Ryan Reynolds portrayed Green Lantern 2 in the 2011 film Green Lantern before becoming Deadpool. Despite plans for a sequel, Green Lantern 2 never materialized. Why?
Ryan Reynolds starred as DC’s Green Lantern in the 2011 film, but the sequel was never made due to several circumstances. Warner Bros. attempted an origin tale for Green Lantern/Hal Jordan before Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman rebooted the Justice League series. Green Lantern, a 2011 film starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan and Blake Lively as his love interest Carol Ferris, was a notable pairing that would later become one of Hollywood’s most popular married couples.
There was going to be a sequel to Green Lantern 2
Green Lantern was supposed to get a sequel, like with all franchise-starting material nowadays, to continue Hal Jordan’s story with Ryan Reynolds returning his part if the picture was well-received. Green Lantern was supposed to be the first picture in a new DC film world, similar to how Iron Man kicked off Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Green Lantern’s end credits even tease a never-made sequel in which Sinestro (Mark Strong) is corrupted by the dark power of the yellow ring of fear following its resurrection.
Green Lantern was nearly universally viewed as a flop in the superhero picture business. Despite grossing $219.9 million at the box office, the film underperformed its $200 million budget; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Green Lantern would have needed to gross $500 million to be called a success.
Green Lantern was also slammed by reviewers and audiences alike, receiving a measly 26% from critics and 45 percent from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite its high budget, Green Lantern was widely panned, with many critics criticising its misappropriation of comic book lore, poor narrative, and dependence on special effects and sound over depth.
Warner Bros. shelved the planned sequel after learning about Green Lantern’s box office disaster and bad critical and fan reception. Screenwriter David S. Goyer claimed that Green Lantern’s presence in the DCEU would constitute a reboot, ditching Reynolds’ rendition however Zack Snyder teased almost bringing Reynolds back as Green Lantern in 2017’s Justice League.
Another reason for the sequel’s cancellation was Reynolds’ lack of enthusiasm in reprising his part, despite his obvious dislike for the picture. Reynolds has already encouraged people on Twitter not to watch Green Lantern, even though he only saw it for the first time in March 2021. Furthermore, in the end-credits scene of Deadpool 2, the character shoots Ryan Reynolds while he reads the Green Lantern script to prevent him from starring in the film.
Even though Green Lantern was a flop with both viewers and critics, Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan role demonstrated his ability to direct a superhero film, leading to his most well-known character to date: Deadpool.
Reynolds may not have been able to escape the association of his DC superhero and later been recruited to play the well-received Wade Wilson if Green Lantern had gone forward with a sequel that would have likely yielded the same unsatisfactory result.
Reynolds’ instance is just another example of an actor’s transfer from DC to Marvel or vice versa working out well for them, such as Tom Hardy playing DC’s Bane before becoming Marvel’s Venom or Ben Affleck transitioning from Marvel’s Daredevil to the prominent role of the DCEU’s Batman.
Now that HBO Max has announced a Green Lantern TV series that would follow numerous human Green Lanterns, including Finn Wittrock’s Guy Gardner, the DCEU has an opportunity to redeem the character(s) after a decade of neglect.
Green Lantern has appeared in various DC films such as Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Stargirl, and through Easter eggs on Arrow, but the HBO Max series will be the first big-budget Warner Bros. movie centred on the superhero since Reynolds’ Green Lantern (and his corps).