Director Martin Campbell Discusses James Bond and Green Lantern
06.14.11 by Ryan
Throughout Martin Campbell's career, the director has had a part of either ushering in a new era of an established franchise (1995's GoldenEye, which was the first James Bond movie for Pierce Brosnan, and 2006's Casino Royale, which was the first for Daniel Craig) or starting his own (the two Zorro movies). What Campbell had never attempted was a comic book movie like his upcoming Green Lantern, something he admitted in an interview with The Telegraph.
I did [Green Lantern] because I’d never done a superhero movie before, and they’re complicated. I had no idea. You accept these jobs and then you realize you’re in the quicksand. It was an extraordinary learning curve, conceptualizing the characters, going to another planet, deciding what the planet looks like and keeping a sort of reality, if you can call it that. The most difficult thing, apart from the damned effects, which are so time-consuming, is finding a tone and keeping the reality of it.
While not immediately familiar with the character, Campbell admitted that he soon found Hal Jordan, a.k.a. Green Lantern, "way more interesting than a Superman or a Batman" because of Jordan's "origin story, the different universe, the different planet and the Green Lantern corps." That meant that Campbell had to choose well for the part of Hal Jordan, a role eventually filled by Ryan Reynolds. "He was cheap and he’s not the best-looking guy in the world," Campbell joked.
These superhero movies are interesting because obviously they’re fantasies; they’re not Shakespeare, so in order to make them credible and find the correct balance in terms of the tone of the movie you have to get actors that ground it and bring something over and above the script. I had seen Ryan in Buried and I chose him largely because of his ability as an actor. He looks great, has a sense of humor and is physically terrific. What more could you want?
Working in a new milieu meant some concessions, mainly in making a movie that would be in 3-D. "I’m not a 3-D man; I’m a 2-D man," Campbell admitted. As the director told Total Film (via Digital Spy), the initial plan was not to have the movie in the increasingly omnipresent format.
There was little talk of 3D when we started. It does nothing for me. I enjoyed Avatar and I thought it was so beautifully done, but [James] Cameron's a genius with that stuff. But just go and see Clash of the Titans and that will give you a headache for a start.
While Green Lantern was converted to 3-D after principal photography ended, Campbell told The Telegraph that he was "pleasantly surprised" by Green Lantern's 3-D, but that doesn't mean that he plans to use the format for his next, undecided project. To The Telegraph, Campbell remarked that he'd like to direct something less intricate ("My Dinner with Andre 2, perhaps") and the director told CraveOnline that he's not signed up for more Green Lantern movies.
I’ll do a little film next. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I only just finished this one.
A return to the world of James Bond isn't likely either since James Bond 23 (working title) is being directed by Sam Mendes. It's just as well, however, since Campbell was not pleased with 2008's Quantum of Solace, the follow-up to his Casino Royale.
Oh, I thought it was lousy. I just thought the story was pretty uninteresting. I didn’t think the action was related to the characters. I just thought overall it was a bit of a mess really. And hopefully this next one will be terrific. Sam Mendes is directing it and I’m sure it’ll be terrific.