New Green Arrow Movie Details Revealed; Still Questionable
Back in 2007, it was announced that screenwriter David Goyer, who has some serious comic book-adaptation cred (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, the Blade series), had sold Warner Brothers an idea for a movie based on the DC Comics character, Green Arrow, called Supermax. A far cry from traditional movies of this sort, the film surrounds Green Arrow's wrongful incarceration and battle to escape a super prison, all which sounds more like a comic adaptation of Fox's "Prison Break". So, really, what we have here is a TV series turned-comic story-turned movie. From what Latino Review tells us of the script - you can read all the specifics here - there's not much to counter such a glib summation.
Goyer's widely reported synopsis from 2007 goes like this:
"He's Green Arrow for the first 10 minutes of the movie, and then he's arrested and his secret identity is revealed. They shave his goatee and they take his costume and send him to prison for life, and he has to escape. It's like 'Alcatraz,' and he has to team up with, in some cases, some of the very same villains he is responsible for incarcerating in order to get out and clear his name. Of course, tons of people try to kill him while he's in there. We've populated the prison with all sorts of B and C villains from the DC Universe. For the fans, there will be all sorts of characters the hardcore comic book junkies will know, but they're all going to be there under their human names and no one is wearing a costume, but there will be a lot of characters with powers and things like that."
Usually, this is where I'd go into some background on Green Arrow as a character, but that really doesn't matter here. And that's the biggest issue I see so far with this project -- Green Arrow isn't Green Arrow without his arrows and green costume!! That's like making a movie just on Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, or better yet, eating two slices of bread without the PB&J. Granted, Goyer's project might not be as bland considering the peppering of second-tier villains that serve as cell mates to Oliver Queen - that's Green Arrow's real name, which is a tad more fitting under this scenario - such as Count Vertigo, Blockbuster and Aryan Nation. You can see a complete list of the "B and C villains" that might show up over at Latino Review, complete with photos.
Fanboys of the DC Comics universe will probably get more out of this film than anyone else. Cameos apparently abound, including that from Lex Luther, The Riddler and confounding of all, The Joker. But beyond fleeting, niche recognition of this character or that one, all you have is a souped-up version of "Prison Break". And while the characters might get to use a superpower here or there, the prison is specifically designed to keep them contained, in part by changing shape - "cells rearrange, and [the prison] reconfigures every night to disorient the prisoners from breaking out" - so there won't exactly be grandiose displays of destruction. This isn't wholly unappealing, since the Fox series is actually pretty damn cool, and it's intriguing to study the various cliques, which include prisoners' outfits that are color-coded by their powers. Additional positives might be had if the defenses of the prison are really that good; then maybe the battle and use of abilities might elevate to a very cool level.
But put very plainly, Supermax seems to miss the target by centering itself on the Green Arrow. Certainly, a superhero with innate powers (those that would actually be available in the prison) would be a might more interesting. I can just see Green Arrow using his archery skills to turn the cafeteria utensils into deadly projectiles. Maybe he'll change his name to the Orange Spoon.