It’s no secret that the 2011 Green Lantern film was a disappointment, something that even its star, Ryan Reynolds, maintains to this day. In a recent discussion, Reynolds recalled just how bad he felt watching the film for the first time.
Reynolds recently headline the four-day Just For Laughs comedy festival at the O2 Arena in London, and in a talk alongside actor and comedian Rob Delaney, Reynolds reflected on just what went wrong for the film. To him, the actor said, it was a combination of people spending “too much money” and “too much time” on the project, with not enough time spent on actually making sure the film worked well as a whole.
“There was just too many people spending too much money and when there was a problem rather than say, ‘Okay, let’s stop spending on special effects and let’s think about character,” said Reynolds (via Variety). “How do we replace this big spectacle thing – that isn’t working at all – with something that’s character based?’ and that just never – the thinking was never there to do that,” he explained. “And to their credit, it’s a very old-school way of looking at things. It’s just ‘Let’s just keep spending our way through this.’ And that was – it didn’t work. At the same time, there are 185 people that worked on that movie, they all had an amazing time, we loved shooting it. Truly, shooting the movie was a lot of fun. But, you know, sitting in that premiere, watching that, oh my God. It’s tough.”
Delaney then asked Reynolds if watching the film for the first time made his “butthole flutter,” to which Reynolds acknowledged that “it was like a ukelele down there,” and not something the actor would want to repeat.
“The words were ‘Holy s—’ and ‘No. No!’” Reynolds said of his initial reaction. “Oh my God it was like a ukelele down there. It was crazy. It was an odd feeling. It was not a feeling I wanted to repeat. So I really spent the following years just owning as much as I could, it was the only way to kind of process it.”
When Green Lantern launched in 2011, the film was immediately panned by both critics and audiences alike. While the film did make a profit based on its $200 million budget, the largely middling return at the box office, combined with the poor response, caused a sequel film to be canceled.