Tales of the Green Lantern Corps in Emerald Knights
Coming in conjunction with the theatrical release of the live-action Green Lantern feature, Warner Bros. Animation has created Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, which highlights Hal Jordan's fellow members in the Green Lantern Corps. Along with co-directors Chris Berkeley and Jay Oliva, Lauren Montgomery talks about how they shaped this anthology release, which features a framing story to connect the five individual tales of GLC members. In the film Hal Jordan (voiced by "Geek God" Nathan Fillion) mentors new recruit Arisia Rrab (voiced by Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss) as she learns the ropes of the Corps. In the process we learn the stories of the first lanterns, Kilowog, Laira, Mogo and Abin Sur. Montgomery has some experience with the universe having directed the wonderful Green Lantern: First Flight.
Rick DeMott: What drew you to this project?
Lauren Montgomery: Working with the Arisia character seemed like it would be really fun. I really liked her. She's cute. And she had a pretty big role in it, which was kind of exciting to me. And it's also a Green Lantern story that is based on the Corps members and not just Hal. It was fun to look deeper into the lesser known characters.
RD: After having done First Flight, was the Green Lantern world something you wanted to revisit?
LM: Yeah. The Green Lantern world is really great, because it's different than all the other superhero worlds. There are a lot more possibilities, because you can come up with any story and put it on an alien world. With the other characters you have put them in their worlds. Like if you're working with Batman then it's going to be a Gotham story. It's more difficult to send Batman out into space and have it be plausible. The possibilities are endless.
RD: As you said this film highlights the Corps as its main character. Was that the intention with it?
LM: Yes. What they wanted to do going into it was to show some of the more popular or fun stories from the Green Lantern world. They wanted to use the publicity for the live-action film to sell the lesser known characters to the audience. If they didn't have a Green Lantern film already then they might not have taken a chance on a story that wasn't one of the main characters.
RD: Did your production work closely with the live-action production?
LM: There was originally an effort to do so, but because our schedules are so different, it ended up not really able to happen. They wanted us to use a similar [character] design as one of theirs, but they never got it to us. We waited to the last possible minute. We needed that design, because it needed to be animated and it wasn't going to get done on time.
RD: How were the directing duties divvied up between you and your co-directors?
LM: Because the movie wasn't one long continuous story, it was pretty easy to section it off between three different people. When it came to who would do what we figured that out between us.
I wanted to do the overarching story, which has Arisia in it. Jay really wanted to do the Laira story, because it had a lot of Asian influences and martial arts that he could use. Chris wanted to do the first lanterns story, because he really liked the story. The other three we just divvied them up between the three of us. We took the one that we really wanted to do and then split the other three.