I’ve been saying for awhile that Warner Bros.’ theatrical release of DC Comics’ “Green Lantern” is a huge project in terms of the evolution of comic-book characters for big-screen adaptations, along with two other second-tier titles from Marvel due this summer: “Thor” and “Captain America: First Avenger.”
And Warner clearly isn’t leaving matters to chance, cleverly leveraging multiple assets as part of its blitz to promote and capitalize on its campaign for the film, which will star Ryan Reynolds as the guy with the green power ring who gets to say the oath, “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight,” and hope that audiences don’t giggle in the wrong places.
The first salvo will come with the latest adult/young guy-oriented direct-to-DVD DC feature, “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights,” which will be released in June, shortly before the debut of the movie. These animated pix for the most part have been extremely good, if a little geeky — aimed, as they are, at a committed comic-book audience who knows all about the Guardians of the Galaxy. (The movie will be premiered on April 1 at WonderCon in San Francisco.)
In addition to the animated DVD, “Green Lantern: The Animated Series” — a CG-animated version of the character — is being produced to air on Cartoon Network (another Time Warner property) after the movie’s release.
Warner/DC/Cartoon Network are also collaborating on a dedicated block, “DC Nation,” being billed as the “exclusive home for original DC animation properties … populated with event programming, interstitials, [and] exclusive behind-the-scenes of theatrical production.”
The real issue, though, is that some of these iterations of Green Lantern can survive on a niche comic book or kid audience; the movie (and the same is true of “Thor” or “Captain America”) has to be broader than that, lest it experience the “Watchmen” effect.
It’s going to be interesting to see how all this plays out, but if “Green Lantern” fizzles, it clearly won’t be for lack of tie-ins or marketing wattage.