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Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn is a 2015 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is a reboot of the 2011 film Green Lantern and begins a new series of Green Lantern films, while also tying into the DC Movie Universe. Directed by Louis Leterrier, the film stars Nathan Fillion, Selma Blair and Jason Isaacs as well as Michael Chilkis, John Hurt and Vin Diesel. Emerald Dawn was scored by Brian Tyler.

Plot

Millions of years ago, the Guardians of the Universe used the Green Essence of Will Power to create the Green Lantern Battery. The green element is the most powerful in the universe; only the yellow element can withstand it. The Guardians hit the source of yellow so that nobody could wield it's power before creating the Green Lantern Corps; an intergalactic force of peacekeepers. They divided the universe into 3600 sectors and assigned a Green Lantern to each sector.

In the present day, Hal Jordan falls into a depression when his father dies until he runs into his childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris. Carol is the daughter of Carl Ferris, the president of Ferris Aircraft. When Hal remarks that he's always wanted to be a pilot, Carol manages to get him a job as a test flight pilot.

As Hal prepares for his first flight, an even unfolds high above Earth which will change his destiny forever. Abin Sur, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814, is patrolling the area when his ship is attacked by Atrocitus, a rogue alien warrior. Atrocitus informs Abin Sur that he has come looking for “the Manhunter Codex” but Abin Sur refuses to give it up. He manages to defeat the villain by blasting him with his power ring, knocking him out of the spacecraft. However, the ship is badly damaged and plunges to Earth. Hal detects a mysterious energy entering the area where he is flying and then landing nearby. Against Carl Ferris' orders, he goes to investigate.

At the crash site, Abin Sur lies wounded on the ground and knows that he will soon die. He instructs his ring to find a worthy successor to his role as a Green Lantern. The ring flies into the cockpit of Hal's plane and teleports him to the crash site, leaving the unmanned craft to crash into the ground. Abin Sur explains to Hal the greater role he now plays in the universe before dying. Scared and confused, Hal takes the ring and buries Abin Sur's body and ship. When he is found by other Ferris Aircraft employees, Carl quickly fires him, and Carol is puzzled by Hal's distant demeanor.

Hal returns home and ponders that to do. That night, he finds himself unable to sleep, when suddenly, he is attacked by two more alien beings, also Green Lanterns. They capture him and take Hal to the planet Oa to meet the Guardians themselves. He learns that those who “collected” him are Kilowog, a Green Lantern drill sergeant, and Thaal Sinestro, a respected senior officer who was a close friend of Abin Sur. Sinestro is openly confused as to why Abin Sur appointed one such as Hal to be his successor.

On Oa, Hal is brought before the Guardians, headed by Ganthet, and learns more about the origins of the universe and the Green Lanterns. The Corps is currently in the process of investigating Abin Sur's death and trying to find the one responsible. Sinestro, who was the last person Abin Sur spoke to via radio before the crash, has a recording of the ship's transmission. However, it only captures Abin Sur's last message and doesn't tell them anything about what brought his ship down. Hal reveals the location of Abin Sur's body and ship, as the Corps hope to use the on-flight data recorder to learn what transpired in the ship's final moments.

Hal is given a crash course in being a Lantern by Sinestro, Kilowog and Tomar-Re, yet another Green Lantern. He learns about combat and how to use the power ring to make constructs, but more importantly, learns how to fly.

Hal and Sinestro return to Earth to investigate the crash site. They recover the lost ship and Sinestro reacts with horror upon reviewing the data recorder, although Hal doesn't understand. They return to Oa where Sinestro reveals to the Guardians and other Lanterns what happened to Abin Sur; he was murdered by Atrocitus. When Hal inquires as to who Atrocitus is, it is revealed that Atrocitus once lived in Sector 666 until one day, a squad of Manhunters invaded and slaughtered his people, with Atrocitus being the only survivor. Prior to creating the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians created the Manhunters to act as a police force, but the Manhunters later turned on their creators and went rogue. They were then deactivated and hidden in Sector 666, now known as the Lost Sector, as it was uninhabited and it was unlikely anyone would ever find them. Even if they did, they would need the Manhunter Codex to reactivate them. Atrocitus, following the killing of his people, was left to wander deep space for many years, and over that course of time, went insane and became determined to get revenge on the Guardians. They deduce that Atrocitus has located the army of Manhunters and is hunting for the Codex in order to reactivate them.

Hal, overwhelmed with what is happening around him, decides to quit being a Lantern and return to Earth, hoping to reconcile his relationship with Carol and her father. He leaves his ring on Oa, in the hands of Bleez, a girl who briefly flirted with him during his time on Oa. As Hal returns to Earth, the other Corps members set about trying to figure out where Abin Sur hid the Codex in order to find it before Atrocitus can.

Eventually, they come to the conclusion that Abin Sur had hidden the Codex within his power ring itself. However, the ring is nowhere to be found. Sinestro and Kilowog return to Earth to confront Hal, thinking that he kept the ring for himself, but he insists that he doesn't and that he gave it to Bleez. Soon, the trio come to realise that Bleez is actually a spy working with Atrocitus.

Hal persuades Kilowog to take him back to Oa with he and Sinestro so that he can aid them somehow, knowing that he was partially responsible for whatever Atrocitus is about to do. He joins them on board a flight to the Lost Sector to investigate, where they encounter Bleez. During the battle, she reveals that Atrocitus has already got what he needed from the ring. Sinestro creates a sword with his ring and cuts Bleez' finger off, allowing Hal to reclaim his ring and blast Bleez out of the ship to her death. The trio then race back to Oa with this new information.

Atrocitus, upon learning of Bleez' death at Hal's hands, decides to retaliate by launching an asault on Earth. He locates Hal's hometown, Coast City, and invades with his army of Manhunters. Hal, Sinestro, Kilowog and Tomar-Re all launch a counter attack and a city wide battle ensues between the two rival factions. During the battle, Hal is reunited with Carol, forcing him to reveal his true identity as a Green Lantern to her. Carl, meanwhile, joins the fight by flying with a fleet of fighter jets and bombaring the Manhunters (although Hal and Carol must first convince them not to attack the other Corps members). However, the arrogant naval officer Guy Gardner, stationed on a battleship nearby, gives the order to launch a nuclear warhead at Coast City. Hal spots it while he duels with Atrocitus and flies up to intercept it. Atrocitus pursues him however and their fight continues. Hal manages to use his ring to grab hold of both the missile and Atrocitus and fly into the sky, where he launches both of them into Earth's atmosphere. The rocket detonates, destroying Atrocitus.

With the Manhunters defeated, the Lanterns prepare to return to Oa. Hal finally kisses Carol, while Carl looks on approvingly. They agree to try out a long distance relationship and Hal promises to commute whenever he can. A disgraced Gardner is discharged from the Navy, and as all the Lanterns reunite on Oa, they recite the Green Lantern Oath.

In a mid-credits scene, Carol is at a coffee shop when she encounters a man named John Jones. In a post-credits scene, a news reporter for the Daily Planet is interviewing a number of people who witnessed the battle. Amongst them are scientist Hector Hammond and a young boy named Kyle Rayner, who was previously rescued during the battle by Hal.

Cast

Nathan Fillion – Hal Jordan

Selma Blair – Carol Ferris

Sam Neill – Carl Ferris

Michael Chiklis – Kilowog

John Hurt – Tomar-Re

Jason Isaacs – Thaal Sinestro

Kenneth Branagh – Abin Sur

Terrence Stamp – Ganthet

Vin Diesel – Atrocitus

Karen Gillan – Bleez

Kevin Durand - Guy Gardner

William Fichtner - Hector Hammond

Doug Jones - John Jones

Production

Development

In 2011, Ryan Reynolds starred as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern. The film was a critical failure and the decision was made not to move ahead with a Green Lantern film series. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. and DC Comics were putting together their ideas for the DC Movie Universe, which began in 2012 with the release of Superman Reborn. Fan reaction was positive and online research revealed that fans were itching for either a sequel or reboot of Green Lantern. In late 2013, it was decided that the series would be officially rebooted as part of the new universe.

Fans became excited by the announcement of a new Green Lantern film which promised to right the wrongs of the 2011 effort. The first thing revealed was a poster for the film, showing the Green Lantern symbol, with the title Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn. It was then confirmed that this was the name of the new film, which was being written and cast at the time.

Writers decided at the start of production not to use Sinestro as the villain in the first film because they found him to be one of the more interesting DC villains and wanted to save him and build up the character. They decided not to use Hector Hammond, who was the main villain in the 2011 film, or Parallax, who also appeared in the earlier film. They then found that they were all interested in using the Manhunters in the film, but also wished to see an overall antagonist who would be the big bad. As soon as someone suggested Atrocitus, everyone loved the idea and got to work on putting him in the story.

The writers also threw around the idea of using a Green Lantern other than Hal Jordan as it's hero, considering either John Stewart or Kyle Rayner. However, they decide that fans first wanted to see Hal Jordan "done right" and that they could introduce other Green Lanterns in later films. Louis Leterrier, who directed the reboot of The Incredible Hulk, was chosen because he knew how to reboot a film series after an iffy first installment.

Casting

Nathan Fillion was the first and only real choice for Hal Jordan. Leterrir stated that he would occassionally look into other actors, but always came back to Fillion. Ryan Reynolds announced that he would not return, and when Fillion's casting was announced, praised the choice and wished him luck in the role.

Selma Blair was previously considered to portray Lois Lane in an unmade Superman film and had experience with comic book movies due to her role in the HellBoy movies. She was one of the top choices for the Carol Ferris role alongside Olivia Wilde, Evangline Lilly and Jennifer Garner. Blake Lively, who played Carol in the Ryan Reynolds film, said she had no interest in returning but hoped that whoever took over would do the role justice. 

Michael Chiklis, a comic book fan who previously played the Thing in Fantastic Four, lobbied to play Kilowog. It came down to him and Tony Todd, but it was decided that Chiklis' audition made Kilowog more human (even though the character is an alien) and he was chosen. Todd himself praised the choice and stated that he knew Chiklis would go far in the role. Another reason for not casting Todd was the fact that Michael Clarke Duncan, the actor who voiced Kilowog in the first film, passed away shortly before the film went into production and producers didn't want audiences to think that they were trying to copy Duncan's performance.

When Terrence Stamp was cast as Ganthet, he suggested John Hurt for the role of Tomar-Re. Hurt was approached and promised to consider it. The other actors who were in the running were Gary Oldman, Richard Armitage and most notably Geoffrey Rush, who did his voice in the 2011 film. However, Rush stated that he did not want to upset or confuse fans by appearing in both films if the new one was reboot and passed on the role. Hurt then declared that he was interested in the role after having talked with Stamp about it. After he was cast, Gary Oldman played Count Vertigo the later Green Arrow film.

Jason Isaacs had always been the most popular choice for Sinestro. Mark Strong announced that he had no intention of returning, citing other projects keeping him busy. Isaacs also had experience with the character as he voiced him in an animated film. Apparently, no one but Isaacs was considered for Sinestro. It was also Isaacs who told Kenneth Branagh to audition for Abin Sur, a role he was successful in getting.

The last big casting announcement was that of Atrocitus. Unlike other actors, there was no public word about Vin Diesel taking the role. Actors such as Hugo Weaving, Ving Rhames and Keith David were considered, but Weaving passed because he considered it typecasting, and David passed because he was already playing a comic book supervillain in the form of Thanos in the Avengers. Rhames was the only one who remained in the running until he decided to take a break from films following the end of the Mission Impossible franchise. He later voiced Doomsday in Superman Doomsday, while Vin Diesel was cast as Atrocitus based on his vocal performance as the Iron Giant in the film of the same name.

Reception

The film received mostly positive reviews from critics. Praise was directed at the special effects, interesting story and Nathan Fillion's starring performance. One near universal agreement amongst critics was that the film was superior to it's 2011 predecessor. Ryan Reynolds himself praised the film, calling it "the definitive Green Lantern movie." Other aspects which were warmly received were the chemistry between Fillion and Blair, the musical score, and the supporting performances from Michael Chiklis and Jason Isaacs. 

Sequels

Geen Lantern: Emerald Dawn was followed by two sequels; Green Lantern Corps, in which Hal Jordan teams up with John Stewart to hunt down wanted criminal Kanjar Ro, and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, in which Kyle Rayner, now a Green Lantern living in the future, returns to the present to recruit Hal and John in battling Sintestro, who has overthrown the Guardians. 

Quotes

Abin Sur: I ordered my ring to find you. I had to find a deserving one. A man entirely without fear. Your name?

Hal Jordan: It's Hal...Hal Jordan. But right about now, some people might just tell you I'm a coward...

Abin Sur: You are no coward, Hal Jordan. To you, all life is precious. And this ring is far too powerful to fall into the hands of someone who doesn't understand that. [Winces]

Hal Jordan: Are you OK?

Abin Sur: Yes...Yes, I am. It is my time. The ring...chose you. Take it. You are now...a Green Lantern. The Guardians will send for you...use the ring wisely. And thank you, Hal Jordan.


Sinestro: A great light has gone out in the universe. Abin Sur is dead.


Sinestro: So, this is the human. When I heard that Abin Sur's ring had chosen you, I assumed there had to have been a mistake. I see nothing that changes my mind.


Hal Jordan: [Watching the Manhunters attack Coast City] I guess this is the blackest night everyone talks about...

Sinestro: No. Only dusk.


Atrocitus: I can feel your fear growing. Soon you will be dead...

Hal Jordan: In brightest day, in blackest night...

Atrocitus: ...and when you are gone, I will destroy everything you ever loved...

Hal Jordan: ...no evil shall escape my sight...

Atrocitus: ...your family, your home, your planet will be no more.

Hal Jordan: ...let those who worship evil's might...

Atrocitus: Your entire, pathetic human race will be wiped out, and all because you, Hal Jordan, were afraid.

Hal Jordan: ...beware my power, GREEN LANTERN'S LIGHT!


Taglines

Meet Hal Jordan.

No man escapes the Manhunters.

One will be chosen.

The dawn is coming.

In brightest day. In blackest night.

Fight your fear.

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