Rewrites: Green Lantern
One of the big complaints (here and here) about the Green Lantern film is that while Hal Jordan has a wishing ring that enables him to create anything, with the only limit being his imagination, he in fact does not create anything that’s truly imaginative and original. Most of the things Jordan does with his ring are things he’s seen or been taught to do.
Here’s my rewrite:
The poverty of Jordan’s imagination should be emphasized. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot create anything original. He’s a copycat, and other superheroes know it. Other superheroes sue Jordan in court for violating their copyrights and trademarks, which makes Jordan feel very much like a second rate superhero. His ring’s powers are limitless, but only in so far as his imagination is limitless. Until he can unleash his imagination, his powers are impotent. How does he develop and strengthen his imagination? He must first learn why his imagination is so weak. If he can do this, he might become the most powerful superhero of them all.
Having actually seen the film, I have another idea for a rewrite:
1. Hal Jordan is a Don Knotts type, a bungling idiot. He’s not only not a test pilot, he’s afraid of flying. Unlike his father who died in a jet crash because he did not bail out of his jet but instead stayed in it to guide it so it would not crash into a residential area, Hal is no hero. Quite the opposite. He’s the target of every bully, every disparaging remark. He’s inadequate in every way. And everyone knows that he’s inferior to his father because he works as a janitor at the company his father worked for. It’s the only job he can get, and even that job is too demanding.
2. The childhood friend who becomes Parallax? Unnecessary. Instead, it’s Hal Jordan himself who’s possessed by Parallax, same as in the original comics. When Hal gains his super powers his first thoughts are revenge against everyone who made fun of him. Each time he destroys a city, another Green Lantern says, “Are you sure the ring didn’t make a mistake?” “The ring never makes a mistake.”
3. Eventually, of course, Hal defeats the Parallax in him and becomes a good guy. “See, I told you the ring never makes a mistake.” Of course, half the planet is in ruins.
4. But Parallax is not truly defeated. Sinestro sacrificed himself to save Hal Jordan. Result: although no one yet knows it, Sinestro, who they all think is dead, is now controlled by Parallax.