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Green Lantern Adds $9 Million To Budget In 11th-Hour Effects Push

Warner Bros. executives admitted last month that the labor-intensive visual effects for Green Lantern led to the release of a lackluster first trailer and delays in a marketing campaign that’s only kicked into high gear in the past few weeks. Now, Variety reports, those effects are forcing the studio to sink another $9 million into the film to ensure it meets its June 17 opening.

And it will hit that date, assures Chris de Faria, the studio’s executive vice president of digital production, animation and visual effects. “There is no problem on Green Lantern,” he told the trade paper. “We try to add things to make the movie better until the 11th hour. That doesn’t mean we’re risking the movie up to the 11th hour.”

However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some hand-wringing. Variety contends a high-level meeting was called early this year to put production back on track, months after the November release of the initial trailer, which was light on visual effects. “Part of the reason the response to the first trailer was lukewarm was that the big-scale sequences weren’t ready to show, and we suffered for it,”  Sue Kroll, the studio’s president of worldwide marketing, admitted last month.

Sony Imageworks and Rising Sun Pictures, Green Lantern‘s primary effects studios, are reportedly on schedule. But de Faria said Pixomondo was brought in late to complete an all-CG pre-credit sequence that had been eliminated in development then added back in after Warner Bros. saw an early cut. The result will be a movie with about 1,400 visual effects, and an effects budget that’s grown more than $9 million over its original $45 million — a figure that apparently hadn’t taken into account the cost of 3D.

Variety notes that Warner Bros. isn’t alone in its rush to complete an effects-heavy film; it’s becoming par for the course (at least one effects studio working on Transformers: Dark of the Moon is said to have put artist on 12-hour days, seven days a week, with no Easter holiday). So much so that industry executives have begun to worry what might happen when one of those tentpoles can’t meet its opening date, triggering a domino effect that hurts the studio, theaters, marketing partners and beyond.

Directed by Martin Campbell, Green Lantern stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong, Peter Sarsgaard, Angela Bassett, Temuera Morrison, Jay O. Sanders, Taika Waititi and Jon Tenney. It opens in 3D and 2D on June 17.


  • Drfunkphd

    This really does not give me confidence in a movie I was already not sure I wanted to see.

  • Newton58107

    The fact that they’re spending MORE money on the effects makes you feel less confident? So you would have felt better if they announced that they ran out of money and were going to finish the film on Ryan Reynolds’s laptop? Gimme a break…

  • Wyatt Samuel K

    No, the fact that they are ‘fixing’ things so shortly before the release date. They say that it is only for the opening sequences, but it still sounds like reshoots, which is always a harbinger of dire events.

  • Jacob

    For the record, I bet Reynolds has a bitchin laptop.

  • Sandor_Clegane

    Most FX-intensive movies are worked on/touched up until shortly prior to release date. This is unusual only in the volume of effects and the delays caused by 3-D conversion.

    Keep in mind we’re talking putting more money into FX, not reshooting scenes and changing story. Shooting with the principal actors was completed by mid-2010, with a few scenes touched up a few months later.

    Adding more people to the FX team so the film can meet its launch strikes me as a Good thing.

  • Jacob

    No, reshoots do not spell doom. They’re very normal, they just get more publicity with this kind of movie because nerds want to know as much as they can, even though it’ll only anger them.

  • Raker616

    You’re reaching there, nothing reported has to do with fixing anything just adding additional people to work on the project and add scenes that were taken out because of money. I think it’s great what WB is doing it shows they are going all out and aren’t content with just putting this movie out they want to make it as big and as good as possible.

  • Zoddguts

    I swear this movie better not bomb. I want that Flash and Wonder Woman film be made. Both of which wouldn’t had this huge of overblown budget. :p

  • Drfunkphd

    My line of thinking is more along the lines of how this reflects on the production in terms of how prepared they were. They’re JUST NOW figuring out they need more money? That smacks of a lack of professionalism because I can’t imagine that most movies budgets aren’t meticulously planned out and also given wiggle room.

  • stealthwise

    That picture with the gun looks damn ridiculous.