Before any other sentient beings existed in the universe, a race of beings calling themselves the Guardians of the Universe harnessed the power of the green element, the greatest power in the universe, to create the Green Lantern battery. However, the battery was vulnerable to the color yellow, the one part of the light spectrum that could resist green. The Guardians hid the most concentrated source of yellow energy, the yellow element, to prevent others from using it against them.
After the death of Abin Sur, several Green Lanterns arrive to take Ferris Aircraft's test pilot Hal Jordan to the Green Lantern Corps on Oa. He is placed under the supervision of respected senior officer Sinestro, who is investigating Abin's murder. While undercover on the ship of Kanjar Ro searching for the whereabouts of the stolen yellow element, Abin had come under attack. Fleeing to Earth, he had his ring find his successor and died of his injury shortly after. Unbeknownst to the other Green Lanterns, Sinestro had provided Kanjar with the location of the element in order to have it fashioned into a weapon of comparable power to the Green Lantern battery.
Jordan quickly comes to understand that Sinestro's beliefs are not in line with those of the Guardians: Sinestro believes that the Guardians have reduced the Corps to merely picking up the messes criminals create as opposed to proactively dealing with the problem. During a mission to capture Kanjar Ro, Jordan is knocked unconscious by Kanjar's energy staff. Sinestro comes in and kills Kanjar, pinning the blame on Jordan. As punishment, the Guardians strip Jordan of his ring.
While Jordan waits to be taken home, Sinestro uses his ring to temporarily animate Kanjar's corpse, allowing him to learn the location of Qward where the yellow element weapon is being fashioned. Jordan convinces fellow Lanterns Boodikka and Kilowog that Sinestro is not what he seems. When they catch Sinestro red-handed, Boodikka reveals her race, the Zamarons, have an allegiance with Sinestro and incapacitates Kilowog, allowing Sinestro to escape. Jordan tricks her into destroying Kanjar's unstable energy staff, the explosion launching her into the tools hanging from the ceiling and killing her.
On Qward, the Weaponers bestow Sinestro (and a Zamaron named Nadia Safir) with the yellow ring and battery, the latter of which resembles Ranx the Sentient City. Using its power, he lays waste to Oa, the yellow light easily overpowering the Green Lantern rings. The yellow battery destroys the green battery, rendering all the Green Lantern Corps' power rings inert and causing death by asphyxiation of countless Green Lanterns who were in space at the time of their rings' failure. Jordan, having recovered his ring moments too late, finds the battery and pounds on the inert green element. He places his ring on the small crack that appears, absorbing the whole of its power. Imbued with the full might of the green energy, he destroys the yellow battery by crushing it between two moons.
Having exhausted most of the green power, Jordan is left to fight against Sinestro under his own power. After an intense hand-to-hand battle without constructs, Jordan uses the last of his power to knock Sinestro to the surface of Oa. The gaurdians now have the yellow ring. Having regained partial power to his ring earlier, Kilowog takes to the air and saves Jordan from a fatal fall to the planet's surface.
Once Oa is rebuilt and the Green Lantern battery restored, the Guardians give the privilege of leading the Corps in reciting the Green Lantern oath to Jordan. Jordan then leaves for Earth to check in with his other boss, Carol Ferris, remarking on the long "commute". The film ends with the Guardians setting the rings of the Lanterns who lost their lifes so they can choose a new Lantern.
- Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan / Green Lantern
- Mark Strong as Thaal Sinestro
- Mila Kunis as Boodikka
- John Goodman as Kilowog
- Blake Lively as Carol Ferris
- Alan Rickman as Ganthet
- Doug Jones as Kanjar-Ro
- Geoffery Rush as Tomar-Re
- Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur
Green Lantern has received generally favorable reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 77% approval rating based on 197 reviews.
The film was a box office success as the film earned $55,785,112 on it's opening weekend. The film gained $274,092,705 in the U.S. and $377,000,000 in other countries, making a worldwide total of $651,092,705.
In 2010, the director confirmed the possibility of a Green Lantern trilogy, and in June of that year Warner Bros. hired Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, both of whom worked on the Green Lantern screenplay, to write a treatment for the second installment. A scene in the film's end credits strongly suggests a planned sequel. At the 2011 New York Comic Con, Geoff Johns, chief creative officer at DC Entertainment, stated that "there is the hope" that a Green Lantern sequel will still be produced and that "it will be live-action again—I guarantee."
in 2014, a sequel, Green Lantern: Rise of Fear, was finally released. Cambell returned to direct, while Orci and Kurtzman returned to write. Reynolds, Strong, Goodman, Lively, Rickman, and Loken all reprised their roles for the sequel, while Chadwick Boesman, Eliza Dushku, Tom Felton, and Kerry Washington joined the cast.