‘Green Lantern: First Flight’ Screenwriter Likens Film To ‘Training Day’

As the Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814, Hal Jordan is responsible for the well-being of everybody and everything on Earth. But with a Machiavellian partner like Sinestro showing him the ropes, Hal Jordan’s experience in “Green Lantern: First Flight” promises to be a lot more like the Denzel Washington-starring “Training Day” than any DC Comics adventure before it — according to the film’s writer, that is.

“[Warner Bros. Animation] had been going through some ideas for Green Lantern stories and none of them were quite working out,” said screenwriter Alan Burnett. “So, I just pitched it to them in one line, ’Have you ever done Green Lantern as Training Day?’ with the idea of the Denzel Washington role being Sinestro. They said, ’That sounds pretty good — start writing.’ And that’s how it began.”

Burnett’s take on “Green Lantern” is certainly unique, emphasizing the policing aspect of the character. For Hal, the subtitle “First Flight” is truly significant, as the film chronicles the character’s first day on the job as 2814’s defender.

“We’re treating all the sectors of the universe as precincts and there’s, I believe, about 3,600 Green Lanterns — one for every precinct. Hal Jordan covers our section,” said Burnett. “The story is essentially Hal Jordan’s first day on the beat as a cop and he’s partnered with Sinestro. He’s seeing the universe for the first time, and we get to look at the universe through his eyes. It’s a bizarre place, but it’s also pretty recognizable.”

Much has been said about Sinestro in the film, including words from voice actor Victor Garber himself. Burnett himself had some thoughts to share, saying that he viewed Sinestro as a man with good intentions that spiral out of control.

“Sinestro is the dark side of the Green Lanterns — he wants absolute control, while Hal Jordan is more about serving the people,” he said. “The other thing about Sinestro is that he doesn’t think of himself as a villain. He has a plan which he thinks is going to benefit everyone, but unfortunately what this plan does is give him absolute power. And, of course, absolute power corrupts absolutely — and you can see that it’s corrupting him even as he tries to wield it.”

Do you like the “Training Day” premise of “Green Lantern: First Flight”? If not, what type of story would you like to see them focus on?