Berlanti's not yellow: he'll do 'Green'
Empty"Everwood" creator Greg Berlanti has signed a deal to co-write and direct a live-action adaptation of DC Comics' superhero "Green Lantern" for Warner Bros.
Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green also are writing the script, with Donald De Line on board to produce.
Green Lantern is one of DC Comics' mainstay heroes, having been created in 1940. While several incarnations of the character have existed throughout the decades, the movie will focus on the Lantern embodied by Hal Jordan, a test pilot who finds a downed alien spacecraft. A dying alien passes his ring to Jordan, introducing the man to a wider world that includes an interstellar police force known as the Green Lantern Corps and its overseers, the Guardians of the Universe, who live on the planet Oa.
Like any superhero, the Lantern has a weakness, the color yellow, and was known for reciting an oath when charging his ring.
Berlanti met with DC Comics senior vp Gregory Noveck a year ago about bringing the hero to the big screen.
"To me, this was on the last great comic book movie that hasn't been made," said Berlanti, who grew up reading comics in the 1980s. "It was a comic book with a real mythology that you would see in a lot of the space operas and the sci-fi books. The best part about it, anybody can be become one of the Green Lanterns because anyone can end up with that ring."
Berlanti brought on board Guggenheim and Green, fellow comic book fans he met when working on "Jack & Bobby," the WB Network series he co-created, and worked for months to develop a story, with Noveck helping shape it as the trio went along.
When they went in to pitch, Berlanti had a concept artist draw up 30 images of key scenes and images to help sell to the studio the movie he wanted to direct. He also pitched Warners brass a series of movies, with the first being an origin of how Jordan becomes a member of the intergalactic police force.
Greg Silverman is overseeing for Warners, with Noveck overseeing for DC.
"Lantern" joins Berlanti's busy plate, which consists of exec producing ABC shows "Dirty Sexy Money," "Brothers & Sisters" and the upcoming "Eli Stone," a midseason legal drama for ABC that he co-created with Guggenheim.
UTA-repped Guggenheim and Endeavor-repped Green are familiar to superheroes, with both having written such comics as "Flash," "Wolverine" and "Batman Confidential." Green also has written for NBC's "Heroes."
The biggest challenge in setting up "Lantern" was waiting for the technology to become available to create fantastical worlds as well as overcoming the prejudice of a ring-bearing hero.
"The danger and the fear from a lot of people is that it would be silly," said Endeavor-repped Berlanti. "In these post-'Harry Potter' and 'Lord of the Rings' days, it's not any more fantastical than that. It's taken movies like that to make it feel as if a Green Lantern film is possible."