Today, when you hear the name Marc Guggenheim, you may very well be instilled with a measure of confidence, probably because he’s one of the chief architects behind The CW’s Arrowverse. But, like anybody, the man encountered some trials and tribulations on his way to the top.
Now, it may be easy to forget this simple factoid, but Guggenheim did actually co-write the screenplay for 2011’s Green Lantern, which, believe it or not, was originally intended to kickstart the DC Extended Universe. But when the film proved to be a flop, Man of Steel got that honor for all intents and purposes.
So, when you look at which TV series and comic books he contributes to these days, you may understandably wonder how he dropped the ball with DC’s main ringslinger. To be fair, though, the blame can’t be placed on him because, as we know, studio executives at Warner Bros. really like meddling with DC movie productions.
In a recent chat with Discussing Film, Guggenheim wasn’t as blunt as he could’ve been, but basically echoed that fact and let us know that too many cooks were in the kitchen:
“I feel sorry for what happened, too. At the end of the day, the thing about Green Lantern is we weren’t the ultimate authors of that. We did several drafts of the script, and then it went on to another writer who did his own pass on it, it gets produced, and it just gets sort of out of our control. So the lesson we took away from it is, if we are going to go down let’s at least go down on our own vision, unadulterated unfiltered through other people’s hands. It is what it is. I always like to say, it’s the very first draft, so it’s not a perfect draft by any means, but the very first draft is out there online. You can find it with a quick Google search.”
Actually, something else that you may not know was that before the Ryan Reynolds headlined picture bombed, WB was planning to go forward with a Green Lantern 2 – presumably to drop in 2013 – as well as a movie centered on the Flash, which was also to be penned by Guggenheim. But when Hal Jordan encountered performance issues, the plug was pulled on both projects.
And while he didn’t have too much to offer about the Scarlet Speedster in this conversation, he did let us know about how interconnectivity would’ve been at play:
“We had done a Flash screenplay, and Hal Jordan showed up at the end of The Flash.“
In cases such as these, it’s always fun to ponder what could’ve been, but it’s probably safe to say that we would’ve never gotten Grant Gustin’s version of the Flash on TV had things panned out, so all’s well that ends well, I guess. Still, one has to wonder what would’ve happened had Green Lantern gone unmarred by studio interference…