HBO Max's upcoming Green Lantern series will be written like a TV show, but feature production values of a feature film, according to producer Marc Guggenheim. Before they redefined superheroes on TV with Arrow and its universe of interconnected spinoffs, writer/producers Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti were part of the 2011 Green Lantern movie. That film failed to connect with an audience (and it's no secret that there were pretty significant changes made to Guggenheim's script along the way), but a track record of almost a decade of hits with DC properties has earned them (along with Green Lantern producer Geoff Johns) another chance to prove that DC's ring-slinger can work as a live-action property.
Guggenheim commented briefly on the series during a panel recorded for Comic Con International's website. The panel, which this reporter hosted, was released today as part of the SAM (Storytelling Across Media) one-day mini-conference.
"I happen to believe -- and this is not a universally-held opinion -- that you can't do a ten-hour show or an eight-episode show, like an 8-hour movie," Guggenheim said. "I don't think that works. When I see it done, there's always some flabby episodes in the middle. I think you have to approach it like a TV series and approach each episode like its own entity. Even though it's streaming, even though hopefully people will binge it, you've got to make each episode a satisfying meal. You've got to look at it with a different tempo than you would have in a two-hour movie. That being said, certainly the show for HBO Max that we're all working on, we are approaching it with the production ambitions of a movie. So we're writing it like a TV show but we're hoping to produce it like a film."
The series will be showrun by Seth Grahame-Smith, and will reportedly center on a number of Green Lanterns including Alan Scott, Jessica Cruz, and Sinestro. It is expected to go into production in 2021, although specific dates have not yet been announced.
They are certainly aware of their legacy with the character, and eager to do something special to prove doubters wrong.
"We're returning to the scene of the crime," Guggeheim joked, poking fun at the Green Lantern film just as star Ryan Reynolds has done numerous times over the years.
You can check out more of the SAM interviews posted today at the Comic-Con website or YouTube channel.