And that’s what I would do for a Green Lantern movie. It shows off Hal Jordan’s ascent to becoming a great Green Lantern by showing the contrast between himself and Sinestro. It shows off the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians well. It still has a teasing love relationship between Hal and Carol and, more importantly, shows the troubled relationship between Hal and Sinestro and how it helps Hal Jordan become a great hero. The villains would be the Manhunters because they tease how the Guardians aren’t exactly great and that they are a very good enemy to include as fodder for the Lanterns. They are simple and don’t take away from the focus of what the movie should be about: Hal and Sinestro.
Some issues that might arise from that is how the movie mostly takes place on alien planets, but I think that without going overboard on the CGI for the scenery, it wouldn’t be bad at all for Oa and Korugar to be the main places for the movie. The idea is to not make the setting too alien—make Oa more like a military base with an alien flair. Make Korugar like Earth but more stylistic and reminiscent of a dictatorship. And make the Korugar people look similar to humans, but still reddish and having pointy ears so we can still relate to them. The idea is that even though the places are alien, they should at least be relatable. That is key.
Another problem is that with the Manhunters are the true evil with little depth. However, it should be very clear that Sinestro is our antagonist, so the Manhunters don’t need to be this deep enemy. The Manhunters shouldn’t be a hard sell for the enemies since it’s foreshadowed with Abin Sur’s death and is obviously something that needs dealt with. They are written into the lore well enough that they can be a solid threat for the Green Lantern Corps. They can be explained simply as well, so it doesn’t confuse things that much.
Back to Sinestro, the clarity that Sinestro is the antagonist here should be obvious to the viewer, since they know he’s not a good guy and he clashes with Hal constantly. Throughout the movie, Hal Jordan is the one bickering with Sinestro. Basically, the introduction is short and we are treated to a rather ordinary Hal Jordan. Then we have Abin Sur’s crash and the ring being a jarring change. Sinestro appearing to blow up Hal’s ship later immediately places him in an antagonistic role and keeps all the surprise and intrigue up. In the actual movie, they introduced all of the crazy space shenanigans and didn’t let us empathize with Hal Jordan. In this, we’re confused and surprised with him. No matter what Hal does, we feel like Sinestro is beating him down. However, we also need to develop Sinestro in the beginning of the movie as a guy who is very passionate and seems like he wants to do good, so that way when Sinestro is revealed to be a dictator it is that much more powerful.
At that point, we realize that Hal Jordan is a legitimately good person and that Sinestro is an incredibly flawed person who tries to be good, but wants power more. The lines are drawn and it is teased multiple times that they are going to come to blows. This in turn helps make Hal Jordan looks so much better as a hero than Sinestro and the guy we want to root for, while we want to root against Sinestro. So that even when Hal Jordan makes selfish decisions and blows off the Guardians, we still don’t write him off and actually feel something for the guy because Sinestro is such a clear jerk by comparison.
Also, throughout the movie we have Hal Jordan trying to balance his real life pilot job with his responsibilities as a Green Lantern and uses Carol Ferris as his boss to be his avenue for his frustrations. She is the only normalcy he has currently, and their interaction will be a nice break from the space cop drama that is going on. The movie can slow down during these points and give us a chance for Hal Jordan to really tell how he’s feeling and why he feels the way he does. It allows him to be more human and offers us a chance to really feel for him, while we can have Carol be the mouthpiece for the viewer. “Get off your ass and do what’s right, Hal.” Carol is his conscience, and she will absolutely need to be necessary for Hal Jordan.
The climax of the movie is the fight against the Manhunters. It’s important to show Hal is just as formidable as the rest of the Lanterns, but not so much that he’s basically outclassing them. He has to work for that. It is also important that we see Sinestro falling from grace when his sector is being attacked. It’s everything to him, and the fact that Sinestro is not a hard evil is what draws us to him as a character. Some may argue that the tactic where he opts to try taking out the Grandmaster at the cost of some of his people is slightly out of character, but Sinestro has never been all there. Under this amount of stress with his best friend Abin Sur dying, along with the fact that his home planet is being seriously endangered, and that he knows he needs to protect it in whatever way he can makes it more understandable. It is the moment that he allows some of his people to be in danger that we can finally say he’s evil and needs to be stopped.
When Hal and Sinestro fight, it is important that Hal is made to look weaker since Sinestro is supposed to be better than Hal. That’s the whole premise of the movie is that Sinestro is superior in power, rank, and prestige and that Hal is the opposite in every way. It allows Hal Jordan to overcome the odds against Sinestro who is just better than him. But the one thing Hal has more of is the willpower, and that shows that he’s able to be that much better and that he can do anything. He’s stubborn and isn’t going to roll over for anyone. It takes Sinestro becoming so angry that his focus weakens and his power over his ring is weaker for Hal Jordan to be able to beat him.
The ending of the film shows many things: Hal Jordan is accepted by the Green Lantern Corps and is steadily improving, Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris are a budding couple and Carol is willing to accept Hal’s faults, and that Sinestro has been punished for his crimes. This gives closure to Hal’s acceptance of being a growing hero, closure to Hal and Carol’s relationships, and ties up Sinestro’s story of being a hero in the wrong way—the three main focuses of this movie.
And since it is a super hero movie that they hope to make a franchise out of, we have hints of what we can expect from the sequel. Hal Jordan and Carol are a thing, Hal Jordan is becoming out of the best Green Lanterns, and Sinestro is about to come back in a huge way with the Yellow Lantern. I’d base the sequel loosely off of the Sinestro Corps War. In the third movie, it would be a fight against Krona, who is the banished Guardian behind the Manhunters uprising, death and banishment of the greatest Green Lanterns, and Sinestro’s building of the Sinestro Corps.
Now this is an amateur’s envisioning of a Green Lantern movie. I’m sure it’s not perfect, and I’m sure there’s issues. I’m sure anyone more professional writer could see parts where this completely loses the average movie goer. I do think that is a solid idea at least, and it that it can do the Green Lantern franchise justice and make a lot more people happier with the movie than they were with the Green Lantern movie they go. It’s a different concept and breaks the mold– and I feel that’s kind of what DC has to do at this point to be successful.