“Green Lantern” is due out in theaters on June 17th. That’s less than a month and a half from now, and in that short time frame, Warner Bros. has added an additional $9 million to their post-production budget. This $9 million will go into hiring visual effects houses and additional staff for more visual effects to reach its June release date. But is this a sign for a troubled production? Not necessarily, Warner Bros received criticism for rushing the first “Green Lantern” trailer, to make the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” release date, with very limited visual effects, which angered comic book fans and pundits alike. Coincidentally, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” (which was also a Warner Bros release) suffered from not finishing post-production to make its November 19th 2010 release date. The film was supposed to be released in 3D, but in turn, the second part will be released in 3D. But then releasing additional footage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas with more “money shots”, received a completely different reaction. But why cut it so close to the release date?
“There is no problem on ‘Green Lantern,'” Chris de Faria, Warner’s exec VP of digital production, animation and visual effects, “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.”
Moreover, this is a symptom of studios announcing release dates of tent pole movies before pre-production or casting even starts. It seems like these days, big summer movies are expected to deliver the full version in 12 months or less.
“I think the day (the system) breaks is the day everyone will revise their thinking,” said Marvel exec VP of visual effects Victoria Alonso. “Until that day comes, filmmakers are going to push it to the limit. I think it’s sad that we will have to watch one of us fail to learn our lesson.” She adds, “So you are always chasing your tail. You work backwards from that release date, then you add production not being ready to shoot or location complications and you shave the weeks you push from post.”
But no matter what, “Green Lantern” hits theaters, with or without added visual effects, on June 17th.
by Rudie Obias