- Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 November 2013 06:30
- Written by Lupe Haas
Go behind the scenes of GREEN LANTERN starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively with everything you wanted to know about the production in the notes from the DC Comic book adaptation.
In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, an elite, powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. Warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him the ability to create anything his mind can imagine. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds).
Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal’s humanity is one weapon no member of the Corps has ever had, and if—with willpower, determination and the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively)—Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will save the Earth and all of mankind from certain destruction.
Bringing the enduringly popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, “Green Lantern” stars Ryan Reynolds in the title role, under the direction of Martin Campbell. Campbell directed the film from a screenplay by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim and Michael Goldenberg, story by Greg Berlanti & Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim, based upon characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.
The film also stars Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”) and Academy Award® winner Tim Robbins (“Mystic River”), as well as Temuera Morrison, Jay O. Sanders, Jon Tenney and Taika Waititi. Also featured are the voice talents of Oscar® winner Geoffrey Rush (“Shine”) and Oscar® nominee Michael Clarke Duncan (“The Green Mile”).
The film was produced by Donald De Line and Greg Berlanti. Herbert W. Gains and Andrew Haas served as executive producers, with Lucienne Papon and Geoff Johns co-producing.
The film’s behind-the-scenes creative team is led by a number of Academy Award® winners, including director of photography Dion Beebe (“Memoirs of a Geisha”), production designer Grant Major (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), and costume designer Ngila Dickson (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), as well as Oscar®-nominated editor and longtime Campbell collaborator, Stuart Baird (“Gorillas in the Mist,” “Superman”). The film’s visual effects were overseen by Oscar® nominees Jim Berney (“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”) and Kent Houston (“The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”), and Karen Goulekas (“Spider-Man”) and John “DJ” DesJardin (“Watchmen”). The music is by Oscar®-nominated composer James Newton Howard (“Defiance”).
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, a De Line Pictures production, “Green Lantern.” Opening in 3D and 2D on June 17, 2011, the film is being distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
At the edge of space, a war has been raging between those who rule with fear, and those who protect life: the Green Lantern Corps. And when one great warrior is lost, another must be chosen. This time, for the first time, one of us will become one of them. “I was so thrilled to be bringing Green Lantern to the big screen at last,” director Martin Campbell states, “because, to me, he is one of the most exciting and interesting superheroes in all of comics.
First off, he’s a human being, and has a lot of character flaws, so on that level, he’s totally relatable. But he also gets to go to other worlds, so his adventures have infinite potential.”
One of the things that has always set Green Lantern apart from most superheroes—and one of the elements that has made him so popular—is that, by the very nature of the Corps, his job takes him to the farthest reaches of space.
“Superhero movies are meant to capture our imagination in some of the most impossible ways,” says Ryan Reynolds, who takes on the title role. “To that end, Green Lantern is a perfect character to bring to the movies because he really has it all—action, adventure, humor and humanity.”
Producer Donald De Line affirms, “Going in, we were all very excited, knowing that today’s filmmaking technology would allow us to bring Green Lantern to the screen in a way that would showcase the fun, fighting and fantastical escapades in great detail and epic scope.”
Blake Lively, who stars as Carol Ferris, offers, “We’ve got explosions and fights and trips to outer space and back, but I love that the movie also has a great sense of fun and a hint of romance about it. And the Corps should appeal to women, too—representing virtually every species of alien imaginable, it’s definitely not a men’s-only club.”
Audiences who are new to Green Lantern might not be aware that Hal Jordan is only one of a force of thousands, all of whom have the title of Green Lantern.
Mark Strong, who stars as one of their leaders, Sinestro, was drawn to the film’s thematic issues. “I’m intrigued by the notion of the balance between fear and will. This is a story about what you can achieve, and overcome, if you put your mind to it, and it’s told in a really dynamic, electrifying way.”
“I think people love to see characters who have the courage to go up against the forces of evil on a grand scale, and not succumb, but become, that hero we all wish we had inside of us,” Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Hector Hammond, attests.
“I’ve wanted to write a superhero film for a very long time,” writer and producer Greg Berlanti says. “I grew up loving comic books. As a kid I found Green Lantern so thrilling because he’s one of the few who goes off-planet. He was plucked from here and brought amongst the stars to protect the Earth, so for me and my friends, he represented real wish fulfillment. Through those stories, we got to see the entire universe.”
These words complete the Green Lantern oath—the vow taken by each of the Lanterns in the cosmos who have sworn to serve and protect—words that aficionados of the character have known by heart for years, and that moviegoers will hear for the very first time this summer when they are spoken by new inductee, Hal Jordan.
“The oath is extremely important,” Campbell says. “It has always been part of Green Lantern lore and when we first hear it in the film, it’s a pivotal moment. Hal’s just been given the ring and the lantern, and he doesn’t know what either of them means, until they come together and draw the oath out of him, and his voyage of discovery begins.”
For the uninitiated, the oath, along with the lantern and ring, are the outward tools that provide a Green Lantern his powers; with them and with his own strength of will, he can create or do anything his mind can envision.
The character goes back over 70 years, first appearing in All-American Comics in 1940, and evolving over time. The Green Lantern Corps is a federation assigned to police the 3,600 sectors in the universe, overseen by an ancient race of immortals called the Guardians, who reside on the planet Oa. Most Lanterns are aliens, but of the six Earthbound members in DC Comics’ history (Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Kyle Raynor and Jade), Hal is arguably the most popular.
In 1959, writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane created Hal Jordan under the guidance of editor Julius Schwartz, reintroducing the character of Green Lantern to the world in Showcase #22, and earning their own title, Green Lantern, the following year. Unlike his more mystically bent predecessor, this new Green Lantern was a little more “sci-fi” as a member of an intergalactic police force comprised of numerous alien species, each with a ring that gave them extraordinary mental and physical abilities. Broome and Kane also created several of the main characters in Hal’s life who appear in the film, including Carol Ferris and Tom Kalmaku, and some of Hal’s family members.
After many years away from the Corps, Hal was brought back in 2005 by writer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan van Sciver, in the miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth and in the subsequent ongoing title. Their work reignited an interest in the comic that had been missing for some time, and garnered them both critical and commerical success.
Johns, a self-described hardcore comic book fan since his youth and a co-producer on the film, felt the re-launch was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. “Prior to Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal Jordan was actually dead and buried and the Green Lantern Corps was no more. There was only one ring left,” he says. “When I took on the book, I really wanted to bring back the epic tales of Green Lantern and the Corps, and their role in the greater DC universe at large.”
As the readership grew, Johns decided to go back and tell Hal’s story “from an emotional point of view, and in a modern-day context.” The result was 2008’s publication Green Lantern: Secret Origin. “I created a storyline for new readers that related what made Hal who he is and how he became a member of the Corps.”
At the same time that Johns was penning Origin, the filmmakers were developing the motion picture, with Johns’ previous writings providing a good deal of inspiration.
“Our film is the Hal Jordan origin story,” De Line says. “In telling it, we wanted to be faithful and true to the spirit and the canon of Green Lantern, and Geoff’s body of work provided an ideal place to start.”
Just starting at the beginning, however, was not the only task at hand for writers Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green. “Unlike Superman or Batman, who most people are familiar with, Green Lantern isn’t part of the everyday vernacular…yet,” Green smiles. “We wanted to hold the audience’s hand and guide them as they got to meet this great character and see a place like Oa for the first time.”
Guggenheim was equally motivated. “I’m a huge comics fan going all the way back to before I could even read, and Green Lantern was one of the books I grew up with. He’s the first superhero I can remember, and he always remained a cool and provocative character for me. I couldn’t wait to bring his story to the screen.”
“What I find so unique about Green Lantern is that his abilities ultimately depend on the power of his imagination,” screenwriter Michael Goldenberg says. “Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but there’s just something incredibly attractive about that.”
Something else the writers found enticing about the project was the copious amount of research it required. “The most fun homework you could ever have—sitting around reading comics all day,” Green enthuses.
Crafting the screenplay, the writers had to delve into decades’ worth of adventures. Says Guggenheim, “We had to be like archaeologists of the mythos and draw out what we thought was the best tale to tell.”
“What was most important to everyone was to show on the page the genuine respect we feel for the source material,” echoes Goldenberg. Berlanti, too, felt the responsibility of bringing this particular character, with his specific abilities, to life.
“When you have a character with the power to make real anything he can conceive of, to literally whip up anything that comes to mind, you have to make it thrilling,” he acknowledges, “and more and more so as the story goes on. I believe that, between what we came up with and what Martin and the actors and the effects teams have done with it, it should make for a pretty fun ride for audiences.”
Just as Hal Jordan is chosen as the first human to wear the ring, Ryan Reynolds, as the first actor to bring Green Lantern to the big screen, knew he’d have an entire legion of fans looking to him to live up to the oath. He didn’t let the parallels get to him as he relished playing the dual role of irreverent, high-flying Hal Jordan and his superhero-in-training counterpart.
"What I love about Hal is that there’s nothing extra-ordinary about the guy,” Reynolds says of the Corps’ unwitting draftee. “Of course, he’s not necessarily your average human being, in terms of what he does for a living, but for the most part, he’s not an exceptional example of his species. He’s just a guy, and a fairly irresponsible one at that, though there are, of course, reasons for his reckless behavior.”
Those reasons stem back to his youth, but have remained unresolved—purposely ignored, really—until a little self-examination is forced upon him when out of nowhere he’s chosen for this higher calling.
Throughout the course of the film Hal will have to look a little deeper into himself, but when this gift is initially bestowed upon him, all he can really think besides, “Wow, how cool is this?” is, “Why me?”
Though Hal may wonder why the ring chose him, “Why him?” was never a question the filmmakers asked themselves in casting Reynolds for the part.
“Ryan is a superb actor,” Campbell says. “He also physically looks the part, is charming, funny, and has a great sense of decency. I knew he could easily pull off both the undisciplined, shoot-from-the-hip maverick that is the Hal we first meet, and the fearless and focused fighter he’ll have to become if he’s to save the day. Ryan did it all; his performance really sets the tone for the movie.”
“Hal is kind of a man-child,” De Line observes. “In a lot of ways, he’s never really grown up, due in part to losing his father when he was only 11. So he has a lot to overcome if he’s to get past those childhood fears and be the hero that everyone needs him to be. Ryan played all of those layers so well. You really feel what Hal is going through, and how it’s affecting him, at every moment.”
Perhaps Hal’s most transforming moment comes when he recites the Green Lantern oath for the first time.
Reynolds remarks, “He’s not really even cognizant of what he’s saying, it just sort of comes out of his mouth, almost unbeknownst to him.”
Both Campbell and Reynolds were very careful about how those integral lines would be portrayed. “Actually saying the oath for the first time was a little nerve-wracking,” the actor reveals, “because it’s something that a lot of people know inside-and-out, so I tried to handle it with kid gloves. The next time Hal says it, he understands the weight behind the words and that they’re part of his arsenal, so it needed a completely different approach.”
“I felt that the way to do those scenes was not to go all ‘Shakespeare’ or ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’” Campbell adds, “but to honestly give it the import that the character’s mythology required. Each time, we treated it as just part of the scene, and I think it worked beautifully.”
If Hal’s new identity as Green Lantern comes as a surprise to him, it’s a complete shock to his lifelong friend and sometime lover, Carol Ferris. A fellow test pilot, Carol has always been by-the-book, enabling her to move up in the ranks at her father’s company, Ferris Aircraft, making her now…Hal’s boss.
“Hal and Carol have a bond that goes back to when they were kids,” Reynolds relates. “There’s a great deal of history there, both good and bad. There are moments when they’re like magnets flipped the wrong way, pushing off one another, but you can always tell there’s something pulling them together, too.”
Blake Lively, who plays the part of the go-getter pilot-turned-businesswoman, offers, “Carol and Hal have an interesting dynamic, and Ryan and I had that same sort of playful banter.”
“Blake and Ryan had great chemistry right off the bat,” De Line confirms. “They really hit it off and I think that translated nicely onto the screen, whether the characters are in the heat of passion or the heat of battle.”
Lively adds, “Regardless of what they might have felt, or feel, for each other, Hal and Carol have always butted heads. She’s no damsel in distress. Like Hal, she’s a test pilot, and now that she’s about to inherit her father’s company, she’s in a position to really question him. And even after this unbelievable thing happens to him, she challenges him as much as he challenges her. If he can’t believe in himself, she’ll believe in him enough for the both of them. She’s not about to let him walk away from this amazing opportunity.”
“Carol is the alpha female in the film, and she really helps to enrich the story’s emotional spine,” Campbell asserts. “She’s strong and capable and responsible—everything Hal is not when we first meet him. And Blake truly combined all those qualities in a completely natural way. She was just great.”
The third-wheel in Hal and Carol’s longstanding on-again, off-again relationship is Hector Hammond. Hector grew up with them and was a friend, but was always on the outside looking in, having both a desire for Carol and a desire to be Hal. Brilliant but forever failing to meet the unrealistic expectations of his father, he has become a professor at a community college, whose specialty is even more obscure than he is: xenobiology.
Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Hector, found the different facets of his character to be intriguing. “I was very interested in the world,” he recalls, “and in terms of the character, it was like, ‘choose your adventure.’ I immediately felt that there were at least 50 different ways that I could play this guy, and to me, that’s really motivating. He lives alone, has a terrible relationship with his father and no other real connections to speak of, but he seems strangely content in his misery, until everything…changes.”
A devotee of the idea of life on other planets, Hector is presented with the chance of a lifetime when government officials show up at his door and ferry him off to a secret bunker to examine a body—an alien corpse, to be exact, and the first to ever be found on Earth. But Hector’s shining moment proves to be far more dangerous than he could ever imagine when, despite every precaution, he’s exposed to the greatest evil the universe has ever known: Parallax.
After coming into contact with Parallax, Hector begins to develop powers of his own. Just as Hal’s will is empowered by the color green, Hector’s eyes glow yellow as he draws strength from the fear of others. Always viewing Hal as a rival and Carol as unattainable, Hector’s newfound confidence begins to bring the worst out in him.
“All hell breaks loose,” Sarsgaard continues, “but for Hector, it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to him.” And, he adds, a uniquely enjoyable experience for him, as well. “This was pretty wild for me—stuff I’ve never done before. It was such a catharsis for Hector, finally being able to do whatever he wants, and it was really liberating for me, too.”
“Even though he’s ultimately a villain, Hector is really sort of tragic, and the way Peter played him, he manages to evoke your sympathy,” Campbell says. “He’s an actor who savors playing the kind of role where he can completely transform into a complex, intriguing and even dark character, and Hector offered him that opportunity.”
Hal has a different kind of adversary in Thaal Sinestro, the leader of the Green Lantern Corps, who mourns the loss of fallen Lantern Abin Sur as strongly as he questions the choice of Hal to take his place; although, according to everything he knows, the ring never makes a mistake.
Sinestro is one of only two humanoid aliens portrayed by an actor, albeit under heavy prosthetic makeup. Cast in the role is Mark Strong, who says, “He’s a very hard task master, but it’s all done for the right reasons; he’s totally committed to the cause,” Strong justifies. “He genuinely believes in the Corps and that they can keep peace in the universe.”
Part of Sinestro’s skepticism with regard to Hal’s capabilities stems from his feelings about the human race, which he deems too young, arrogant and unexceptional to be part of the Corps. “He doesn’t think humans are worthy, so he is extremely dismissive of Hal, thinking him bound to be the weak link. Of course, a lot of those feelings exist because he doesn’t think Hal can ever live up to the memory of his former colleague, mentor and friend.”
“Mark Strong brought so much gravitas to the role of Sinestro,” De Line says. “Every time the camera rolled, he had great presence and commanded total attention and respect, which is precisely what was called for.”
Assisting Sinestro in introducing Hal to the Corps are Tomar-Re, who greets Hal upon his arrival on Oa, and Kilowog, Hal’s combat training officer. Both characters were computer-generated, based on motion capture performances by stuntmen Dorian Kingi and Spencer Wilding, with Geoffrey Rush and Michael Clarke Duncan lending their distinctive voices to the respective roles.
“Geoffrey’s voice was perfect for Tomar-Re,” Campbell declares of the actor’s ability to bring alive the Xudarian, who appears to be a cross between a bird and a fish. “He brought a sense of warmth to the rather cerebral character, who is the first to encounter Hal on Oa and who helps him get his bearings.”
An alien encounter of a very different kind comes when Hal is introduced to Kilowog, a towering, ogre-like Lantern who instantly begins putting Hal through his paces.
“Kilowog is a fan favorite, and Michael’s sonorous intonation, with just a hint of humor, felt like a natural pairing,” Campbell says. “You can hear just the slightest bit of delight in his voice when he’s yelling at Hal and throwing him against the wall.”
Induction into the Corps can only come when the ring of a fallen Lantern chooses its replacement. Abin Sur, an esteemed leader, is attacked by Parallax and, as he is dying, sends his light out to find the next Green Lantern, who turns out to be Hal. The brief but key role of Abin Sur was played by New Zealander Temuera Morrison.
One of the only people Hal entrusts with the knowledge of his newfound powers is his flight navigator and closest confidant, Tom Kalmaku, played by another New Zealand native, Taika Waititi. Hal calls Tom after Abin Sur bequeaths the lantern and ring to him, and the two are barely out of sight before a government helicopter arrives to investigate the alien wreckage. The body of Abin Sur becomes the responsibility of Dr. Amanda Waller, played by the venerable Angela Bassett.
“Amanda Waller is a brilliant scientist who holds a pretty high government position,” Bassett says. “She shares Hector Hammond’s interest in alien life forms but understands that, despite her elevated status, she’s required to bring in someone who’s more of a specialist in that area.”
Hector Hammond is honored, if a bit confused, by Waller’s request for a humble biology teacher’s input on the autopsy, feeling, perhaps for the first time, some respect for his expertise—something he’s never received from his father, Senator Robert Hammond.
Tim Robbins plays the pompous politician. “Growing up, my favorite comic book was The Flash,” he admits, “but I did love Green Lantern, and I’ve gotten more and more into him over the years. He’s a really exceptional superhero. The imagination soars when you consider what he can do—if he wants a chainsaw, he can have a chainsaw; if he wants to fly, he can fly, and not only in this atmosphere, but in outer space as well.”
Portraying somewhat better examples of paternal correctness are Jon Tenney as Hal’s idolized dad, Martin Jordan, and Jay O. Sanders as Carol’s father, Carl Ferris, who is preparing to hand over the reigns of Ferris Aircraft to his daughter.
“We really had a world-class cast all the way down the line and including, of course, our wonderful voice talent,” Berlanti says. “We were so fortunate to have such an exciting combination of actors to play these roles.”
De Line concurs, “Our cast was truly ideal for this film, and the performances that Martin got from them were beyond my greatest expectations. I look forward to seeing the audiences’ reactions when the characters they’ve loved for so long finally come to life on screen.”
Lively says, “When I first sat down with Martin to talk about the story and my character, his enthusiasm made me really excited to be a part of this movie. Now, after being on set, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone work as hard as he does. That level of commitment makes everyone around him that much better.”
“Martin has such a distinct vision for big, adventurous filmmaking like this, you can’t help but be swept away with the possibilities,” Reynolds states. “I knew he was gonna light this thing on fire, and that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to be there.”
As with every superhero movie, the “Green Lantern” filmmakers knew that the fans’ greatest concern was likely to be the visual representation of the world they know and love from the comics. Campbell and his creative team, led by production designer Grant Major, set out to make every location from Coast City to Oa, and each character from Abin Sur to Sinestro, just right. To that end, they took pains to faithfully recreate every detail and to enhance the imagery for the big-screen experience.
Co-producer and Green Lantern specialist Geoff Johns declares, “The first time I saw the production art, what they planned to do with the Corps and Oa and the Guardians, I was blown away. It was exactly what anyone who loves Green Lantern would dream of; my dreams for the film were realized when I saw it.”
One of the oldest planets in the galaxies, the fictional Oa serves as headquarters for a race of omniscient humanoids who have dubbed themselves the Guardians of the Universe, a supreme court of sorts, who supervise the Green Lantern Corps. Oa also holds the Central Battery, the source of all energy, including the energy for the Green Lantern rings.
“Think of the universe as a sphere divided into 3,600 sectors,” Johns explains. “Each sector is a kind of pie wedge, all pointing to Oa.”
“Even though Oa is completely digital,” Campbell says, “the design had to be organic and believable. And because it is alien, it couldn’t be Earth-like in any way; the only thing from Earth would be Hal, when he arrives there. Everything else had to be fantastical, while at the same time plausible.”
Major felt one of his tasks was “to make audiences believe that they were on Oa, going through this discovery with Hal. It had to have gravity and weight. We didn’t want it to feel like being in a dream, but rather like an alternate reality.”
The production designer relied on the film’s researcher and resident comic book expert, Ozzy Inguanzo, who compiled everything the filmmakers would need to know to design the film.
“I immersed myself in over 50 years of Green Lantern comics,” Inguanzo says, “I worked hard to respect the integrity of the source material and to get even the smallest details into the film, for the diehard fans, and I now include myself among them.”
“It was critical to have someone on our team who was aware of everything Green Lantern, and Ozzy was terrific from the word ‘go,’” Major says.
Once the overall look of Oa was established, two areas of the planet’s vast terrain had to be created: the Citadel, where the Guardians reign; and the Great Hall, where Hal and the audience would get to see the gathering of the entire Lantern federation—and where avid readers of the comics will recognize many of their favorite members of the Corps.
Those integral set pieces would ultimately be accomplished through CGI; however, Major’s design team did construct large-scale models of each set to serve as reference points for Campbell’s staging of the scenes. The visual effects team then turned the sets into a virtual reality, where the action unfolded.
In addition to the otherworldly places, the effects team was also charged with bringing to life thousands of otherworldly characters, including Tomar-Re, Kilowog and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps.
One of the most prominent characters was the Corps’ most formidable adversary, Parallax, who was entirely computer-generated.
“It was critical to convey the scope of Parallax’s power and malevolence, because his entire existence depends on inducing fear,” says John “DJ” DesJardin, who served as a supervisor for the film’s numerous visual effects.
Back on Earth, the film would require a number of practical sets as well, which were achieved entirely in and around New Orleans. Major’s teams designed and built both Hal’s and Hector’s apartments, the latter of which Major describes as “the type of space that he probably had as an undergraduate student, but never really left, so there are layers upon layers of his quiet, introverted life all around him.”
They also built Ferris Aviation’s office suite, which was influenced by the art deco terminal at the area’s Lakefront Airport; a party sequence dance floor and stage, for which the production actually utilized the airport exterior itself; and the steely underground bunker laboratory where Hector autopsies the body of Abin Sur, inspired by a visit to NASA and a massive building which houses fuel tanks for the space shuttles.
On a much smaller, but no less significant, scale, Major’s art department was also responsible for the design of two iconic props for the story: Hal Jordan’s ring and lantern.
Although they’d been careful to adhere closely to the comics for most of the film’s design work, Major wanted the lantern to take its cue from the script. “I wanted it to be a bit mysterious, and to look like it originated from Oa,” the designer shares. He and key concept illustrator Fabian Lacey, to whom Major credits the final look, drew inspiration for a portion of the lantern from the Fresnel lens, devised in 1823 by the French physicist and engineer of the same name.
“The whole sense of willpower being part of the emotional spectrum, and green representing that particular emotion on the color spectrum, became a component of the lantern, which reflects something of a prismatic lens motif,” Major illustrates.
Property master Andrew Petrotta took the final design and created eight copies out of resin, four battery-powered and four electric, each approximately 13 inches high and weighing about eight pounds. He then antiquated them by applying scarring and dark coloring, making them look as though they’d been through battles for eons.
Several ideas were worked through for the Green Lantern power ring, which also incorporated the prism motif. Each one was tried on Ryan Reynolds’ hand, to ensure that the size and shape and fit were just so. The actor’s opinion was important as they wanted him, like Hal, to feel powerful wearing it, as though he could wield the ring as a weapon.
After a period of trial and error, costume designer Ngila Dickson hit on what became the final look, a perfect balance of power and masculinity. The ring was made from brass,
with nickel plating, while the green stone, which carries the Green Lantern symbol, was made from dyed resin, with the intent that it, like the lantern, appear to be a relic from Oa.
Campbell states that “because the ring is one of the most powerful weapons in our ‘world,’ and such an important part of who Green Lantern is, it was definitely worth the extra effort to get it right.”
In addition to her contribution to the ring design, it was, ironically, Ngila Dickson who suggested that the movie’s most vital costume—the Green Lantern suit—be fashioned in the computer instead of on a sewing machine. Therefore, the suit would be created by the visual effects team in post production.
Though she wouldn’t physically manufacture the ensemble, Dickson did provide the blueprint—with a little help. She explains, “The first thing I did was run to the local comic book store to do the research.”
Knowing she would need to maintain the basics of the uniform—the symbol, the green and black colors—she nevertheless had some ideas about doing things differently. “I wanted to reinvent that wheel a little. So I thought of the suit being organic in nature.”
Dickson was inspired by old anatomy drawings she had found by 16th-century illustrator and anatomist Vesalius. “That was a gift,” she says, “and from there I found my way forward.”
“Ngila came up with the idea of going back to the physiology of the body,” Campbell offers. “It’s in the character’s DNA; it’s essentially a second skin that follows his own musculature, not something he slips on from the outside.”
Having never executed her craft in the computer world before, Dickson took the leap, initially creating a 3D digital model from which to work. “From that, I completely understood the costume and was confident that we could make it happen,” she says.
“I am so glad that Ngila didn’t choose to go the traditional route, because her ideas were exactly what this character and this film needed,” Berlanti affirms. “And they came at just the right moment—as technology finally caught up with design—and we could render this kind of costume successfully.”
Thus Ryan Reynolds, Mark Strong and Temuera Morrison would have to spend much of their days during production in motion capture suits or, as Reynolds affectionately put it, “a gun metal gray outfit that made me look like a crash test dummy. ‘Skin-tight bodysuit’ and ‘kicking ass’ are words that don’t normally go together, but once you see how it finally looks with all the muscle fibers, almost like a human body without the skin on, I had to admit it was pretty ingenious.”
“There was a lot of teasing about the lovely onesies with dots and crosses all over them,” Dickson recalls, “but they were good sports.”
Reynolds also wore a number of markers on his face to track his facial expressions and dimensions for the mask that would be digitally applied later on.
From the costumes to the energy constructs created by the Corps, the primary color of the entire production was, naturally, green, presenting a challenge to director of photography Dion Beebe and his team. Beebe relates, “Green is a tough color, and not one that sits well on the human face. Therefore, in our tests, we concluded that the green energy in the story needed to be more of an aura…something in the atmosphere that instead plays across the face.”
Strong and Morrison had a great deal more than a bodysuit and dots to contend with: several hours in the makeup chair each day, as they were transformed into the aliens Sinestro and Abin Sur.
Despite the time it took to get him into character, Strong says, “Part of what I loved about playing Sinestro was his incredibly strong look. And whether it’s accents, wigs, costumes, whatever, I love the opportunity to disappear into a part.”
Prosthetic makeup department head Joel Harlow and his team began the process by working on maquettes, which allowed them to test various textures and skin colors. “We ended up using a tattoo color called French Quarter Fuchsia, which I thought was appropriate considering we shot the movie in New Orleans.”
“The work Joel and his group did was crucial to the depiction of these characters, who looked almost like they stepped right out of the comic books. Every single detail was realized to the nth degree,” Campbell says.
Peter Sarsgaard’s character, Hector Hammond, makes his own physical transformation on-screen over the course of the film, including an ever-more grotesquely misshapen cranium that pulses as evil overtakes him. Three different prosthetic makeups were applied to the actor, representing the different stages of his “infection” by Parallax.
Despite the extreme heat and humidity of the New Orleans summer, Sarsgaard was often required to wear the prosthetics, weighing at times up to 12 pounds, for up to 13 hours at a time. The production made sure to help alleviate his discomfort by bringing in a body worker to apply cold compresses to his arms and legs to keep his body temperature down. Also, the on-set medic utilized a machine, frequently employed by NASA and the NFL, designed to cool the body’s core temperature via the hands.
As a test pilot, flying is a big part of Hal Jordan’s life. As Green Lantern, it’s even bigger—and better.
“I know that going up in a fighter jet sounds pretty phenomenal, but I have a deep fear of flying,” Ryan Reynolds confesses. “So in that respect, I was sort of shadowing Hal’s story by having really no choice but to overcome my fear.”
Reynolds found himself off the ground quite a lot during production…in more ways than one. “Believe it or not, I was actually excited to do the high wire work,” he says. “I’ve done it before and I love that stuff.”
The first time Hal is transported to Oa, he is essentially shot through space. So was Reynolds—and without a rehearsal. Campbell set up the shot using a stuntman, then filmed Reynolds’ first attempt in order to capture his—and Hal’s—naturally terrified reaction.
“We filmed the sequence in downtown New Orleans, using cables and a 95-foot crane,” Reynolds remembers. “They fired me up into the air with the cameraman attached just above me. I think the rate of speed was around 60 feet-per-second, so it was a real quick ride, maybe three seconds, tops. It was probably the scariest experience of my life, but it was also pretty amazing.”
“A lot of flight in superhero movies has traditionally been done on a soundstage, against a greenscreen, but we really wanted to try to make it more realistic, to do as much as possible in a real environment,” stunt coordinator Gary Powell says. “It helped that Ryan was very willing to do anything we could allow him to do.”
To prepare the actor for all the wire work, Powell suggested that his trainer focus on activities like trampolining, which develop core strength. “You see a lot of guys that can lift huge amounts of weight, but you put them on wires for like five minutes and all of the sudden they’re done,” he grins. “It’s all about the core.”
Campbell and Powell discussed the style of flight that Hal, as Green Lantern, would naturally assume. “He’s a fantastic test pilot, so we asked ourselves, ‘If someone like that suddenly had the ability to fly unaided, how would he do it?’” Powell says. “We thought that he’d probably fly like he flies his plane—super fast, with a lot of barrel rolling and so on. So that’s what we tried to do.”
Powell also choreographed the fight sequences that occur throughout the film, both on Earth and on Oa, taking into account the extensive visual effects. Reynolds was not the only one who had to undergo training for the film’s exciting action sequences. Blake Lively also had to prepare to be suspended in mid-air on a Matrix rig for a scene in which Carol is in the grip of Hector’s telekinetic powers.
“We put Blake in this rig and spun her around; she was a really good sport,” Powell comments. “There’s a lot of trust involved when you’re asking an actor to do some of these stunts—whether it’s hanging from a wire or shooting up into the sky—but everyone was really eager to do whatever they had to do to get it right.”
“Everyone pushed themselves to the limit because we knew that, being the first Green Lantern movie, we wanted to exceed our own ambitions for the film and, at the same time, satisfy the fans who have been waiting so long for their favorite hero to come to the screen,” Greg Berlanti says. “And we knew if we did our job right, the movie would produce new Green Lantern fans around the world.”
“There’s a reason we all love superheroes so much,” Ryan Reynolds says. “They’re inspiring and they do these unbelievable things, but in many ways, they’re just like us. I remember seeing ‘Superman’ with my dad, and I spent the next few years wishing I was Superman. That’s a feeling you never forget. And now, I really get to say, ‘I am Green Lantern.’ Pretty incredible.”
Donald De Line states, “The audience will enter a whole new world when they see this movie. It will take them from Earth all the way to the center of the universe and back. With big action, a great story and fascinating characters, it’s pure entertainment.”
Martin Campbell concludes, “Green Lantern is a fantastic hero who was made to be seen in a way that’s larger than life. The story is involving and emotional, not to mention very funny. It’s everything we wanted it to be, and we believe audiences will think so, too.”
ABOUT THE CAST
RYAN REYNOLDS (Hal Jordan/Green Lantern) has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after leading men. He was recently named the Male Star of the Year at this year’s CinemaCon.
“The Change Up,” co-produced by his production shingle, Dark Trick Films, releases August 5th. Reynolds stars alongside Jason Bateman in the film, which follows a married man who switches bodies with his best friend in order to woo his co-worker. In “Safe House,” set for release in February, Reynolds plays a young CIA agent, opposite Denzel Washington, who must move a criminal to a secure location.
Reynolds received accolades for his recent performance as a contractor buried alive—and the only actor to appear on camera for the duration of the film—in the independent mystery/thriller “Buried,” which premiered at the Sundance film festival last year. Other films which had a successful release following Sundance debuts include Greg Mottola’s “Adventureland,” for which Reynolds shared a 2009 Gotham Awards Best Ensemble Cast nomination, and John August’s critically acclaimed “The Nines,” in which he starred opposite Hope Davis.
His other recent films include the comedy hit “The Proposal,” opening #1 and grossing over $300 million worldwide, in which Reynolds stars opposite Sandra Bullock; and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which grossed $365 million worldwide, with an all star cast including Hugh Jackman.
Among Reynolds’s previous films are critic darling and fan favorite “Definitely, Maybe,” in which he portrays a soon-to-be divorced parent with a questionable sexual past; Marcos Siega’s complex drama “Chaos Theory,” as a man who finds out not only is he sterile but his child is not his own; Joe Carnahan’s “Smokin’ Aces”; and the remake of the classic cult film “The Amityville Horror,” which opened #1 at the box office and made $107 million worldwide.
In November 2007, Reynolds ran the New York City Marathon in honor of his father, who has long suffered from ravages of Parkinson's disease, raising more than $100,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, on whose Board of Directors Reynolds serves.
BLAKE LIVELY (Carol Ferris) was named Breakthrough Performer of the Year at CinemaCon this year. Lively most recently starred alongside Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner and
Ben Affleck, in “The Town,” also directed by Affleck. She will next be seen in “Hick,” opposite Alec Baldwin and Juliette Lewis, set for release next year, and will soon start production on Oliver Stone’s new film, “Savages.”
She first gained the attention of critics and audiences with her first starring role, in the 2005 hit “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” for which she earned a Teen Choice Award nomination for Best Breakthrough Performance. In 2008, she reprised her role in the sequel, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.”
Lively’s additional film credits include the comedy “Accepted,” with Justin Long and Jonah Hill; the independent feature “Elvis & Annabelle,” for which she won the Newport Film Festival Award for Breakout Performance; and the indie drama “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee,” in which she starred with Keanu Reeves, Robin Wright Penn, Julianne Moore and Alan Arkin for writer/director Rebecca Miller; On the small screen, Lively is best known for her starring role on the popular CW series “Gossip Girl,” which entered its fifth season this fall.
PETER SARSGAARD (Hector Hammond) first received wide acclaim for his role as John Lotter, the tormenter and rapist in Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry,” opposite Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny. He later earned both a Critics’ Choice Award nomination and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his supporting role alongside Liam Neeson and Laura Linney in Bill Condon’s ”Kinsey.” His portrayal of New Republic editor Charles Lane in Billy Ray’s “Shattered Glass,” garnered Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor, as well as awards from the Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Toronto and National Society of Film Critics. In 2009, he received rave reviews for his role in Lone Scherfig's Oscar®-nominated Best Picture, “An Education,” alongside Dominic Cooper, Emma Thompson, Alfred Molina and Carey Mulligan.
Sarsgaard has just completed a critically acclaimed Anton Chekov run. He first starred opposite Kristin Scott Thomas and Carey Mulligan on Broadway in “The Seagull,” and next opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal off-Broadway in “Uncle Vanya.” Most recently, Sarsgaard again starred opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal in Chekov’s “Three Sisters,” which has been nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway.
Sarsgaard’s other credits include “Knight and Day,” opposite Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz; Jaume Collet-Serra's “Orphan”; Isabel Coixet's “Elegy,” which co-starred Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz; Bertrand Tavernier's “In the Electric Mist,” alongside Tommy Lee Jones; Gavin Hood's “Rendition,” with Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal; “Year of the Dog”; Sam Mendes’ “Jarhead”; “Flightplan,” opposite Jodie Foster; “The Dying Gaul”; “Garden State,” starring Zach Braff and Natalie Portman; “The Skeleton Key,” with Kate Hudson and Gena Rowlands; and his motion picture debut, Tim Robbins’ Oscar®-winning “Dead Man Walking,” alongside Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.
Sarsgaard attended the Actors Studio Program at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, after which he was cast in the off-Broadway production of Horton Foote’s “Laura Dennis” at the Signature Theatre Company.
MARK STRONG (Sinestro) will next be seen opposite Gary Oldman in September in the cold war thriller “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” He also lent his voice to Pixar’s “John Carter of Mars,” and stars alongside Freida Pinto and Antonio Banderas in Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 1930’s drama “Black Gold,” both set for release next year.
Among Strong’s previous film credits are Kevin MacDonald’s Roman epic “The Eagle,” Peter Weir’s fact-based drama “The Way Back,” with Colin Farrell; Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood,” and “Body of Lies”; Matthew Vaughn’s “Kick-Ass” and “Stardust”; Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes,“ “RocknRolla,” and “Revolver”; “The Young Victoria,” opposite Emily Blunt; Pete Travis’ Apartheid drama “Endgame”; “Good,” with Viggo Mortensen; “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”; Stephen Gaghan’s “Syriana”; Roman Polanski’s “Oliver Twist”; and “Fever Pitch,” with Colin Firth.
Born in London, Strong first pursued a law degree in Germany before returning home to study English and Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London. He then attended the Bristol Old Vic, which led to an eight-year apprenticeship on the English stage. Dividing his early years between the theatre and television, his first big break came when he won the role of Tosker Cox in the 1994 BBC2 miniseries “Our Friends in the North.”
Strong has since become a familiar face on British television, earning a BAFTA TV Award nomination for Best Actor for his role in the 2004 BBC2 telefilm “The Long Firm.” He also appeared as then-Inspector Larry Hall in ITV’s “Prime Suspect 3” in 1993 and, ten years later, reprised the role of Detective Chief Superintendent Larry Hall in “Prime Suspect 6.” His many television credits include “Sharpe’s Mission”; ITV’s presentation of Jane Austen’s “Emma”; the BBC telefilms “Trust” and “Fields of Gold”; Channel 4’s “Falling Apart”; the PBS miniseries “Anna Karenina”; “Low Winter Sun”; and the Pete Travis-directed projects “The Jury” and “Henry VIII.”
An accomplished stage actor, Strong has appeared in London’s West End in such plays as Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman”; the debut of Patrick Marber’s “Closer”; Kevin Spacey’s production of Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh”; David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow”; and the Sam Mendes-directed productions of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” and Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” earning an Olivier nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the latter. His stage work also includes “The Treatment” and “The Thickness of Skin” at the Royal Court Theatre; and the Royal National Theatre productions of “Richard III,” “King Lear,” “Napoli Milionaria,” “Fuente Ovejuna,” “Murmuring Judges,” and “Johnny on a Spot,” as well as numerous repertory theatre productions.
ANGELA BASSETT (Doctor Waller) is perhaps best known for her powerful portrayal of Tina Turner, opposite Laurence Fishburne, in the biopic “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” which earned a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama, an Academy Award® nomination, and her first NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture. Bassett has since been honored with numerous nominations for the Image Award and won nine.
Bassett most recently starred as heiress Claudine Watson, opposite Paula Patton, in the wedding-themed comedy “Jumping the Broom,” revolving around two African-American families from opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. She will soon be seen as CIA boss Collins, alongside Chris Pine, Tom Hardy and Reese Witherspoon in McG’s action/romantic comedy “This Means War,” which follows two best friends and international spies who fall in love with the same woman. She also plays the role of Martha, a Vassar-educated, Bronx-tough, Special Agent in charge of the elite FBI Identity Crimes Unit in ABC’s new drama pilot “Identity.”
The New York City native began her career on stage after completing her studies at the Yale School of Drama. Her stage credits, on and off Broadway, include “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Colored People’s Time,” “Henry IV, Part I,” “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” “Antigone,” Pericles,” and Black Girl.” She returned to the stage in 1998 to star opposite Alec Baldwin in “Macbeth” at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in New York and most recently won rave reviews for her work opposite Fishburne in August Wilson’s “Fences” at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Bassett made the successful crossover to film when she appeared in a small but rich role as the ambitious single mother in John Singleton’s “Boyz N the Hood,” which marked her first collaboration with Fishburne. She also starred opposite him in the more recent critically acclaimed “Akeelah and the Bee.”
Among Bassett’s many other films are “Notorious”; Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns”; “Nothing But The Truth”; “Giancarlo Esposito’s “Gospel Hill”; “Mr. 3000,” with Bernie Mac; John Sayles’ “Sunshine State,” “Passion Fish” and “City of Hope”; “The Score,” alongside Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando; “Boesman and Lena”; “Supernova”; “Music of the Heart,” with Meryl Streep; “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”; Robert Zemeckis’ “Contact,” opposite Jodie Foster; Terry McMillan’s “Waiting to Exhale”; Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days,” with Ralph Fiennes; Mario Van Peebles’ “Panther”; “Vampire in Brooklyn,” alongside Eddie Murphy; and Spike Lee’s acclaimed biopic “Malcolm X,” opposite Denzel Washington. She lent her voice to the character of Mildred in Disney’s animated hit “Meet the Robinsons,” based on the successful children’s book of the same name by William Joyce, and was heard as Michelle Obama on “The Simpsons.”
Bassett also received Emmy nominations for performances in PBS’ “Storytime” and “The Rosa Parks Story”; a Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for “Ruby’s Bucket of Blood”; and had recurring roles on the hit series “Alias” and “E.R.”
TIM ROBBINS (Hammond) has a long list of notable credits as an actor, director, writer and producer of films and theater.
For his performance in Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River,” Robbins received the Oscar®, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® for Best Supporting Actor. He has also been honored with numerous Best Actor accolades, including the Golden Globe Award and Cannes Film Festival Award for his role in Robert Altmans’ “The Player”; a Golden Globe nomination for “Bob Roberts”; and a SAG Award® nomination for Frank Darabont’s “The Shawshank Redemption.”
Robbins received an Oscar® nomination for Best director as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay for “Dead Man Walking,” which he also produced. The critically acclaimed film won multiple awards including the Academy Award® for Best Actress for Susan Sarandon, the Christopher Award, the Humanitas Award and four awards at the Berlin Film Festival.
His directorial debut, “Bob Roberts,” won the Bronze Award at the Tokyo International Festival and awards for Best Film, Director and Actor at the Boston Film Festival. He went on to distinguish himself with “Cradle Will Rock,” which he also wrote and produced. The film garnered awards for Best Film and Director at the Sitges Film Festival in Barcelona and the National Board of Review Award for Special Achievement in Filmmaking in the United States.
Among Robbins’ other film roles are Isabel Coixet's “The Secret Life of Words,” Philip Noyce's “Catch a Fire,” Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” The Coen Brothers’ “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Steven Spielberg's “War of the Worlds,” Mark Pellington's “Arlington Road,” Michael
Winterbottom’s “Code 46,” Michel Gondry’s “Human Nature,” Tony Bill's “Five Corners, Adrian Lyne’s “Jacob’s Ladder” and Ron Shelton’s “Bull Durham.”
As a playwright, Robbins has been produced in London, Paris, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. His 2003 play, “Embedded,” sold out for over four months at the Public Theater in New York before playing the Riverside Studios in London and embarking on a National Tour in the U.S. From 2006 until the present, Le Petit Theatre de Pain's production of “Embedded” has been touring France, most recently playing at the Theatre du Soleil in Paris. In the U.S., “Embedded” also saw productions staged in Chicago and Tampa Bay. His most recent play, “Break the Whip,” the first of a trilogy exploring the beginnings of the United States, was recently performed to sold-out audiences at the Actors Gang Theater in Los Angeles.
He also serves as Artistic Director for the Actors’ Gang, a theater company formed in 1982 with over 80 productions and more than 100 awards to their credit. Most recently, he directed the Actors Gang in their shockingly relevant and wildly successful adaptation of George Orwell's “1984,” which, for the past four years, has toured to over 40 states and four continents. Robbins is also very proud to sponsor educational arts programs with the Actors Gang for students in the L.A. area as well as L.A. inmates.
In addition, Robbins’ stage adaptation of “Dead Man Walking” has been performed in over 140 universities nationwide. Rights are exclusive to educational institutions until 2014 and to perform the play they must commit to offer courses on the death penalty.
Born in West Covina, California and raised in New York City's Greenwich Village, Tim Robbins lives where his hat drops and is the father of three independent and mischievous young adults.
TEMUERA MORRISON (Abin Sur) came to the attention of American audiences playing Jake, an abusive husband and father, in “Once Were Warriors,” for which he was awarded the New Zealand Film Award (NZFA) for Best Performance in a Dramatic Role. He received his second NZFA for Best Actor for reprising the role in “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?” Morrison most recently appeared opposite Ray Winstone in the British-New Zealand action thriller “Tracker,” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and on Starz’ hit television series “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.”
He previously worked with Martin Campbell in “Vertical Limit,” opposite Chris O’Donnell. Morrision’s other film credits include “Couples Retreat,” starring Vince Vaughn and John Favreau; playing bounty hunter Jango Fett in George Lucas’ “Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith”; “Six Days Seven Nights,” opposite Harrison Ford; Jan De Bont’s action thriller “Speed 2: Cruise Control”; “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” starring Marlon Brando; and “Barb Wire,” with Pamela Anderson.
JAY O. SANDERS (Carl Ferris) has performed on stage and in more than 100 film and television roles over a career spanning 30 years. He is known for such diverse characters as Dan’s biker buddy Ziggy on the hit sitcom “Roseanne,” mob lawyer Steve Kordo on Michael Mann’s “Crime Story” and chief federal investigator Lou Ivon in Oliver Stone’s “JFK.”
Among his other feature film credits are Martin Campbell’s “Edge of Darkness,” Sam Mendes’ “Revolutionary Road,” Roland Emmerich’s “The Day After Tomorrow,” the Sundance films “Half Nelson” and “Tumbleweeds,” Wes Craven’s “Music of the Heart,” Gary Fleder’s “Kiss the Girls,” “Angels in the Outfield,” Ed Zwick’s “Glory,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” and Martin Ritt’s “Cross Creek.”
Sanders is joining the cast of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” in its last season and previously guest starred on the series. He was briefly a regular on “After MASH” and also made guest appearances on “Law & Order,” “Northern Exposure,” “Spencer: For Hire,” “The Outer Limits,” and “L.A. Law.” Among his telefilm credits are CBS’ “The Day Christ Died”; TNT’s “Cold, Sassy Tree,” opposite Faye Dunaway and Richard Widmark; portraying real-life political prisoner Terry Anderson in “Hostages,” opposite Kathy Bates and Colin Firth; and his first role, in PBS’ “The Scarlett Letter.”
He also lent his voice to the Emmy-award winning PBS series “Wide Angle,” over 20 episodes of the popular “NOVA” series, and more than 80 audio books, including best selling titles by Joseph Heller, Pat Conroy, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Thomas Rockwell, William Gibson, Tony Hillerman and Joyce Carol Oates.
Sanders made his 1976 off-Broadway debut in Shakespeare in the Park’s “Henry V,” followed by “Measure for Measure,” both featuring Meryl Streep, and spent the next two years performing in D.C.’s Arena Stage and San Francisco’s A.C.T. productions. He appeared in the New York premiere of Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child” and debuted on Broadway three years later, opposite Kevin Kline, in Michael Weller’s “Loose Ends.” Highlights of his long theatre career include Broadway roles as Dunois, alongside his wife, Maryann Plunkett, in “St. Joan”; Alfred Doolittle to Clare Danes’ Eliza in “Pygmalion”; as George W. Bush in David Hare’s “Stuff Happens” and Richard Apple in Richard Nelson’s
“That Hopey Changey Thing” at the Public Theater; and Sir Toby Belch in “Twelfth Night,” opposite Anne Hathaway.
The Austin, Texas native graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase and made his 1979 feature film debut in Alan Pakula’s “Starting Over.”
JON TENNEY (Martin Jordan) currently plays FBI Agent Fritz Howard, opposite Kyra Sedgwick, on TNT’s hit drama series “The Closer,” for which he has shared four Screen Actors Guild Award® nominations for Best Ensemble Cast.
His most recent features include the critically acclaimed film “Rabbit Hole,” alongside Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart; the action fantasy “Legion” and thriller “The Stepfather.” He also stars opposite Josh Lucas and James Cromwell in the independent drama “A Year in Mooring,” which premiered at this year’s South by Southwest film festival.
Tenney launched his film career as leading man Michael in the 1993 drama “Watch It.” Among his other credits are “Fools Rush In”; “Tombstone,” opposite Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer; Oliver Stone’s “Nixon”; “Music from Another Room”; “With Friends Like These”; “The Phantom”; “Lassie”; Kenneth Lonergan’s Sundance Festival Grand Prize winner “You Can Count on Me,” alongside Laura Linney and Matthew Broderick; and Albert Brooks’ “Looking for Comedy In The Muslim World.”
Born in Princeton, New Jersey, Tenney is a graduate of Vassar with a double major in drama and philosophy. After studying at Juilliard, he joined the national touring company of Tom Stoppard's “The Real Thing,” directed by Mike Nichols. His notable Broadway and off-Broadway stage credits include the Tony Award winning revival of “The Heiress”; Beth Henley's “Impossible Marriage,” with Holly Hunter; as Mitch in Mitch Albom's highly-acclaimed “Tuesdays With Morrie”; Neil Simon's “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues”; A.R. Gurney's “Sweet Sue,” opposite Mary Tyler Moore and Lynn Redgrave; John Patrick Shanley's “Beggars in The House Of Plenty”; and John Guare's “Chaucer In Rome” and “A Shayna Maidel.” He was also a member of the original cast in both New York and Los Angeles of Jon Robin Baitz's “The Substance of Fire.” While playing the title role in an off-Broadway production of “Tartuffe,” he was cast in Terrence McNally's “Up in Saratoga,” which subsequently led to the lead role in “Romeo and Juliet” at San Diego’s Old Globe. His performance came to the attention of producers of the TV hit “Murphy Brown,” who cast Tenney as Miles' older brother Josh, launching his television career.
He has been a series regular on many TV shows, including a recent critically acclaimed five episode arc on ABC’s series “Brothers and Sisters”; “Get Real,”; “Equal Justice”; and Steven Bochco's “Brooklyn South.” He also starred opposite Brendan Fraser in the Showtime movie “Twilight of the Golds.”
TAIKA WAITITI (Tom Kalmaku) is a writer, director, actor, and visual artist from New Zealand with a long history of performance in theatre, film and television.
He recently wrote, directed and starred in “Boy,” his second feature, which has become New Zealand’s highest grossing local film of all time. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, going on to win the Generation Grand Prix at the 2010 Berlinale, and awards at the Maui, Sydney, Melbourne and AFI Film Festivals.
Among Waititi’s other film and tv roles is “Eagle vs Shark,” which is the first feature he penned and also helmed. The script was work-shopped at the prestigious Sundance Institute Directors Lab and the film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
On stage, his comedy duo Humourbeasts, with Jemaine Clement, won the 1999 Billy T Comedy Award.
His additional writer/director credits include the 2005 short “Two Cars, One Night,” which was nominated for an Academy Award®, and the short “Tama Tu,” which made the Oscar® shortlist and garnered many festival prizes worldwide. He wrote and directed multiple episodes of the TV series “Flight of the Conchords” and “Super City,” and most recently directed the pilot for MTV’s new series “The Inbetweeners.”
Waititi is of Te-Whanau-a-Apanui descent and grew up on New Zealand’s East Coast and in Wellington, attending Victoria University as an arts student. With a strong background in painting and photography, Waititi has spent many years presenting his work in various mediums, including mixed media, book and album illustration, exhibiting in both New Zealand and Berlin.
In 2006, Waititi was made a New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Laureate and, in 2010, he was invited to Doha, Qatar to present a TEDx talk on his approach to creativity in different mediums.
GEOFFREY RUSH (Voice of Tomar-Re) has won multiple international awards and acclaim, appearing in over 70 theatrical productions and more than 20 feature films since his start on stage in Australia.
Catapulted to fame with his starring role in Scott Hicks' feature "Shine," Rush received worldwide accolades, including an Academy Award® for Best Actor, as well as Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild®, Australian Film Institute (AFI) and BAFTA Awards. His memorable performance also garnered international critical acclaim, winning the Film Critics’ Circle of Australia Award, Broadcast Film Critics, and New York and Los Angeles Film Critics’ Awards. Rush went on to earn an Academy Award® nomination for his performance in Philip Kaufman’s “Quills,” and Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations for his role in “Shakespeare in Love.” His captivating performance as the title character in HBO’s “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” won Rush an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award®. His supporting role in Tom Hooper’s 2011 Academy Award® winning historical drama “The King’s Speech” garnered Rush BAFTA and British Independent Film Awards, and a SAG Award® shared with the cast. In addition, he received Oscar® and Golden Globe Award nominations, as well as another SAG Award® nomination for his role. Numerous critics’ associations bestowed acclaim on Rush as well, including an award from the National Society of Film Critics. Another supporting role in Rachael Perkins’ “Bran Nue Day,” premiering at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, also received critical praise, including a nomination for the 2011 Critics Circle of Australia Award.
Rush recently reprised his starring role opposite Johnny Depp in the fourth installment of the popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” blockbusters, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” having appeared in all three previous films in the franchise, which have grossed more than $2.7 billion worldwide. In September, he will be seen starring opposite Judy Davis and Charlotte Rampling in Fred Schepisi’s “Eye of the Storm,” based on Patrick White’s novel.
In 2009, Rush won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Play for his acclaimed performance as the ailing king in Ionesco's comedy “Exit the King.” Previously, his life’s work in the theatre was acknowledged with the prestigious Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award. A principal member of Jim Sharman’s pioneering Lighthouse Ensemble in the early 1980s, Rush played leading roles in many classics. He was honored with the Sydney Critics Circle Award (SCCA) for Most Outstanding Performance for his role in Neil Armfield’s “The Diary of a Madman,” as well as the Variety Club Award for Best Actor and the 1990 Victorian Green Room Award. He also received SCCA Best Actor nominations for his starring roles in Gogol’s “The Government Inspector,” Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” and Mamet’s “Oleanna.”
Rush received a degree in English at the University of Queensland, and studied at the Jaques Lecoq School of Mime, Movement and Theater in Paris. Returning to Australia, his early roles included starring in the theatre production of “King Lear” and alongside Mel Gibson in “Waiting for Godot.” His other film credits include “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole,” “Munich,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “Candy,” “Intolerable Cruelty,” “Finding Nemo,” “Ned Kelly,” “Lantana,” “Frida,” “The Tailor of Panama,” “House on Haunted Hill,” “Mystery Men,” “Les Miserables,” “A Little Bit of Soul,” “Children of the Revolution,” “On Our Selection,” “Twelfth Night,” “Oscar and Lucinda” and “Starstruck.” He is also the voice of God in ABC’s comedy series “Lowdown.”
MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN (Voice of Kilowog) received numerous accolades, culminating in an Academy Award® nomination, for his unforgettable performance in Frank Darabont’s 1999 drama “The Green Mile.” He has subsequently been seen and heard in a long list of diverse roles.
Duncan will star in his first full-time TV role in the new drama series “The Finder,” on FOX. He also has several films upcoming, including the independent horror thriller “The Sibling,” with Mischa Barton, and the sports drama “From the Rough,” starring Taraji P. Henson.
His recent film work includes Mario Van Peebles’ independent drama “Black, White and Blues,” which he starred in and co-produced; the actioner “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li”; the comedy “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins”; the drama “Slipstream,” Anthony Hopkins’s directorial debut, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival; Bob Shaye’s “The Last Mimzy”; the hit NASCAR comedy “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” starring Will Ferrell; and “School for Scoundrels.”
Duncan has also lent his unmistakable deep voice to such projects as “Kung Fu Panda,” “Racing Stripes,” “Brother Bear,” “Delgo,” “Dintopia: Curse of the Ruby Sunstone,” “George of the Jungle 2,” and both “Cats & Dogs” and “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.”
His other film credits include Michael Bay’s “The Island”; Robert Rodriguez’s “Sin City”; “D.E.B.S.”; “Daredevil,” opposite Ben Affleck”; “The Scorpion King,” opposite Dwayne Johnson; Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Apes”; “See Spot Run”; “Bulworth”; “The Player’s Club”; “A Night at the Roxbury”; and “The Whole Nine Yards,” opposite Bruce Willis.
He had earlier teamed with Willis on Michael Bay’s blockbuster “Armageddon,” and it was Willis who suggested Duncan to Frank Darabont for the pivotal role of John Coffey in “The Green Mile.” Duncan earned widespread acclaim for his portrayal of the condemned gentle giant in the film adaptation of the Stephen King novel, and, in addition to his Oscar® nod, received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award® nominations, and won a Critics’ Choice Award, a Saturn Award and a Black Reel Award. Duncan was also recognized as ShoWest’s Male Star of Tomorrow.
Duncan’s television credits include guest-starring roles on the hit shows “Two and a Half Men,” “Chuck,” “Family Guy,“ “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Weird Science,” “Married With Children” and “The Wayans Bros.”
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
MARTIN CAMPBELL (Director) is considered one of the industry’s premier action filmmakers. His resume includes two landmark James Bond films, “GoldenEye” and “Casino Royale,” each of which introduced audiences to new actors in the role of Ian Fleming’s iconic British spy: Pierce Brosnan in the former, and Daniel Craig in the latter. “Casino Royale” earned nine BAFTA nominations, including the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film.
In addition to bringing the legendary 007 to the screen in two distinct features, Campbell also returned another celebrated action hero to the motion picture screen in two movies—that of Zorro, embodied by Antonio Banderas, in the 1998 hit “The Mask of Zorro” and the 2005 sequel, “The Legend of Zorro.”
A native of Hastings, New Zealand, Campbell began his career in London as a cameraman for Lew Grade’s ATV company. He went on to produce the controversial British feature “Scum,” as well as “Black Joy,” which was screened in competition at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival, earning a nomination for the fest’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or.
He launched his directing career on the British police action series “The Professionals,” and continued in the director’s chair with the popular BBC series “Shoestring” and Thames TV’s “Minder.” By the mid-1980s, with his reputation well established as one of the UK’s top directors, he helmed two highly praised British productions, the Emmy-, BAFTA- and Golden Globe Award-nominated “Reilly: Ace of Spies,” and “Edge of Darkness,” the critically acclaimed BBC miniseries that won six BAFTA Awards, including a Best Series honor for Campbell. The BBC program inspired his most recent feature film of the same name, starring Mel Gibson.
After his stellar work on British TV, Campbell moved into feature films with his Hollywood debut on the 1988 thriller “Criminal Law.” He went on to direct two more movies, “Defenseless” and “No Escape,” before helming “GoldenEye” in 1995. With a new actor, Pierce Brosnan, in the role, Campbell was credited with rejuvenating the long-running franchise with global box office grosses exceeding $350 million. In 2000, he directed and produced the mountaineering adventure “Vertical Limit,” which was both a critical and commercial hit, earning over $200 million worldwide.
Some of Campbell’s additional American credits include HBO’s “Cast a Deadly Spell,” and two episodes of the acclaimed NBC police drama “Homicide: Life on the Street.” He also directed the epic romantic drama “Beyond Borders,” starring Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen.
DONALD DE LINE (Producer) has collaborated with outstanding talent on both sides of the camera during his more than 20 years in the movie industry. He is currently developing a wide range of upcoming film projects under his De Line Pictures banner, headquartered at Warner Bros Pictures.
De Line scored his first major hit as a producer with the 2003 heist thriller “The Italian Job,” starring Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron and Edward Norton. De Line’s prior films include Ridley Scott’s “Body of Lies,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, and John Hamburg’s “I Love You, Man.” De Line’s latest release was “Yogi Bear,” a live-action/CG animated adventure starring the voices of Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake, which has currently grossed over $200 million worldwide.
In addition to his producing career, De Line held positions as a studio executive, serving as President and Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures, and President of Touchstone Pictures. During De Line’s tenure, Touchstone’s films grossed in excess of $2.5 billion worldwide and garnered an impressive 24 Academy Award® nominations.
Among the films he oversaw at Touchstone were “Pretty Woman,” “What About Bob,” and “Father of the Bride” and its sequel. Also under his aegis was Ron Howard’s “Ransom,” the Oscar®-nominated biopic “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore,” Tim Burton’s critically acclaimed “Ed Wood,” and the worldwide blockbuster “Armageddon.”
GREG BERLANTI (Producer/Screenwriter) most recently directed the romantic comedy “Life as We Know It,” starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, which grossed over $100 million worldwide. In 2000, Berlanti made his directorial debut with the indie feature “The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy.”
As a writer, director and producer, Berlanti is the force behind several of the most inventive and acclaimed television series, including ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters,” “No Ordinary Family,“ “Dirty Sexy Money,” and “Eli Stone,” for which he was nominated for a Writers Guild America Award. He began his career in television as a writer and executive producer on “Dawson's Creek” before going on to create and executive produce two of the WB's most critically acclaimed dramas, “Everwood” and “Jack & Bobby.”
MICHAEL GREEN (Screenwriter) is a longtime writing partner with fellow “Green Lantern” scribes Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim.
The Mamaroneck, New York native landed his first writing job on the award-winning HBO series “Sex and the City.” The show’s breakout success launched Green onto the writing staffs of numerous network television shows, including “Cupid,” “Smallville,” and Berlanti’s “Everwood” and “Jack & Bobby.” This was followed by his work as a writer and co-executive producer on NBC’s Emmy-nominated “Heroes,” for which Green shared an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Drama Series and a Writers Guild nomination for New Series, both for the 2006 season.
Green was also the creator and executive producer of NBC’s recent drama series “Kings,” which starred Ian McShane, based on the biblical story of King David. He is presently serving as co-creator and executive producer of “The River,” a new thriller series for ABC.
A frequent contributor to DC Comics, Green is the author of the graphic novel Batman: Lovers and Madmen, and has been a regular writer for their ongoing comic series Superman/Batman.
MARC GUGGENHEIM (Screenwriter) is both a comic book scribe and a film and television writer, having written for such shows as “The Practice,” “Law & Order,” “CSI: Miami” and “Brothers & Sisters,” among others. Guggenheim, along with fellow “Green Lantern” writer Greg Berlanti, created the TV series “Eli Stone”; the pair earned a Writers Guild of America nomination for its pilot episode.
Before scripting his own career change, the Long Island, New York native worked in Boston as an attorney. With an added interest in writing, he penned a romantic comedy script that led to interest in his writing. He made the move west to pursue his newfound craft, with “The Practice,” ABC’s long-running legal drama, marking his first professional writing job.
As his Hollywood career flourished, he went on to serve as a writer/producer for “Law & Order,” “Jack & Bobby” -- where he first met colleague Berlanti -- “CSI: Miami” and “In Justice,” also serving in various producing capacities on these programs. Most recently, he scripted and executive produced several episodes of ABC’s new fantasy-drama series “FlashForward” and, with Berlanti, wrote the ABC superhero series “No Ordinary Family,” serving as executive producer on the pilot.
On the comic book scene, Guggenheim first served as an intern at Marvel in 1990, coloring an eight-page Iceman/Human Torch story while there. In 2005, he started writing comics on a regular basis, starting with Aquaman for DC Comics and Wolverine and The Punisher for Marvel. He’s gone on to write over 100 comics, including Blade, Young X-Men, The Flash—which concluded with the death of the fourth Flash, Bart Allen—The Amazing Spider-Man and, most recently, Justice Society of America. He’s also launched his own creator-owned comics, Resurrection for Oni Press and Halcyon, published under his Collider Entertainment imprint at Image Comics.
Guggenheim also writes video games, including “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” based on the film of the same name, and “Singularity,” both for which he received WGA nominations for Best Videogame Writing in 2009 and 2010, respectively. He also adapted Stephen King’s novel N into a comic book format. Most recently, he co-wrote the 2011 feature-length video release “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.”
MICHAEL GOLDENBERG (Screenplay) previously penned “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth in the Harry Potter film series, the most successful motion picture franchise of all time.
Prior to that, he co-wrote P.J. Hogan’s live-action feature “Peter Pan,” based on J.M. Barrie’s classic children’s tale. He had earlier scripted Robert Zemeckis’ science fiction drama “Contact,” based on the novel by Carl Sagan and starring Jodie Foster, for which he earned a Humanitas Prize nomination.
Goldenberg made his feature filmmaking debut writing and directing the romantic drama “Bed of Roses,” starring Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Goldenberg also writes for the theater, where he received the Richard Rodgers Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his musical “Down the Stream.”
HERBERT W. GAINS (Executive Producer) most recently served as executive producer on Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” and Neil Jordan’s “The Brave One,” starring Jodie Foster.
He previously produced the horror thriller “The Reaping,” starring Hilary Swank and was a producer on Michael Tollin’s poignant sports drama “Radio,” with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris.
His additional executive producer credits include “House of Wax,” starring Elisha Cuthbert and Chad Michael Murray; the 2004 romantic comedy “Little Black Book,” with Brittany Murphy; “Cradle 2 The Grave,” starring Jet Li and DMX; Jake Kasdan’s comedy “Orange County”; “Hardball,” starring Keanu Reeves and Diane Lane; and “Summer Catch,” starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jessica Biel.
Gains counts among his co-producing credits “Varsity Blues,” with James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight and Amy Smart; “Ready to Rumble”; and Rob Cohen’s “Daylight,” starring Sylvester Stallone.
A production manager for such films as “The Negotiator” and “Mouse Hunt,” he had earlier worked as an assistant director on a variety of films, including “Natural Born Killers,” “Heaven & Earth,” “Point Break,” “Pacific Heights,” “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” “Dirty Dancing” and “The Fan.”
ANDREW HAAS (Executive Producer) is a proud Gator who grew up in Miami and attended the University of Florida. Post graduation, Haas moved to Los Angeles, earned a J.D. from Whittier Law School and began his pursuit of a film career. He took a position as an assistant to Donald De Line, then president of Touchstone Pictures. Soon after, De Line moved over to Paramount as a producer and brought Haas with him. As a newly minted creative executive, Haas oversaw several projects, including “Without a Paddle,” which he shepherded from initial pitch through production, serving as the film’s executive producer. When De Line was subsequently named president of Paramount, he tapped Haas as vice president of production for the studio. During his stint, Haas brought in the project that ultimately became the Academy Award® Best Picture nominee “The Fighter.”
In 2005, Haas rejoined forces with De Line Pictures. Currently he is President of Production for the company. He recently served as executive producer on Eric Brevig’s animated hit “Yogi Bear,” featuring the voices of Justin Timberlake and Dan Aykroyd; “I Love You, Man,” starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel and directed by John Hamburg; and Jody Hill’s “Observe and Report,” starring Seth Rogen. Haas is also developing several projects for Warner Bros., including the comedies “The Jetsons” and “Beginner’s Greek.”
LUCIENNE PAPON (Co-Producer) is currently a producer and production executive for Martin Campbell Productions, where she oversees the development and production of film and television projects for the company. She served as a co-producer on “Edge of Darkness,” starring Mel Gibson and, as an executive, supervised “The Legend of Zorro,” starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and “Casino Royale,” starring Daniel Craig, which grossed over $590 million worldwide. Her other company credits include work on “Beyond Borders,” with Angelina Jolie, and the television show “10-8: Officers on Duty.”
Prior to Martin Campbell Productions, Papon worked at Intralink Film and Graphic Design, where she contributed to marketing campaigns for “Charlie’s Angels,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Band of Brothers,” and the HBO original series “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.” She began her entertainment career working for producer/director Chris Moore, then with a first-look deal with Miramax. Projects she helped develop included “Joy Ride,” the second sequel to “American Pie” and the “Project Greenlight” series for HBO.
Papon was a Morehead Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa graduate at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She earned an MFA from UCLA’s Producers Program, where she won the Gil Cates Fellowship and was awarded the first annual Debra Hill Fellowship by the Producers Guild of America; she is now a guest speaker and thesis committee member of the program. She is also an alumnus of the Film Independent Producer’s Lab, a former Film Independent Fellow and a current member of Film Independent, Women in Film and Smarty LA.
GEOFF JOHNS (Co-Producer) was named Chief Creative Officer of the newly formed DC Entertainment in February 2010, and is one of the most prolific and popular of contemporary comic book writers. He has written highly acclaimed stories starring Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Teen Titans and Justice Society of America, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling graphic novels Blackest Night, Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns, Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War, Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come and Superman: Brainiac.
Johns was born in Detroit and studied media arts, screenwriting, film production and theory at Michigan State University. After moving to Los Angeles, he worked as an intern and later an assistant to Richard Donner, working with the legendary director on such movies as “Lethal Weapon 4” and “Conspiracy Theory.”
He began his comics career creating and writing Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. for DC Comics. Johns received the Wizard Fan Award for Breakout Talent of 2002 and Writer of the Year for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. He won the Spike TV Scream Award for Best Comic Book Writer in 2010, and has also been nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award for Best Writer.
Johns has also written for various other media, including the acclaimed “Legion” and “Absolute Justice” episodes of the long-running TV series “Smallville,” and for the fourth season of “Robot Chicken.” He was also a writer on the animated feature “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights” for Warner Home Video, as well as the story for the DC Universe™ Online massively multiplayer action game from Sony Online Entertainment LLC.
DION BEEBE (Director of Photography) won the 2005 Academy Award®, as well as BAFTA, Australian Film Institute and A.S.C. honors for his camerawork on Rob Marshall’s drama “Memoirs of a Geisha.” The film marked Beebe’s second collaboration with filmmaker Marshall, the first being 2002’s Best Picture Academy Award® winner, “Chicago,” for which Beebe scored his first Oscar® and BAFTA nominations. He collaborated with Marshall again on the lavish film musical “Nine,” winning a Satellite Award for Best Cinematography and earning his third A.S.C. nomination.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Beebe moved with his family at age five to Cape Town, South Africa. He first studied at Pretoria Technical College for a year before moving back to Australia to enroll in the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney, Australia—the only full-time cinematography student at the time—where he won an Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award and an Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) Golden Tripod honor for two of his student films.
After graduation, Beebe honed his craft on over four dozen video projects for a small production company in Sydney that specialized in 16mm music videos. After shooting his brother Anton’s 1989 short film, “Black Sorrow,” Beebe earned his first feature credit as a cinematographer on the 1992 drama “Crush,” just a year after graduating from college. He compiled another half-dozen documentary and feature credits over the next five years, winning a Golden Tripod Award from the ACS for “Down Rusty Down” in 1997. He won two more ACS honors, for John Curran’s drama “Praise” in 1998, for which he also collected nominations from the AFI and Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA), and Jane Campion’s mystery, “In the Cut,” in 2003.
Beebe earned his first U.S. film credit on Mira Nair’s Showtime drama “My Own Country,” based on the book by Indian doctor Abraham Verghese. Beebe has since collaborated twice with director Michael Mann, first on “Collateral,” for which he shared the BAFTA Award and an A.S.C. nomination with Paul Cameron, and then on “Miami Vice.” He has also worked with such filmmakers as Gillian Armstrong on “Charlotte Gray,” Brad Silberling on “Land of the Lost,” and director Gavin Hood on “Rendition.” He first worked with Aussie director Campion on her 1999 dramedy “Holy Smoke.”
Other feature credits include “Equilibrium”; “The Goddess of 1967,” for which he earned a FCCA nomination; “Forever Lulu”; the TV concert tribute “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” again collaborating with director Marshall; the musical documentary “I’m Only Looking: The Best of INXS”; and the 1996 Aussie feature “What I Have Written,” for which he earned nominations from the AFI and the FCCA.
GRANT MAJOR (Production Designer) was nominated for the Best Art Direction/Set Decoration Academy Award®, as well as England’s BAFTA prize, for his work as production designer on each film in Peter Jackson’s landmark “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. He claimed the coveted Oscar®, a Los Angeles Film Critics Society Award and an Art Directors Guild honor for the third installment of the trilogy, “The Return of the King.”
Additionally, he won an American Film Institute Award, a National Board of Review Award and an Art Directors Guild nomination for Jackson’s first film in the series, “The Fellowship of the Ring.” He also took home the Art Directors Guild Award for the second chapter, “The Two Towers” and was nominated for a Satellite Award in 2003 for his production design on both “The Return of the King” and Niki Caro’s Oscar®-nominated production, “Whale Rider,” winning for the former.
Major’s collaboration with filmmaker Jackson dates back to his 1994 drama “Heavenly Creatures,” for which Major received a New Zealand Film and Television Award for Best Design. He continued his association with Jackson on his 1996 horror film, “The Frighteners,” and, more recently, on his 2005 epic, “King Kong,” for which he earned his fourth Oscar®, BAFTA and Art Directors Guild nominations.
Major’s other film credits include three titles for which he won New Zealand Film and TV honors: Caro’s “Memory and Desire”; “The Ugly”; and Jane Campion’s “An Angel at My Table.” He also designed the feature films “The Ruins,” “The Aberrations,” “Jack Be Nimble” and Caro’s most recent effort, “The Vintner’s Luck.” Major also served as production designer on the telefilm “The Chosen.”
Before moving up to production designer, Major served as art director on the motion picture “Other Halves,” two “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” telefilms, “The Grasscutter” and the series “Hanlon,” in addition to working on news programs and commercials, including a TV spot for Singapore Air directed by Vincent Ward, which earned a Mobius AwardGold for Major’s art direction.
Born in Palmerston North, on New Zealand’s North Island, Major’s career in design began at Television New Zealand. His background as a self-described professional film, commercials and event designer covers a wide range of design work in various arenas, from production designer for the Commonwealth Games Federation ceremonies, to designer for the New Zealand Pavilions at the World Expos, to design consultant for the Louis Vuitton 150th anniversary parties in New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris.
Major received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, the Auckland University of Technology, in 2004, and was inducted a year later as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, awarded by the New Zealand Government for services to the New Zealand Film Industry.
STUART BAIRD (Editor) has twice been nominated for an Academy Award®: first in 1979 for his work on Richard Donner’s “Superman” and again in 1989 for Michael Apted’s “Gorillas in the Mist,” starring Sigourney Weaver.
“Green Lantern” marks Baird’s fourth collaboration with director Martin Campbell. He previously served as editor on “The Edge of Darkness”; the 21st James Bond adventure, “Casino Royale,” for which Baird earned a BAFTA Award nomination and an Eddie Award nomination; and the blockbuster “The Legend of Zorro,” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas.
Baird most recently edited Phillip Noyce’s action film “Salt,” starring Angelina Jolie. His additional credits include “Vantage Point,” “Whiteout,” “Maverick,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Lethal Weapon 2,” “Demolition Man,” “Radio Flyer,” “Die Hard 2,” “Ladyhawke,” “Tommy,” “Outland,” and “Five Days One Summer,” for director Fred Zinnemann.
As a director, Baird’s credits include “Star Trek: Nemesis,” “U.S. Marshals” and “Executive Decision.”
NGILA DICKSON (Costume Designer) won an Academy Award® in 2004 for her work on Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” She earned dual nominations that year, also being honored for her costume designs for Edward Zwick’s “The Last Samurai.” Dickson had previously gained her first Oscar® nomination and a BAFTA nomination for Best Costume Design for “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” In addition, she won a BAFTA Award for her work on “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” and won a Costume Designers Guild Award and received her third BAFTA Award nomination for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
She received another Costume Designers Guild Award nomination for her work on “The Illusionist,” starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel and more recently designed the costumes for “The International,” starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts; “Fools Gold,” with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson; and “Blood Diamond,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly.
Hailing from New Zealand, Dickson first worked with director Peter Jackson on his directorial feature debut, “Heavenly Creatures.” Her early credits also include the 1989 television project “The Rainbow Warrior Conspiracy,” about the sinking of a Greenpeace ship, and the feature film version of the same story, “The Rainbow Warrior.” Dickson also designed the costumes for the internationally successful television series “Xena: Warrior Princess,” for which she received a New Zealand Film and TV Award for Best Contribution to Design.
JAMES NEWTON HOWARD (Composer) is an eight-time Academy Award® nominee and one of the industry’s most prolific composers, with more than 100 motion picture and television scores to his credit. His latest Oscar® nomination came for his score for Edward Zwick’s “Defiance.” Howard also earned Oscar® nominations for Best Original Score for M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village,” P.J. Hogan’s “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” Andrew Davis’ “The Fugitive” and Barbra Streisand’s “The Prince of Tides.” He gained two more Oscar® nods, as well as two Golden Globe nominations, in the category of Best Original Song, for “Look What Love Has Done” from the movie “Junior,” and “For the First Time” in “One Fine Day.” Howard received his third Golden Globe nomination for his score for Peter Jackson’s hit remake of “King Kong.” He received another Oscar® nomination and his fourth Golden Globe nomination for the critically acclaimed drama “Michael Clayton,” starring George Clooney.
Howard has scored all of M. Night Shyamalan’s films, beginning with the director’s smash hit feature debut, “The Sixth Sense,” and subsequently including “Unbreakable,” “Signs,” “Lady in the Water,” “The Happening” and, most recently, “The Last Airbender.”
He most recently scored the film adaptation of the acclaimed novel “Water for Elephants, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson. Howard’s wide range of film credits also includes Phillip Noyce’s “Salt”; Edward Zwick’s “Love and Other Drugs” and “Blood Diamond”; P.J. Hogan’s “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and Peter Pan”; Denzel Washington’s “The Great Debaters”; Mike Nichols’ “Charlie Wilson’s War”; Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins”; Sydney Pollack’s “The Interpreter”; Michael Mann’s “Collateral”; Joe Johnston’s “Hidalgo”; Joe Roth’s “America’s Sweethearts”; Garry Marshall’s “Runaway Bride” and “Pretty Woman”; Gregory Hoblit’s “Primal Fear”; Wolfgang Petersen’s “Outbreak”; Lawrence Kasdan’s “Wyatt Earp” and “Grand Canyon”; Ivan Reitman’s “Dave”; Joel Schumacher’s “Falling Down”; and David S. Ward’s “Major League,” to name only a portion.
Also honored for his work in television, Howard won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Theme for the series “Gideon’s Crossing” and earned an Emmy nomination in the same category for the long-running series “ER.”