Before the “The Green Hornet” screening last week, I was talking with It’s Just Movies owner Sean Gerski when he reminded of the time I was offered a featurette on the Black Beauty from “The Green Hornet” last year and how I thought he was talking about the “Green Lantern.” I asked why the Green Hornet needed a special car when he had a ring that could let him fly around.
You see, there are many orders of geek in the world and most of them don’t mix. I’m primarily a sci-fi techie geek and nerd, and therefore I didn’t spend much time reading comic books. I know the basics about the mainstream superheroes, and I knew the difference between Lantern and Hornet, I’d just buggered up.
He then floated the notion of how people may make that mistake and since Hornet dropped before Lantern, how would that translate in terms of reviews and sales
I hit the web, and in no time flat, I found plenty of articles for the complete and total rank amateurs who didn’t know the difference between the two. Movieline’s article from 2009 is the easiest to read, but is slightly dated. The New York Post did a very similar, shorter piece. The Movie Pool did an interesting head-to-head comparison in universe, kind of like a Star Trek vs Star Wars fight, but not nearly as hardcore.
“The Green Hornet” (top left) was a decent movie (save for Seth Rogen). It was very clear he was meant really to be the lovable conceited rich kid buffoon turned hero and he stepped in and truly acted the part, except a little worse. The supporting cast and Michel Gondry really stepped up and saved it from disaster. So what does this mean for the “Green Lantern” (pictured below)? Let’s walk through three scenarios — read “engage in highly speculative rumor mongering” — and see.
Mutually Exclusive Theory: In this scenario, people are able to differentiate the two movies to such a degree that they are not financially linked. In other words, just because Hornet wasn’t great doesn’t mean Lantern won’t be great either. “Lantern” will dominate the box, “Hornet” wasn’t more than a footnote. Another spin on that thought will be that people will realize that Ryan Reynolds is a better actor than Seth Rogen, and even if Reynolds tanks it, his Lantern should still be better than Rogen’s Hornet.
Tied Destiny Theory: Here, because “Hornet” probably didn’t drop the way the studios wanted, “Lantern” will be tainted by proxy because of the confusion. It will cause confusion up to and for a short time after “Lantern” is released. The question is: Will the damage that’s already be done be fixed quickly enough? If Lantern is completely awesome, then we move back to the mutually exclusive theory. If it’s anything less, this theory could very well kick in.
Vice Presidential Theory: Vice presidents are the most famous barely-known people in the country for the simple reason that they really don’t do squat. In fan terms, “Lantern” is the pres, “Hornet” the VP. In the end, no one will really care about “Hornet” aside from the fact that it wasn’t the best, but not terrible either. Had “Hornet” been a better film than it is, the positive word could have helped “Lantern,” but as it is, the best Warner Bros. can hope for is that “Lantern” shines, and everyone sort of forgets “Hornet.”
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