Director Martin Campbell, sitting in his room at the swanky Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, was supposed to be talking about his new thriller “Edge of Darkness” but he went off topic for a moment to prove his earnest allegiance to his upcoming fan-boy franchise.
“In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight…” The New Zealand native recited the Green Lantern’s oath with only a hint of a smile but no irony — the last thing the director of “Casino Royale” wants to do is come off as eye-rolling tourist in the DC Comics universe.
In two months, Campbell and his star Ryan Reynolds will start filming “Green Lantern” in New Orleans. Talks are reportedly underway with Mark Strong to play the villain Sinestro and Campbell said fans of the emerald avenger will get all they hope for in the film.
“It’s a departure for me, I’ve never done a super hero before,” said Campbell, who does have masked-man experience with “The Legend of Zorro” and “The Mask of Zorro” in the 1990s.
“What I like about this hero and this story is it’s all about will power,” the director said. “It’s also about fear and about courage. It’s not just a spandex suit movie. He doesn’t just put on the suit and fly off and face evil kryptonite and all that.”
“There is a Flash Gordon element to it, this is a superhero who goes to another planet and that’s different than the rest,” Campbell said. “That opens up a lot of interesting options.”
Campbell said the casting “news” about Jackie Earl Haley (who is now part of the “Human Target” cast on Fox) taking on the role of Sinestro was “rubbish” but he declined comment on the more recent reports that Strong (the sinister heavy in “Sherlock Holmes“) was the man for the job. “He’s a very fine actor,” Campbell said of Strong, suggesting more than a passing interest by the filmmaker. This week, sources at Warner Bros. said Strong is the circled choice but that his schedule is tricky.
Check back here for a lot more on this film….
— Geoff Boucher
RECENT AND RELATED
Images: Green Lantern art by Alex Ross (DC Comics). Ryan Reynolds at People’s Choice Awards Jan. 6. Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty for PCA