Op/Ed [& POLL] Is Ryan Reynolds Right for Green Lantern?

Op/Ed [& POLL] Ryan Reynolds & GL

The biggest problem I have with <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/film/070911-Reynolds.html>Ryan Reynolds starring in the Green Lantern movie</a> isn’t Ryan Reynolds.

I like Ryan Reynolds. Been a fan since , the TV show that first put him on most people’s radar, and enjoyed watching him in just about everything else he’s done since.

But he’s not Hal Jordan.

The fact that he’s landed the role makes me wonder – and worry a bit – about the direction and tone of the GL film.

When the news came down Friday that Reynolds had beaten out Bradley Cooper and Justin Timberlake, the first thought that popped into my head was Yippee! Without Timberlake, the odds rapidly dwindle on a Hal/Carol Ferris ‘animal crackers’ moment set to the saccharine sounds of a Diane Warren-penned ballad.

I also wondered if, during all the backslapping and man-hugging happening in the water tower on the Warner back lot, anyone stopped and asked, ‘guys, what kind of movie are we making here anyway?’

My issue isn’t about whether Reynolds looks like Jordan. How much you physically appear like a character isn’t all that important to a successful adaptation. Tobey Maguire and Christian Bale proved that. And Reynolds has the necessary physique and charisma.

However, Reynolds has built a career playing the snarky wise-ass, with his disarmingly funny approach.

But I’m curious as to what the Warner Bros. people spotted in , or that said, ‘that’s our guy!’

It couldn’t possibly have been anything in his most recent effort, the bewilderingly successful Rom-Com . That awful film should have disqualified him on principle alone.

It couldn’t have been his supporting – and mildly creepy – turn in , could it?

Seriously, the guy’s a talent. No question about it. But where in any of those performances – or any other film in his oeuvre – did you spot a glimpse of Hal Jordan, the most fearless, bravest, ballsiest, no bull$*&t-takingest test pilot in the DC Universe?

Of the three main contenders, Cooper I thought had the best combination of acting chops and presence to represent Jordan. I’ve always thought Patrick Wilson was the ideal choice but it appears the lingering disappointment of ruined any shot he had.

There’s a reason why everyone and their barista banged the drum for years that Reynolds should play Deadpool. Even with just an extended cameo in , he proved The Merc with a Mouth was right in his spandexed wheelhouse.

[Speaking of which, I don’t think Reynolds should expect a fruit basket from Fox for inking another superhero movie deal with the spin-off in development.]

If Warners was so hot to get into the Ryan Reynolds business, they should have locked him up to be the Flash. Because if that movie ever happens, one would expect the wisecracks to be tossed around as fast as Wally West changes clothes, no? Playing a wisecracking badass is the ideal part for Reynolds.

But he’s not Hal Jordan.

Sure, Jordan has had his moments to crack wise, especially when written by the sublimely talented Geoff Johns. But he’s never been the type of super hero who quips and jokes to throw the villains off their game. When you have a green ring that can create a boxing glove the size of Madison Square Garden, who needs puns?

I have no idea what the film is about or what direction it’s taking. Other than the fact that it’s an origin story, we have zero clues as to what writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim are crafting.

I know I want to see a great big, glorious, John Williams-scored “Green Lantern” space adventure, covering as many of the 3600 sectors the Corps protects as possible. And popular opinion would seem to indicate I’m far from the only one wishing for that type of project. But the Stones were right when they said you can’t always get what you want. Fine.

You know what I most definitely do not want? An action comedy.

I enjoy super-powered laughs as much as the next guy. But just like shouldn’t be camp and shouldn’t be PG, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan shouldn’t be a lighthearted romp. It didn’t work with the Fantastic Four, and it won’t work here. So the casting of an actor who seems to do his best work with a sly grin and a self-aware smile to play this type of hero is … curious.

Green Lantern is one of the few remaining yet-adapted blue-chip comic book properties. There’s obviously a lot riding on Reynolds’ muscular shoulders. And he could turn out to be as good a casting call as Robert Downey Jr. being tabbed as Tony Stark. Again, Ryan Reynolds is a fine actor. I’m not questioning his skill. I am questioning whether he’s the right man for the job.

Truth be told, I’m wrong all the time. Just ask my wife (Ba-dum).

In comic book lore, the choice of an Earthman by a dying member of the Green Lantern Corps to protect Sector 2814 was thought to be a disastrous mistake. Hal Jordan turned out to be only the greatest Green Lantern ever.

We’ll find out in June 2011 if Warner Bros. showed the same foresight as Abin Sur. I hope so. I’m just not so sure I am.

So that's one person's opinion about the choice of Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern. What's your's? Take out poll right below and tell us what think

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