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So far, at least in the public eye, the cinematic relationship between comic-book rivals Marvel and D.C. has been acrimonious. Marvel clearly has a head start on its Phase Two, and D.C. has a lot of eggs in the Man of Steel basket, but rarely do to the two companies speak ill of the other on the record. So it’s funny to see Marvel President Kevin Feige take a very gentle swipe at Green Lantern when assuring a journalist that the studios’ interstellar Guardians of the Galaxy won’t look quite so fake.
To be fair, Feige was baited into the answer by the io9 reporter who asked how you prevent what’s bound to be a heavy CGI-laden feature from “going the Green Lantern route.” And Feige, while definitely acknowledging GL, does say:
Iron Man 3 has as much CG as any movie we’ve ever made, and I hope it doesn’t feel like Green Lantern. And it’s all about the aesthetic you go for and already we have an art department as impressive as any art department I’ve ever seen in London [working] on Guardians. And it’s, you know, designing things and believing that they’re real when part of the team’s made up of a raccoon and a tree.”
Martin Campbell’s Lantern goes on to take a beating in the comments section under the article, where readers criticize everything from Ryan Reynolds’ suit to the “Phantom Menace levels of CG overload” that clogged the screen.
And yet, it does feel like effects work has come a long way since 2011. Or maybe certain teams just use effects more … effectively. Either way, Lantern seems to be the benchmark against which all other failures are weighed, while The Avengers and The Dark Knight are the highwater mark to which superhero stories are expected to strive. We’ll soon see if Iron Man 3 reaches those levels.