Ryan Reynolds is HollywoodÃ¢â¬â¢s newest superhero, as he prepares to star in next summerÃ¢â¬â¢s Green Lantern. This weekÃ¢â¬â¢s issue of Entertainment Weekly, which is the third annual Comic-Con Preview issue, takes a look at whether ReynoldsÃ¢â¬â¢ power ring (and his six-pack abs) can save the universe.
As he was propelled at 60 feet a second on a wire to create the illusion he can fly, Reynolds opens up about the perils of flying at high speed. Ã¢â¬ÅThe first time you do it, youÃ¢â¬â¢re deeply considering an adult diaper,Ã¢â¬Â he admits. HeÃ¢â¬â¢s spent countless hours training for elaborately choreographed fight scenes and maintained a monklike diet. Ã¢â¬ÅItÃ¢â¬â¢s all part of the job, so I guess I canÃ¢â¬â¢t complain,Ã¢â¬Â he says. Ã¢â¬ÅYou spend one day a week eating what you want and the other six days eating drywall and wood chips.Ã¢â¬Â
Since being created in 1940, Green Lantern has been one of the most beloved characters in the DC Comics stable of heroes, but beyond a hardcore audience of fanboys, heÃ¢â¬â¢s basically known as just a guy in a green suit with a magical ring. Ã¢â¬ÅGreen Lantern doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t enjoy the familiarity or renown of, say, Batman or Spider-Man,Ã¢â¬Â producer Donald De Line acknowledges. Ã¢â¬ÅWe have to make the movie stand on its own.Ã¢â¬Â
Figuring out the right way to bring the story to the screen wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t simple. In 2004, reports surfaced that a zany comedic take on Green Lantern was in the works, but fanboys didnÃ¢â¬â¢t like it and the project quickly died. Greg Berlanti, a comic-book fan and TV producer (Brothers & Sisters), wrote a screenplay and pitched Warner Bros. an outline for a grand trilogy. Ã¢â¬ÅI had to convince them this was the most valuable property they hadnÃ¢â¬â¢t tapped into and that it wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t just a cartoony thing about a guy with a magic ring,Ã¢â¬Â says Berlanti. Ã¢â¬ÅOf all the comic-book movies, there hadnÃ¢â¬â¢t been something with an Americana feeling on earth and an epic feeling in space.Ã¢â¬Â
Reynolds got hooked by the notion that power-ring slinging intergalactic do-gooder Hal JordanÃ¢â¬â¢s ring can conjure anything he dreams up. And the actor already had experience in the superhero realm, playing the acerbic Deadpool in X-Men Oirins: Wolverine and flirted with playing the Flash. Though a Deadpool spin-off is in development, Reynolds foresees no problem juggling two superhero characters. Ã¢â¬ÅGreen Lantern is a totally different bag of tricks,Ã¢â¬Â he says. Ã¢â¬ÅI wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t think twice about playing a cop in one movie and an FBI agent in another one.Ã¢â¬Â
With ReynoldsÃ¢â¬â¢ wife, Scarlett Johansson, playing Black Widow in the Iron Man franchise, he says, Ã¢â¬ÅWe have a lot of comic books lying around the house Ã¢â¬â more than the average young married couple.Ã¢â¬Â
The actor reflects on the burden of carrying a superhero movie on his shoulders: Ã¢â¬ÅThe pressure is all on me,Ã¢â¬Â he says. Ã¢â¬ÅI try not to think too much about that.Ã¢â¬Â He muses about the merchandising blitz that this summer tentpole movie will eventually unleash, a bonanza of green-hued products, each with his face plastered on it. Ã¢â¬ÅThereÃ¢â¬â¢ll be the Green Lantern hubcaps,Ã¢â¬Â he says drily. Ã¢â¬ÅThe Green Lantern terry-cloth onesie. The Green Lantern prostate check.Ã¢â¬Â For his part, thereÃ¢â¬â¢s just one souvenir he wants when itÃ¢â¬â¢s all over: Ã¢â¬ÅIÃ¢â¬â¢m definitely leaving with a ring,Ã¢â¬Â he says. Ã¢â¬ÅAnd maybe an ulcer.Ã¢â¬Â