Hollywood is in a constant fluid state. Everything is in flux. What is true right now will not be true in ten minutes, and what people are talking about behind the scenes probably has no bearing on the actual movie you will eventually see.
This week MTV ran one of their patented non-news bullshit waste of time stories with the ‘reveal’ that James Wan had been in the running to direct The Green Hornet and had been beaten out by Michel Gondry. This shit happens every single day; Shock Til You Drop’s Ryan Rotten and I have long joked about starting a new site called TakingAMeeting.com, since the fact that someone is in the running for a job/took a meeting about a job is utterly meaningless yet so many people love to report on it.
Yesterday Latino Review ran a TakingAMeeting.com story; I love those guys and El Mayimbe, who broke the story, is a superstar. But the story on the surface is kind of sound and fury: they said that the producers of the upcoming Green Lantern movie are interested in Anton Yelchin for the role of Hal Jordan. As far as I know no one has actually talked with him about it, he hasn’t auditioned and he hasn’t been offered the role. Yelchin is ‘on the list’ – when producers are putting a movie together they assemble a list of all the people who could play the role, and they use that list to figure out who costs what, how they would look in the role, what their relative popularity is and how that could help box office, etc. Every movie that has a male lead has the same names ‘on the list,’ but that list doesn’t mean anyone has been approached. A good example is Ghostbusters 3: I have no doubt that Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd were ‘on the list’ for that one, but when I talked to Rogen about it he very obviously had never been approached. Just being ‘on the list’ is meaningless.
Except when that list can tell you something. And the list that El Mayimbe is talking about also included names like Ryan Gosling and Emile Hirsch, as well as Sam Worthington. Add Anton Yelchin to that list and you’re looking at a lot of young guys. And with the exception of Worthington, a lot of guys who aren’t traditionally butch. This gets more interesting when you factor in the fact that El Mayimbe is reporting that Gosling and Hirsch were more than ‘on the list,’ they were actually approached (and turned it down).
All of this adds up to casting that says Kyle Rayner – the comic book artist turned Green Lantern – more than Hal Jordan – the macho, swaggering test pilot turned Green Lantern – to me. We have heard that Hal Jordan is the name of the character in the movie, but is it possible that director Martin Cambell wants to Raynerize him more than a little?
I don’t have a problem with Kyle Rayner the way some fans do, but I think that Hal Jordan is a better character for a Green Lantern movie, and by Hal Jordan I mean a guy who looks like a cartoon pilot, by which I mean Jon Hamm (first recommended on Twitter by Patrick Sauriol, btw). The idea of going younger makes some certain franchise sense – a four part movie series could span 12 years – but it makes little character sense. In fact, I’d say that a Green Lantern movie with Anton Yelchin in the lead has at least one major strike against it, and I like the actor.
We’ll be keeping an eye on future Green Lantern news; here’s hoping that this young, skinny boy nonsense is simply a phase for the production.