In a move that indicates serious confidence in their June 17, 2011 tentpole, Warner Bros. have hired Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, who worked together on the upcoming “Green Lantern,” to pen a treatment for the sequel to that film, as well as for “The Flash” movie.
Neither of these are at the script phase and while it’s not “The Hangover 2” being nearly green lit two months before the original hit theaters, it is a bold move.
The idea is that the trio of scribes will map out treatments for both projects and then eventually go on to write the screenplay for one of the films.
A sequel to “Green Lantern” seems like a no-brainer as Marc Strong has already overtly said that his Sinestro character is not the main villain of the picture (that job falls on Peter Saarsgard as Hector Hammond) and in fact, doesn’t “go bad” until the end, leaving the door open for the logical sequel.
As for “The Flash” that project has had several false starts and Berlanti has long been involved, angling for a spot in the director’s chair though his experience stems from television and romantic comedies doesn’t make him seem like a likely candidate and no official word suggests WB has been hemming and hawing about that decision (we wouldn’t be surprised if he’s shot some test reels already to prove some tentpole mettle).
He’s been coy about his direct helming-role in the past, meaning that it’s his enthusiasm for these projects keeping his foot in the door all these years. Earlier incarnations of “The Flash” involved screenwriter David S. Goyer (“The Dark Knight”), director David Dobkin (“The Wedding Crashers”) and actor (and current Lantern) Ryan Reynolds, but none seemed to stick. For a long time, the approach seemed to be headed in a more comedic direction, and for awhile there we almost got a goofy “Flash” and a fish-out-of-water “Green Lantern” with Jack Black (thank god those never happened).
D.C. is seemingly pinning their hopes on ‘Lantern’ to introduce people to the wide D.C. universe, with cameos and references being added at the last minute — an early script we read had a Clark Kent appearance, but it did not feature late addition Amanda Waller, a major D.C. player featured in “Lantern” set to be portrayed by Angela Bassett (any reference to Superman has been now excised and you can bet with Christopher Nolan at the helm of the Kal-El story there will be no crossovers under his watch). The Waller character could easily become the Nick Fury of this particular universe, but hopefully WB/D.C. are already mindful of the potential pitfalls this crossover world has and how it poorly affected “The Avengers” long-form commercial otherwise known as “Iron Man 2.”
With “Green Lantern” hitting in 2011, followed by a 2012 of another “Batman” and “Superman,” it would seem like the “The Flash” and “Green Lantern 2” could be expected to arrive in 2013. If so, those are some lofty plans.
Not much is known about “The Flash,” though it’s been confirmed that WB are going with the Barry Allen incarnation of the scarlet speedster, which seems like a total no-brainer since he basically is he quintessential Flash character.
None of this means “Green Lantern 2” or “The Flash” might happen, mind you. Writers get hired all the time for speculative projects that never pan out, particularly superhero pictures — the prospect of a J. Michael Straczynski-penned “Silver Surfer” movie excited us until “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” underperformed and the project quietly died. And D.C. is nothing if not active in development for a number of their properties. Recent WB announcements suggest that “Wonder Woman” is also on their mind, though the feeble DVD sales of their straight-to-DVD animated “WW” offering slightly killed enthusiasm for that project, while “Aquaman” is also being tossed around with a straight face at WB headquarters. The studio also continues to develop second-tier properties like “Starman,” “Sgt. Rock,” “Lobo” and a “Mad Magazine” feature film. That’s a whole lotta eggs and a whole lotta baskets.