Guggenheim on the Green Lantern Movie & Rumors

Guggenheim on the Green Lantern Movie

Development of Green Lantern, the Warner Bros. film based on the DC Comics superhero who dons a green power ring, is "moving along at a pretty hefty clip," said Marc Guggenheim, co-screenwriter of the film.

"It's pretty far along," Guggenheim said of the movie, which is rumored to be gearing up to begin filming in 2009. The writer talked to Newsarama while promoting his ABC television show Eli Stone, which premiers on Tuesday night. "We're reasonably deep into it [Green Lantern]. I'm never really comfortable publicly commenting on the movie because unlike the TV show, I'm just one of three writers and I've sworn a blood oath to secrecy. But we're in the thick of it. We're moving along at a pretty hefty clip."

The latest rumor about the film is that casting has begun, with Lars and the Real Girl actor Ryan Gosling up for the role of Hal Jordan.

"I read that online, actually," Guggenheim said of the rumored casting for the lead role in the film. "That was how I got that news. As one of the writers, I'm not really involved in the day-to-day pre-production on it all. But I think it would be pretty amazing. I'll go on record saying that."

Guggenheim, who also currently writes several comic books for Marvel, co-wrote the Green Lantern movie script with Greg Berlanti, his Eli Stone co-creator, and Michael Green, who co-writes the Superman/Batman comic book for DC and created the upcoming NBC TV show Kings.

As comic book fans and writers themselves, it's not surprising that Green recently told Newsarama the script is a "fans take" on the character, and Guggenheim described it as being "not only a respectful approach to the character, but it's a loving approach to the entire mythos."

However, recent Hollywood trade publications have reported that Warner Bros. is taking a new direction for big-screen adaptations of their DC superhero properties. In August, Jeff Robinov, Warner Bros. Pictures Group President, confirmed that the Superman franchise is being rebooted without regard to 2006's Superman Returns, and Variety reported that the studio would revamp its approach to development of its DC movies.

But Guggenheim said the Warner Bros. "revamp" has not affected the approach to Green Lantern. "I don't even know, from what I've observed, if I would characterize it as a revamp," the writer said. "I know a lot's been made in newspapers and magazines about a revamping of DC's approach. That hasn't been my sense. Maybe a focusing; maybe a ratcheting up of pace and energy. Whatever it's been, it really hasn't affected this project in the least. All the drafts have come in on schedule. All the notes have been the same kind of notes that we would have gotten in the absence of any 'revamping.'"

According to Guggenheim, DC Comics has been involved in the plans for the Green Lantern film all along. "We've been involved with DC from jump. Even at the pitch stage, everyone at DC knew what was going on," said the writer, who wrote the Flash for DC Comics last year before signing a Marvel exclusive contract for his comics work.

"I think the nice thing is that there's always been a great love of this character at the studio," he said of Warner Bros.' approach to Green Lantern. "And the kind of summer we just had, with movies like Iron Man and Dark Knight, makes a fertile marketplace for all comic book movies, quite frankly. So the timing could not have been better for us."

With TV/movie writers like Green, Guggenheim and now his Eli Stone co-writer Andrew Kreisberg (Batman Confidential, Green Arrow/Black Canary) writing comics along with their multiple Hollywood projects, Newsarama asked Guggenheim: Are comic book geeks taking over Hollywood? Or is Hollywood taking over comic book geeks?

"That's a great question. I would have to say it's probably a little bit of both," Guggenheim said with a laugh. "It's such a chicken and the egg kind of thing.

"Michael, Andrew and myself have been geeks long before we were writers, but we were TV writers long before we were comic book writers. So I think it's a little bit of both in the sense that they happened simultaneously," he said. "You start out growing up as a geek and loving comic books. I know a lot of comic book fans, whether they're writing or not, work in Hollywood. I think it's really, in large part, because when you grow up loving story and loving comic books, Hollywood is just a natural place to want to go and pursue it."

Besides, Guggenheim said, the growing synergy between Hollywood and comics makes it easier to cross from one medium to the other. "It's not like Hollywood doesn't do science fiction TV shows or superhero movies. There's a lot of genre to be found in Hollywood," he said. "It's just been nice in recent years where people like [Clerks director and comics writer] Kevin Smith and [Babylon 5 television writer and comics scribe] Joe Straczynski have sort of softened the ground for Hollywood writers to come into the comic book industry and try to prove themselves there."

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