CHILDHOOD HEROES and FANBOY DREAMS...
GREEN LANTERN was my childhood hero. Everyone else argued over the superiority of the Big 3 – SUPERMAN (’cause he could punch the Sun), SPIDERMAN (’cause he had the best cartoon), and BATMAN (’cause he was a filthy-rich sociopath with crazy toys). Meanwhile, I worshipped the cocky, womanizing jet pilot with the magic ring given to him by a dying alien from a cosmic police force. Yeah…I was weird kid. Surprised?
Looking back, GL’s deeper appeal was clear – he was the first spiritual superhero. Consider this: he is given the gift/burden of near-infinite Cosmic Energy – GREEN Energy (think which chakra that corresponds to, kidlets) – and has the power to manifest any construct he can think of. Anything. And his only limitations? Imagination…and the ability to overcome Fear.
So, essentially…fuck The Secret.
Because of my deep love and respect for the character – as well as the obvious evolutionary path of the ‘comic book movie’ thanks to increasingly photorealistic CG – a Green Lantern pitch was the first ‘spec’ treatment I ever wrote. I did it purely for ‘fun’, and had no idea if I’d ever share it with anyone, let alone ‘Very Important People’. Now, I often joked (and still do) with fellow creatives that, for me, writing is like taking an extremely large bowel movement filled with long shards of glass (and, before I have a chance to heal, I’m inevitably forced back on the crapper). But you know what? Minus the usual self-imposed pressure, writing that bad-boy was honestly easy. Like a summer breeze. No intestinal damage whatsoever.
Strangely enough, I ended up in a work-related meeting with the head of production at WB (the studio that owns the rights to all DC Comics characters) 5 years later. This was before the news even broke of an official film of the GL ‘property’ moving forward out of development hell. So I pitched my idea, and left a copy of the treatment in the exec’s hands. Didn’t hear back from them (not that I expected to), but I’m just happy that this iconic character from my youth – this Emerald Warrior that brought (green) light to my spirit during many dark days – will have the chance to spark the hearts and minds of a new generation.
And hey…if by some slim chance the studio ‘borrows’ any of my ideas? No worries, folks. I’m happy to enjoy my uncredited % of opening weekend box office in complete anonymity. 8)
Until that time comes, here’s a rare glimpse into the mind of a fanboy-turned-wannabe : my prologue for a GREEN LANTERN feature film in treatment form. Enjoy!
In a gleaming silver sphere, ABIN SUR patrols his sector of space. The lights from his ship’s console cast an eerie glow on his smooth, scarlet skin as he attempts to make sense of these new readings.
“Something peculiar in the SOL system. Have the humans been busy?”, he muses.
Without hesitation, he silently commands his craft in the direction of Earth. A green spark of light grows in his eyes as he passes the procession of planets in the system: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars – until finally he brings his ship into orbit around the Earth’s Moon.
“Stay on the dark side, Abin – you wouldn’t want the apes to panic.”
From this position, he commands his onboard systems to analyze the anomalous readings. Concern grips him. He asks for a 3D representation of the data, and an emerald glow from his right hand projects a detailed image of the anomaly. Abin’s analysis detects a source of immense ‘potential energy’ emanating from a tiny construct in Earth’s orbit, as well as a radio transmission being beamed to the construct from the planet’s surface. Abin requests a translation of the broadcast, and the emerald glow on his hand pulses as it displays the words in his native text. The concern on his face twists into shock.
“The fools. We cannot allow this. The entire system could be disrupted.“
While continuing to monitor the broadcast, Abin pilots his ship towards the source of the disturbance. He engages a form of “cloaking”, triggered by another eruption of green energy, before he stops within several hundred feet of a metallic BLACK SPHERE. The object is small – perhaps 1/12th the size of Abin’s craft – and motionless. Abin considers his options: move the object, disable it, or destroy it. With the data he has gathered, Abin decides that the only course of action is to destroy the construct. He places his right hand against an indentation in his ship’s console, and gives the command. The entire cabin erupts with a brilliant emerald light – the metal supports of the ship’s hull surround Abin like a mammoth ribcage. A stream of energy is projected from the invisible “nose” of his craft and quickly envelops the black sphere.
Abin analyzes more data, and observes that his action is causing an unexpected power surge. Before he can consider another option, a devastating ENERGY PULSE shoots back from the sphere, disabling the cloak and crippling his ship. Abin reels in pain within the confines of his seat, and he braces himself as his craft hurtles down through the atmosphere of the blue-green globe in the system of SOL. Triangulating his probable crash-position in the sands of the southwest corner of the continent of North America, Abin utters a final command:
‘Ring…find suitable candidate for transfer. Must be in relative proximity of impact point. Must fall within Guardians’ parameters. No…fear…‘
Abin’s eyes flood with tears, and swell with a flash of emerald light.