As the Green Lantern film approaches the start of principal photography, details continue to filter through from casting to plot to the general direction of the project. In particular is the announcement that a major supervillain has been cast. Peter Sarsgaard has been announced as the actor to play the role of Hector Hammond, the mind-controller guy with a big head. As villains go, it is an unusual choice. Many had expected to see Sinestro playing a large part in the movie, but it seems that character will be given more room to develop over subsequent sequels and will appear to be a mentor in the first Green Lantern film. This leaves room for Hal Jordan to be the focus of the first movie and also the opportunity to introduce some bizarre villains, such as Hector Hammond.
A brilliant yet twisted mind drove Hector Hammond to take control of a strange meteor, using its power to control the will of several more gifted scientists who created an armory of weapons for him to use. After failing to defeat Hal Jordan in a battle of the minds, he exposed himself to the meteor and while his intellect grew, it also distorted his physiognomy, transforming him into a freak. Immortal and incredibly powerful, Hector Hammond is now unable to even move, his body merely a husk containing a staggering mind bent on domination over all mankind.
In addition to the casting of a supervillain, news is also coming out regarding the direction that the Green Lantern movie will take. iO9 reports that director Martin Campbell is determined to keep the film close to the source material but is also very aware of the threat of making the movie campy.
Director Martin Campbell was doing interviews for his new film Edge Of Darkness, and people got a chance to ask him about Green Lantern. Among other things: The film will stick closely to the origin story (the script we read was basically Emerald Dawn, minus the alcoholism). Campbell wants Peter Sarsgaard for Hector Hammond, one of the film’s villains, and Sarsgaard may be contracted already. Campbell wants a sense of realism in spite of the surreal-ness of a guy with a ring that can make green shapes, and he’s running every scene through a “cheese-meter.” And he doesn’t want it to be like most superhero movies, where people get knocked into brick walls and then get up unharmed to fight some more.
The film will be closer to Iron Man than Batman Begins in tone, and Hal Jordan will be “the sort of shoot from the hip, irresponsible kind of cocky test pilot.” His powers are psychological, based on willl, rather than coming naturally like Superman’s. Green Lantern will definitely go off to another planet (probably Oa.) And we’ll see the lanterns, as well as the Central Battery. Both Sinestro (Campbell wants Mark Strong to play this role) and Carol Ferris (Blake Lively) will be good guys in this movie, but you’ll be able to see the seeds of how they both become villains eventually.
Campbell, known for his work at reviving the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale, is certain to craft a memorable and exciting adaptation of the emerald guardian from comic to screen. I cannot wait to see the result. More as it comes.
Green Lantern is slated for a June 17, 2011 release.