There aren’t many superhero movies that are more infamous than Green Lantern. Fans had high hopes for the 2011 origin story for Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. But unfortunately it’s widely agreed to be one of the worst DC films ever. Its own star, Ryan Reynolds, has continually poked fun at the misfire on social media and in the Deadpool movies, owning up to the fact that it’s just not very good.
But it seems the blockbuster’s failure is still a sore point for director Martin Campbell, known for helming The Mask of Zorro and two of the best James Bond films around—GoldenEye and Casino Royale. While taking part in a Reddit AMA to promote his new thriller The Protegé, Campbell didn’t have much to say about his experience on Green Lantern, but he did open up about it a couple of times.
One user asked him “what’s the worst fight you’ve ever been in?” To which Campbell replied, “With the Warner executives, over Green Lantern.” The filmmaker was then questioned on which genres he hasn’t worked in before that he’d like to try out. “I’d love to work in comedy! I think I’d do a good job,” Campbell answered. “Marvel? Forget it. I f-cked it up once, never again.”
Most damning of all, one fan inquired as to whether Green Lantern 2 could ever happen. Campbell simply responded. “Over my dead body.”
It’s clear that Campbell’s experience on Green Lantern was so unpleasant that it’s soured him on the idea of ever returning to the superhero genre, even with another studio like Marvel. It’s well-documented that Campbell wrestled for creative control on the movie. Supposedly, he even resisted the casting of Reynolds in the lead, but the studio overruled him. This reportedly led to tension between the director and star on set.
Campbell didn’t direct again for another six years after Green Lantern, until 2017 Jackie Chan actioner The Foreigner. His latest, The Protegé, starring Michael Keaton, Maggie Q and Samuel L. Jackson, opens in theaters on Aug. 20.