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Ryan Reynolds Compares Green Lantern to Star Wars and Hal Jordan to Han Solo

Because of his history of playing comedic roles and because of the overly comedic tone of the first trailer for his new movie, Green Lantern, actor Ryan Reynolds has frequently had to defend the movie from disgruntled comic book movie fans, many of whom have already judged the movie without having seen it. At the Warner Bros. (WB) panel presentation for the movie at WonderCon earlier this month, Reynolds flat out said that "it's not a comedy," but cautioned fans not to expect it to be as serious as The Dark Knight (TDK), the comic book movie adaptation high bar by which most fans of the genre judge other comic book movies. In a recent interview with the L.A. Times, Reynolds explained what attracted him to Green Lantern and offered up a better movie to compare it to—Star Wars.

I wandered through the art department, and that’s what sold me, seeing this universe that’s created and the scale of it all. They’re taking the Green Lantern canon from the comics and they’re extending it out into this new medium. Our goal is to make the first superhero who really goes on a Star Wars kind of epic journey, and this mythology goes back a lot further than Star Wars.

Reynolds once again addressed the question of tone and attempted to distance the movie from comparisons to TDK. He also explained which Star Wars character informed his portrayal of Hal Jordan, the first human to become a Green Lantern.

Tone was the biggest concern going in and then it almost became a contagion, and it became the concern of everyone and with me just harping on it. And now I feel that it’s the most exciting discovery as we kept going. No, it’s not dark like Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, but it isn’t very light like you saw some of the [1980s] Superman movies get. The character is somewhere in the middle. He’s a classic male. Han Solo, who was witty but not really funny, was one of the touchstones. ... This is not a comedy film but like Han Solo or an Indiana Jones, there are moments where you smile and the hero can trades lines with anybody.

Considering how WB has been hyping the sci-fi aspects of Green Lantern in recent weeks, revealing Oa, the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps, and introducing several of the alien members of the 7,200-strong intergalactic police force, we can see how Reynolds would draw comparisons to Star Wars. The only other superhero movie with a comparable scope to Green Lantern is Marvel Studios' Thor, but the otherworldly realm of Asgard and the armored automaton, giants and other creatures that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) faces in that movie have far more in common with the fantasy genre than sci-fi (which, if Green Lantern is the Star Wars of superhero movies, would make Thor what, the Lord of the Rings of superhero movies?).

Green Lantern was directed by Martin Campbell from a script by Michael Green, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim. Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Academy Award-nominee Angela Bassett and Academy Award-winner Tim Robbins also star.