By SimoneMitchell on Jul 25 2010, 02:43PMI have a confession to make. I've never really understood why people got excited about Ryan Reynolds. I always thought he was a bit .... meh.
But if you, like me, are slightly iffy on Mister Scarlett Johannson, you would have been won over by his performance at Comic-Con this morning. I guarantee it.
On-stage with fellow cast members Blake Lively (Carol Ferris), Peter Saarsgard (Hector Hammond) and Mark Strong (Sinestro), Reynolds was utterly charming and quick witted.
Having spent almost a year working exclusively on this movie, Reynolds has had plenty of time to become familiar with the much-loved comic material. He explained that the thing that drew him to the character of Hal Jordan was that he's "one of those cocky characters that I've always loved - he's the guy that can swing a punch, drink a beer and kiss the girl all at the same time".
For those not familiar with the backbone of this Green Lantern movie, it tells the origin story of Hal Jordan, a guy who is struggling with his own personal demons after witnessing his father die in a grizzly plane crash when he was a child.
In a weird choice of career path the grown-up Hal has followed in his father's footsteps and has also trained as a test-pilot.
While working at Ferris Aviation with his best friend (and love interest) Carol Ferris (Lively), he is granted a mystical green ring that bestows him with otherworldly powers, as well as membership into an intergalactic squadron tasked with keeping peace within the universe.
Here's the first look at Reynolds as The Green Lantern (as seen on the cover of Entertainment Weekly recently):
The hard-core DC fans have made no secret about their fears regarding Reynolds taking on the beloved Hal Jordan role. But this morning he truly seemed to have won them over, with grown men hooting and hollering his name.
The icing on the cake was when an alarmingly adorable little boy dressed head to toe in Green Lantern gear got up to ask Reynolds about reciting The Green Lantern oath.
Reynolds, who was clearly taken with the little whipper snapper said "Okay ... I'm going to recite the oath for you".
He did so, and the little lad's jaw almost hit the floor. In fact, I'm confident a little bit of wee probably came out.
** THIS JUST IN - I FOUND SOME FOOTAGE **
Not content with making his day in this fashion, Reynolds then signed a copy of the comic for the tiny fan and met with him and his father backstage afterwards.
Excuse the dirty AP watermark, but this is Reynolds and young Connor backstage:
What a dude.
The older comic fans also seemed pretty impressed with the first trailer that was shown during the panel.
The trailer starts off with a green glowing ball on the screen and a voice-over that says:
"Welcome inhabitants of sector 2814. The Guardians have chosen you as candidates for enlistment but before you can be recruited, you must be tested. The light you see before you is controlled by your will. Focus on the light. If you will it, it will be. Now, focus."
The ball throbs and expands and launches into a fast and furious few minutes of hard-core action - exactly what we'd expect from director Martin Campbell.
In fact, one of the most promising things about this flick is that it's directed by Campbell, he of Casino Royale fame. The action scenes in the trailer looked particularly powerful (and at this stage the trailer hasn't even been rendered in 3D).
"Martin likes his fighting up close and dirty", explains Reynolds. "As he himself says, it should be like a knife-fight in a phone booth".
Having said all that, the no-nonsense English director seems to be suitably enthralled by The Green Lantern concept, and has clearly put a lot of thought into the themes and emotion of the film, not just the bangs and whistles.
When asked what makes this movie different from the other (better recognised) super hero franchises out there, Campbell explained that The Green Lantern will have a special intergalactic element that we've not yet seen in a movie of this kind. "It will be part super hero movie, part space opera", he explained.
We'll have to wait until mid-next year in Australia to see whether Campbell's first foray into the superhero genre is a cracking success. But looking at the trailer today, we just may have something to get excited about.