|Green Lantern, Production, wallpaper, poster, cover|
In early 1997, Warner Bros. approached cult filmmaker and comic book writer Kevin Smith, who had then just finished writing Superman Lives, to script a Green Lantern film. Smith turned down the offer, believing there were other suitable candidates to make a Green Lantern movie. Warner Bros. eventually changed the direction of the film into that of a comedy; by 2004, Robert Smigel had completed a script which was set to star Jack Black in the lead role. However, the studio dropped the comedy idea due to poor fan reaction on the Internet. In October 2007, Greg Berlanti signed to direct the film and co-write it with comic-book writers Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim. A draft of the trio's 2008 script, leaked on the Internet, revealed a story that included the hero's origin and included the characters Carol Ferris, Kilowog, Sinestro, and Guy Gardner in a cameo appearance, and appeared "to set up Hector Hammond as Hal Jordan's ... first major nemesis...." Shortly afterward, Guggenheim said that the script would contain characterizations inspired by the Denny O'Neil-Neal Adams run on the comic in the 1970s, and Dave Gibbons' work in the early 1980s. He added that he and his co-writers also looked to the 2000s Geoff Johns stories, saying, "It’s been interesting because we finished a draft just before [Johns'] 'Secret Origin' [story arc] started up. "So I’ve been reading 'Secret Origin' with a real interest in seeing 'OK, how did Geoff solve this problem?' There are certain elements just for anyone trying to retell Hal’s origin for a modern day audience has to address and grapple with. For example, why the hell was Abin [Sur] flying in a space ship when he's a Green Lantern? You don't ask that question back in the Silver Age, but when you're writing in the Modern Age, you have to answer these things."
By December 2008, the writers had written three drafts of the screenplay and Warner Bros. was preparing for pre-production. However, Berlanti was forced to vacate the director's position when Warner Bros. attached him to This Is Where I Leave You, and in February 2009, Martin Campbell entered negotiations to direct. The release date was set as December 2010, before being moved to June 17, 2011.
Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds, Justin Timberlake and Jared Leto were the producers' top choices for the starring role in July 2009. On July 10, Warner Bros. announced that Reynolds had been cast as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. A website reported on January 7, 2010, that a crew-member had written on her blog that the film was greenlit the day before and that filming would begin in 10 weeks. Also in January, Blake Lively was cast as Carol Ferris, Peter Sarsgaard was in negotiations to portray Hector Hammond, and Mark Strong was in negotiations to play Sinestro. In February, Tim Robbins joined the cast as Senator Hammond. The following month, New Zealanders Temuera Morrison and Taika Waititi had joined the cast as Abin Sur and Tom Kalmaku, respectively.