Ryan Reynolds might not have been freaked out about the initially lukewarm reception that greeted the first "Green Lantern" trailer, but he was certainly frustrated. After that footage dropped in November, there was precious little new multimedia to offer the public and prove that Warner Bros. really did have a winning comic book adaptation on its hands. "I just want it out there faster than Warner Bros. can unfortunately produce it," Reynolds told us in late March at CinemaCon. "If anyone's rushing it, it's me."

It was a few days later at WonderCon, though, that Reynolds felt the tide begin to turn — not only for fans, but for himself. "The first time I saw it was just breathtaking. I think the first time it hit me that we really did it right was in WonderCon," he told us recently. "I'd been shooting in Africa at the time, so I flew back just to be there, and I was exhausted, and they put up this 10 or 11 minutes of footage, and you could feel it going like a wave through the audience."

Reynolds walked away from the convention with a startling realization: "It's better than I had hoped."

The 34-year-old actor may not have known exactly what to expect. Though he has been familiar with the comic book his whole life, he told us back in 2009 that he only "fell in love with the character" when he met with director Martin Campbell and heard the pitch for the film. Since then, he's slogged through a lengthy shoot and a marathon post-production schedule during which so much of the film's CGI-heavy world was created. To begin, all he wanted to do was learn exactly what it takes to make a summer blockbuster. Reynolds ended up walking away with the certainty that "Green Lantern" is a kick-ass movie.

"For me, going into it, my expectations were really just to learn — not just about the character but about filmmaking like that. I was just so blown away to see what they accomplished juxtaposed with what they shot," he said. "We were shooting in a blue-screen stage with nothing to interact with at all. And these incredible artists that they hired — Grant Major from 'Lord of the Rings' and Ngila Dickson as well, from the same franchise — they just created an entire living, breathing universe around us. That was amazing to see."

Check out everything we've got on "Green Lantern."

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