A preview of Green Lantern

We walk onto a soundstage in New Orleans, and the first thing we see is the Citadel of Oa. All right, perhaps not the citadel itself, but a detailed model of it, right next to a similar replica of the Great Hall. You know which Great Hall I'm talking about -- the place where the Guardians of the Universe assemble the Green Lantern Corps and charge them with protecting all of existence.

That's right: We (MSN and a group of other outlets) are on the set of "Green Lantern," the upcoming blockbuster movie based on the classic DC Comics character. Over there is a full-scale, stand-up cutout of alien Lantern Kilowog. And there on the table is an actual full-sized Lantern that you can hold in your hand, courtesy of production designer Grant Major. He leads us through a massive collection of photos, mock-ups and production drawings that effectively take us through the entire movie -- and while we can't reveal a single scene, we can tell you that this looks like nothing you've ever seen in a comics-based movie before.

Although it's under the same Warner Bros./DC umbrella as the "Batman" and "Watchmen" movies, this is not gritty, earthbound stuff: "Green Lantern" plunges full-on into its mind-bending sci-fi roots, bringing you to the center of the universe and back again, introducing you to a brain-boggling assortment of aliens both heroic and evil, and forcing test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) to don the Power Ring and protect the Earth from a fearsome cosmic menace.

"This character and this universe are so interesting that you don't need to change much," says Reynolds about bringing the first DC hero besides Batman and Superman to the screen. "The themes are all there, and the feeling is all there, and even in some instances the look is really there. I think people are gonna be really happy. I don't know if you've seen what Mark Strong looks like as Sinestro, but I got chills when I first saw him. He is the spitting image of Sinestro."

As a matter of fact, it's not long before we come face to face with Strong, who shows up in full makeup as Sinestro, Jordan's mentor and instructor in the Lantern Corps. For longtime fans, seeing Sinestro standing in front of you in the flesh is a sight to remember. And there's many more to come. Stay tuned for our full report from the "Green Lantern" set -- coming soon in brightest day or blackest night


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