If ever a single sentence has evoked so much fanboy ire, it's, "Anyone can be chosen," the tag line on the Green Lantern movie promotional materials in the latest issue of Global License magazine. (Check it out here at /Film.) Of course, true fans understand that not just anyone can be chosen to wear the Green Lantern ring, but if the comment threads I've read are any indication, just about anyone can have an opinion about it. More cool-headed fans have tried to assure our peers, this is just a trade magazine, and that tag line may not be the final slogan used in public to promote Green Lantern, but the seed of doubt has already been planted.
Unlike my fellow fanboys in cyberspace, if this is the new mantra of the Green Lantern, I totally understand. Simply put, comic book fans alone cannot sustain comic book movies. Yes, we are legion, but we aren't as numerous as we think we are -- and if we were, too many of us feel entitled to bootlegging movies over seeing them in the theater anyway, decreasing the revenue studios need to see to keep a franchise alive. What big budget films like Green Lantern need are general audiences -- literally, anyone. As impossible as it is for us commoners to think in numbers like that, those are the millions of dollars Hollywood needs to spin a profit from a venture like Green Lantern. So, we can't have an exclusive attitude like the Guardians of Oa. We have to let everyone in . . . or there's no green. Ah, see what I did there?
Now, does this mean Ryan Reynolds' Green Lantern is a Joe Blow that just comes upon the most powerful weapon in the universe? I hope not, as much as I understand that niche feature films need general audiences, I think they also need to retain the spirit that made the property timeless in the first place. For all of the special effects we should expect from Green Lantern, I hope Warner Brothers remembers Hal's most effective weapon: his fearless will. Without it, he couldn't even muster up a boxing glove. Maintain the character's integrity, and folks will be lining up to watch a regular guy like Hal Jordan kick the crap out of a cosmic terrorist like Sinestro whether they've heard of Green Lantern or not. As for us fanboys . . .?
We can say we were there first. We've been here all along.