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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Martin Campbell On Green Lantern Action Scenes, Psychology Of The Character & More!

Talking about his upcoming comic book adaptation Green Lantern, director Martin Campbell shared some info on film's action sequences, what he finds interesting about Hal Jordan and more.

It's a big year for comic book films. One of the big screen adaptations that is coming out this summer is Green Lantern, directed by Martin Campbell. There were already couple of trailers and TV spots, so we know what to expect from the film. Campbell is no stranger to smart and entertaining action films, since he made probably the best James Bond film to date, Casino Royale. He had quite a big task on his hands, to translate the whole Green Lantern universe to the big screen, especially since they've decided to go with CGI costumes. In a recent issue of SFX Magazine, subscribed by CBM's DCMarvelFreshman, director shared some info on the action scenes, his approach on big scale sequences, what he thinks is interesting about Hal Jordan and more.

What can we expect from the action scenes:

"I want the fights to knife fight in a phone booth - quick and fast and dirty and these big grand sweeping movements. I don't see any point having people be smashed back a 100 yards into a brick wall and then immediately getting up and continuing to fight. Things have to have a grounding in reality. I always do that. You find movies where superheroes can simply take the most incredible punishment without batting an eyelid...To me there's nothing in that. I just don't believe a word of it. I always think that action has to be grounded in a basic reality to make it work, without making it too ridiculous. The thing is these films cost so much money, and we have a limit on budget and things. So we couldn't get into what I call huge multi-character gigantic fights. We just couldn't do that. We just didn't have the money to do that. So that played into making the action more naturalistic. There was cause and effect."

On what he finds interesting about the character:

"His weapon is psychological. There were two aspects. One is that he goes to the middle of the universe to become a Green Lantern. The other is that his power derives from his mind. Rather than have inherited superpowers, or be weakened by Kryptonite or anything like that, it's about the focus and strength of his mind forming constructs. It's that whole aspect of it, which of course is very different from any other superhero.

The first thing all your instincts tell you is 'Let's go way out there. He can construct anything with his mind. If he focuses his mind, the ring can create anything.' So the mind runs wild. On the other hand, if he's responding to any particular crisis then the construct of choice has to be a construct that solves that particular problem. There's practicality to the choices that he makes. If there's a pram running down the street out of control, you don't create an earth digger with a great big bucket on the end to reach down and grab the baby. What you'd do is probably create a giant hand or something to stop the pram. There's sort of logic. We had what we called a cheese-meter. We'd say, 'Alright this is what we're gonna do...' Then if our cheese-meter rose and it just became too cheesy or too ridiculous we would yell and say, 'No, no, no. That's not right.' So we'd have that throughout the movie, our cheese-meter, to try and prevent ourselves from going overboard."

On working with the whole cast:

"Well, obviously Ryan can do just about everything. He's got the humour and he's got the serious and the physicality. He looks great. He totally fell into the character and he brings a sort of sense of humour to it, which I think it needs. So he couldn't have been more ideal. The same with Blake. I think Blake is now 23. She's very young but she's someone going on 60 in terms of her head, because she's very intelligent. She and Ryan work very well together. Sinestro was a difficult choice. He goes over to the dark side in the comics, so he had to be somebody very strong and powerful and magnetic. Of course, Mark Strong made a terrific Sinestro. One of the exceptional character in this is Peter Sarsgaard doing Hector. He's turned out to be one of the strongest characters in the movie."

Comparing Green Lantern to Casino Royale and making a sequel, he said:

"It's not dissimilar to Casino Royale. In that case, Bond is a rough diamond and by the end of it he becomes the James Bond we know. Our story really is the first chapter of Hal Jordan, a character who, on the face of it, should never be a Green Lantern. He's irresponsible. He has a lot of this baggage. But ultimately the ring keys in on all of those good qualities that make him a contender to become a Green Lantern. Not only a Green Lantern, but one of the greatest Green Lanterns. That story is what we're telling in the first one."
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