Interview: ‘Green Lantern’ Director Martin Campbell
If you need a franchise rebooted, you go to Martin Campbell. He brought James Bond back from the ‘80s, and then again rescued it from the Pierce Brosnan era. He updated Zorro for modern audiences, but Green Lantern had never been a film before. He’s starting from scratch, and I asked him about that, plus some Bond geek questions, at the press conference for Green Lantern.
Crave Online: What is it about you that is ideal for creating and launching new things?
Martin Campbell: Well, I’m cheap. No, the thing is I’ve never done a comic book movie before. Superheroes, I guess, yes. Bond, I guess is a form of superhero, and Zorro obviously is, but I’ve never done a superhero movie before, and I wasn’t even versed in the comic when it came through the door. Once having read them and so forth, it fascinated me about the whole world of Green Lantern, going to another planet, going to the center of the universe. That’s really why I did it. What it is about me, these things aren’t about me, really. These things are a huge team effort by everybody. It’s always handed across to the director. I’m the guy on the floor certainly, but Donald [De Line], my producer, a huge contribution from him as with Greg [Berlanti] the writer, and the actors. Unlike a lot of movies, these things are very much a team effort, and in this case, particularly so.
Crave Online: Was the opening narration sort of your own “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?”
Martin Campbell: No, that was designed around introducing an audience that knows nothing about the Green Lantern into the world. We realized we had to introduce people who’ve never read the comic to that world.
Crave Online: I was worried this would be all a space movie, but a lot of it takes place on Earth. Was that a balance you found in the cut?
Martin Campbell: It’s very like the origin story. I don’t know if you’ve read the comic, the origin story comic. It’s very similar. A lot of it on Earth, Hal Jordan, all that stuff. It follows pretty faithfully.
Crave Online: What do you think of the way they’ve taken the Bond series after Casino Royale with Quantum of Solace?
Martin Campbell: Oh, I thought it was lousy. And hopefully this next one will be terrific. Sam Mendes is directing it and I’m sure it’ll be terrific.
Crave Online: Why didn’t you like it? Were there themes from Casino Royale you were hoping they’d pick up on?
Martin Campbell: No, I just thought the story was pretty uninteresting. I didn’t think the action was related to the characters. I just thought overall it was a bit of a mess really.
Crave Online: Are you signed for a trilogy of Green Lanterns?
Martin Campbell: No. I’ll do a little film next. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I only just finished this one.