdain for the excesses of geek culture.

To my mind, Smigel was an intriguing, wildly unexpected, choice for the job. How could he not find a compelling angle on the material?

But there was an internet revolt. The focus of much of the dissent, if I remember correctly, was the picture’s elected star, Jack Black. It was expectations of what a Jack Black film would be that had Green Lantern fans up in arms.

Smigel can understand this. Talking to Vanity Fair last week, he said:

I’m a huge Peanuts fan, so if I heard they were doing a new Peanuts with Jack Black as Charlie Brown, I’d be mad, too. And I’d be twice as mad if I heard I was writing it.

So he gets the purists’ point of view… he just didn’t put it into action while writing his screenplay.

The Vanity Fair interview is extensive, and I’ll do it no favours by cannibalising it here. Be warned, however, that they do include a number of spoilers, including one very amusing post-modern stunt from the pay-off.

But why should you worry about spoilers for an unmade film? Because the script is quite easily available online and is, I think, well worth a read.

It doesn’t really click, overall, but it was just a first draft. There’s still enough imagination and invention in here to make it worth your time.

Unless, of course, you’re feeling pretty precious about Lantern lore. In which case you most definitely don’t want to read it at all.

At all.


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