Martin Campbell discusses the Future of “Green Latern” and James Bond

New Zealand-born director Martin Campbell is no stranger to franchise filmmaking.  Most famously, he rejuvenated the James Bond series on two separate occasions with two very different Bonds: first with Pierce Brosnan in 1995’s GoldenEye, then yet again with Daniel Craig in Casino Royale more than a decade later.  He also directed both The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro, but even those blockbusters are relatively small in comparison with Green Lantern, his first comic book movie.  At a press conference for the film, Campbell shared his thoughts not only on the future of Green Lantern, but also the Bond franchise and Warner Bros’ upcoming DC Comics projects.

The first cinematic adventure of Hal Jordan contains many an Easter Egg setting up possibilities for potential sequels, and Warner Bros is hoping to turn Green Lantern into a series of reliable blockbusters.  While many directors of a film like this one commit to multiple entries of a franchise, Campbell has opted not to return.  Asked if he is signed on for a trilogy, he answered, “No,” and explained, “I’ve only just finished this one.”

After creating an entire army of intergalactic Lanterns and the dense universe they inhabit while delivering appropriately epic summer movie action, the director is eager for a change of pace.  “I’m going to do a little film,” he said, laughing.

Though he won’t be returning for a second round of spacefaring superheroics, Campbell was very much conscious that he was creating a template for future installments. “This film has become the instruction manual if they do any further ones,” he explained in an interview last month.  “It’s what we call pipe laying.”

 

At the press conference, he confirmed that he has no intention of returning to helm any more Martini-sipping espionage with the James Bond series.  He was also asked about his feelings on Quantum of Solace, the Marc Forster-directed follow-up that quite directly continued where Casino Royale left off but was not nearly as well received.  “I thought it was lousy,” he responded.  “I thought the story was pretty uninteresting.  I didn’t think the action was, kind of, related to the characters and I just though overall it was a bit of a mess, really.”

Despite that, he is confident that the mysterious, still-untitled Bond 23 will exceed its predecessor.  He said, “Hopefully this next one will be worth it.  Sam Mendes is directing it and I’m sure it’ll be terrific.”

While Marvel Studios has been setting up the elaborate interconnected world of The Avengers and 20th Century Fox has rebooted the Merry Mutants with X-Men: First Class, Warner Bros has been more deliberate in their cultivation of their DC Comics heroes.  Campbell brushed off the notion that Warners is feeling pressure to compete.  “They want to get it right,” he said of the studio’s approach to the iconic comic book characters.

Not only that, but he also offered a quick update on Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises and Zack Snyder‘s Superman reboot, Man of Steel, saying, “They’re shooting Batman now, as you know, and Superman begins shooting in about six weeks or ten weeks.”

Those two DC movies won’t hit theaters until next July and December, respectively, but Martin Campbell‘s Green Lantern will debut in 3D this June 17th.  The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins, Temuera Morrison, Angela Bassett, and the voices of Michael Clarke Duncan and Geoffrey Rush.

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