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Robert Smigel Talks About The Jack Black “Green Lantern” Project

By 06.21.11

Before the current version of Green Lantern derped its way into theaters [here is Vince’s review], Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, among other things) wrote a Green Lantern comedy with Jack Black attached to play the hero. Vanity Fair interviewed Smigel yesterday about the movie that could have been.  Between Smigel’s interview and the first draft of the script itself, we now know this:

  • Warner Brothers asked Smigel to write a comedic take on Green Lantern “with Jack Black in mind”.  Black wasn’t attached to the project and expressed disinterest until he read the script and liked it.
  • The script was based (loosely, to put it lightly) on the Emerald Dawn storyline.
  • The plot of Smigel’s first draft is as insane as you’d expect from the guy behind the Ambiguously Gay Duo and “TV Funhouse”, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
  • Smigel says he wasn’t surprised fans were angry about the direction the project took.  As he put it, “I mean, if I were a die-hard Green Lantern fan, I would have waited many years watching all of these other superhero movies like ‘Daredevil’ get their turn and I would be very frustrated to hear that it’s finally going to be done as a comedy. I wouldn’t just feel screwed; I would also see it as a personal affront that the superhero that I’ve been worshiping is looked at as a joke. So I could see people being angry, and I expected it.”
  • Anybody else notice Smigel just admitted he wasn’t a die-hard Green Lantern fan?  How often does someone in Hollywood admit they’re doing a comic book movie because they were hired to do it, not because they just looooove comics so much?  Is this a first?
  • Smigel says he eventually heard Warner had decided to do a serious version of Green Lantern instead: “I never got a direct phone call about it. That’s sort of how Hollywood works.”

So they paid for a script that couldn’t possibly please the fans, pretended it never happened, then didn’t speak to the writer ever again?  Yeah, sounds about right.  Oh, and as for how crazy the script was?  Strap in:

  • Instead of Hal Jordan, the hero is Jud Plato, a slovenly Ikea employee who is chosen by the power ring because he ate a raw coyote head on Fear Factor.  If that’s all it takes to be fearless enough for the Lantern Corps, Gary Busey should have all the power rings by now.  All of them.
  • Jud uses the ring to create green elves, maids, and models to wait on him.  The maids are all Hispanic for some reason.  He conjures a sassy black woman to yell at a villain for him.  It’s all very mature.
  • Kilowog comes to Earth, eats at the Olive Garden, and goes on a drunken bender.  In fairness, you’d need to go on a drunken bender to enjoy the Olive Garden.
  • At one point, a yellow asteroid is headed towards Earth, so Jack Black just moves Earth out of the way, triggering a bunch of natural disasters.  So then he uses his mind bullets power of will to conjure a green Superman to fly around the Earth and reverse time, reversing the natural disasters.  Yes, he brings back one of the lamest parts of the Christopher Reeves Superman movies.
  • Part of Sinestro’s enslavement of Earth includes giving a cat the same mustache as he has and forcing humans to wear matching outfits from Nordstrom.  So evil.
  • iFanboy sums up the madness succinctly: “I never needed to see Xax talking about getting laid. The ring projects an act involving Elmo and Barbara Walters’ breasts that I will not describe even if you e-mail me privately.” [emphasis mine]

I . . . I kinda sorta totally need to see this movie.

[Sources: iFanboy, VanityFair, ThePlaylist, BleedingCool]


TAGSEMERALD DAWNGREEN LANTERNjack blackLOL WUTROBERT SMIGELtriumph the insult comic dog

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