Should a Costume Support the Narrative or the Fans?

25 Apr

By Open Book

Audiences only have a month to go before seeing Ryan Reynolds‘ CGI costume in action. Green Lantern opens in theaters June 17, 2011.  There’s been much concern over Reynolds costume after news circulated Warner Brothers were creating an all CGI costume for the emerald superhero. However, what set off alarm bells was the July 2010 issue of Entertainment Weekly after fans got a peak at the costume. Was that a good idea? In this article, we will look into what comic book fans are saying today and see if it’s a good idea to change a costume to please fans?

Is it ever a good idea for a costume to get more attention than the story in a film? If you speak to any costume designer many are looking to help enhance the story not take away from it.  So it’s perplexing when you see comic book fans complain about the costume rather than story that’s being developed. Why? A costume is created to support the narrative, not to please fans. Now, it’s been almost a year since Warner Bros. announced the all CGI costume. Let’s look at what fans had to say in April 2010 from an article Green Lantern to have a CGI Costume by Jeffery Van Camp he states;

“My problem, unlike heavy CGI characters of the past, like Spider-Man and Iron Man, Green Lantern shows his face. So we’re going to have a computer generated body pasted on a real head–it could look bad, very bad.” [1]

Ngila Dickson is an Academy Award winning costume designer behind Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern CGI attire. You may be familiar with her Oscar winning work from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Kings.[2]  The concept behind her design for the CGI suit has been scrutinized, analyzed and re-analyzed after Warner Brothers mistakenly released a trailer and concept art to fans.  The response was quite negative because fans believed it was not honoring the source material and in April 2011 Warner Brothers re-released different footage and here take a look below.

So what do comic book fans say today? Many are happy with the changes to the costume, which they say is in keeping with the original source material.[3]  However, given the story is being adapted from its original source material shouldn’t the costume change as well? In other words, should a costume support the narrative or the fans? What do you think?

Please join us for a discussion: Tuesday- 4/26/2011@7pE/12UTC

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139 Responses to “Should a Costume Support the Narrative or the Fans?”

  1. 4string April 25, 2011 at 8:52 AM #

    I can totally understand if a costume is distracting. You don’t want it to over take the movie or TV show. I’m wary of Andrew Garfield’s new Spiderman outfit (first off, I don’t understand why that comic needs a reboot already) and when Adrianne Palicki’s Wonder Woman outfit was revealed. I know after some outcry, they changed it a little bit–still not keen on the mega shiny boots and top, but at least the pants are no longer patent. The patent made the outfit look cheap–like what you’d get in a costume shop for Halloween rather than something a superhero would wear.

  2. Lurker April 25, 2011 at 4:44 PM #

    I think it’s a definitely different take on costumes and unique! However, with all the movie tie -ins to superheros and comic book characters it’s sort of hard to deviate too much. You’re not ‘inventing’ someone new but a beloved character. I have to lean toward the fans.

  3. Littlebells April 25, 2011 at 7:09 PM #

    ok, I’m about to look like an idiot, but I honestly had never heard of Green Lantern before this. *hides behind couch*

    But I will say I’m a huge, HUGE Ryan Reynolds fan (hubba hubba aside), and this film does look great. As far as costumes, I like it. I also agree with Lurker. It’s not a new character. I have no idea what the original looks like, so I should probably go check it out….

    I’m going to have to agree with 4string. I’m digging Reynold’s costume far better than Palicki’s. I showed my husband Linda Carter’s WW and Palicki’s 2 WW outfits and he still prefers Carter’s. He even thought it was more modest.

    I don’t mind costumes changing a little, but I still think they should stay true to form as close as possible. It’s like if they made SM without a cape. that would be stupid because SM always has had a cape.

    Ok, I’m not making any sense to myself. I just finished a long 5 hour drive home and I just want to sleep….

  4. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 1:06 PM #

    All of u made valid arguments. I have a question? When u view costumes out of context is it easy to see the big picture? I mean when u see the costume put together, with the visual effects, production design, acting and concept and story. Have u ever changed your mind and said. Oh! Maybe the original design would have been better?

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 1:39 PM #

      Good Q, OB….I’m going to have to think about that….

  5. Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    Open Book, Awesome Article. 🙂 I agree with you. Its easier to see everything put together than one item stand out by itself. However, I think with times changing, characters have to change. So to should their costumes, IMO costume designers should try to give a “shout-out” to the original.

  6. Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 6:56 PM #

    Hi!

    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 7:02 PM #

      Hi Paris!

      • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

        Hi Lurker!

  7. ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:04 PM #

    Hello all!

    Quick stupid question! What exactly is a cgi costume? Is it 100% computer generated or partly used in conjunction with a material costume?

    • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:05 PM #

      i think its completely 100% computer generated.

      • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:11 PM #

        Thanks and hello!

        • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:12 PM #

          hi how’s england today?

          • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:18 PM #

            Lol, it’s ok. Slowly gearing up for the wedding I suppose!

            How about you?

            • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

              I’m good i’m on the phone with my bro talking about disney.

    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:29 PM #

      Ozzie

      Yep! Paris is right. Actors wear a motion capture suit, so they can create the costume on the computer.

      • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:39 PM #

        That’s interesting. Is it just when he is a super hero (and the other members of the league and baddies) or is all CGI? I would of thought when he’s not the green latern it would be normal costumes.

        • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:41 PM #

          i think its just when he’s in costume. if you watch the christmas carol with jim carrey that was all motion capture suits.

          • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:53 PM #

            I haven’t seen that. I know they did Avatar the same way with the blue skin but they had to stretch the bodies too. I just thought I’d check tomake sure! Lol! 🙂

  8. Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:11 PM #

    How is everyone doing today?

    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 7:12 PM #

      Good! Although I’m still working!

      • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:15 PM #

        you poor thing. 🙂

        • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

          Hi lurker!

  9. Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:22 PM #

    So what do you ladies think of Open Book’s article?

  10. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

    Hi.

    I’m here!

    • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

      Hi! How are you?

      • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM #

        Hi!

  11. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:25 PM #

    Please check out this site: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/pollmaster/news/?a=35180

    • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM #

      cool site. 🙂

      • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

        Thanks LB asked what did Green Lantern’s original illustrated costume look like. What did u think of the original versus the one now?

        • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:39 PM #

          it looks the same which is cool.

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

            I know! I thought so too….

            • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

              I think it looks good. It doesn’t look to different from the original.

  12. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:29 PM #

    One of my pet peeves when looking at cartoons and comics, is that often the costume look painted on the body? Meaning there are no seams where there should be for contour and shape. So when it’s time to make these costumes in live action u are limited to rubber or Lycra (to honor the source), which can sometimes hinder an actor’s movement. For example in Batman he can’t turn his head that to me is totally impractical. How are we to believe, Batman would not be as blind as a bat and not taken out easily?

    • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

      I agree but also its not realistic to think that a costume has to be exactly like how it is in the comic. That’s impossible.

      • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:34 PM #

        Can u name a superhero film where the costume design was different yet honored the source material well?

        • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:36 PM #

          I don’t think so. 🙂 is there one that’s different?

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

            What about Wonder Women? There was a movie prior to the Linda Carters version that was way different.

            • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:46 PM #

              Gonna have to check, and speaking of WW, I like this one much better. Costume that is because it’s different but more true to character.http://codecrackx15.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/wonder-woman.jpg

              • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

                Yeah! Alot of fans wanted Megan Fox to play WW but she turned it down.

                • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:55 PM #

                  That was dumb, IMO, but whatever. I’m still not a fan of the new costume.

              • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

                I’m of the school of thought of functionality and practicality for the character.

                Today, after seeing Lora Croft costume and how practical it is. Why can’t WW have an equally practical costume? Would it not look more believable if she had more support on top?

                • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:00 PM #

                  Word.

  13. Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

    Hola girls!

    Just got caught up. Took a nap and it felt sooooo good!

    OB, thank you for that website. That was really helpful! I looked at a few others and you are right about the costume being painted ont he body. I think that’s why I’m ok with Reynold’s version. It’s staying pretty darn tootin’ true to how his comic was drawn. As for your challenge question….mmmm…gonna have to go research. 🙂

    FYI: not able to find a sitter so I am going to see WFE by myself and tomorrow will take hubs. Gives me a chance to take it all in. 🙂

    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

      Hi LB!

    • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

      Hi LB!

      • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

        HI!!!!!!! 🙂

        • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

          Hello LB!

  14. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:45 PM #

    Can u imagine an all CGI Superman costume after seeing Green Lanterns costume in action?

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:49 PM #

      Ok, the same page I found the WW pic shows Reynold’s as green lantern and the caption reads, “Check out how skinny I am in a CGI costume.” Excellent point.

      If they keep the body looking normal (you know what I mean), then it might actually be pretty cool. The cape would be interesting though. Would it fold up and retract into his back? Seriously, how would that work because SM needs a cape. It’s all sorts of wrong if he didn’t.

      • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:52 PM #

        I’m sure SM will have a cape. Do u think it’s hard to make a CGI cape look believable?

        • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

          Depends. It’s got to billow just right in the breeze, when flying, moving in general, etc….do we have any CGI capes that we know of????

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:06 PM #

            I agree this is hard to do and make it look natural.

        • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:05 PM #

          Maybe not anymore. CGI has come a long way. I recall watching Monsters Inc and how they made the hair look pretty good. And they have made more improvements since then.

          So I don’t know.

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:07 PM #

            I agree it’s come a long way. It will definitely be cool to see if they can do it.

        • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM #

          Ok, apparently Bale’s cape was CGI and I had no problem with it. So SM’s cape should not be a problem. Just bring back the bright red and not that drudgy dark red thing Routh wore.

  15. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:53 PM #

    Have all of u seen WW new costume?

    Very often many decisions are made not only to enhance the story but also to enhance an actor’s appearance. For example Wonder Women, her boots were initially blue to match her pants. I imagine the designer did this to elongate her legs or to keep the focus on her face. Do u think the boots red boots are too distracting?

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:56 PM #

      The red boots went fabulously with Carter’s costume. Plus they were heels which made the legs look longer. The blue boots are blech and flat footed. Do not care for the costume whatsoever. And since when has WW worn freakin’ pants!?!? Sorry, I just really loved WW as a kid and have a picture of me at age 5 wearing my WW costume. I was something else! 🙂

      • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 7:58 PM #

        WW was incredible for me growing up too!
        I’m not sure what resonates most with me today.
        Maybe the red boots.
        However, lynda carter was so tall.

        • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:03 PM #

          Hi Lurker!

          So u like the red boots with the costume that WW has now?

          • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:06 PM #

            Yes! In fact, I sort of like the pants too – its the top that i have practical issues with. Support? Hello?
            However, you can’t give away too much on the top. She always had a bustier. So, guess you gotta give that one up.

            • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

              O.k. what I’m saying she’s doing all this running around the twins are bound to make a debut in a fight. U know?

              • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:13 PM #

                Well I’m with you on the serious wardrobe malfunction potential!
                Too bad they can’t do something with a nude lycra top to give her full coverage in some of the stunt work.

                • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:19 PM #

                  I’m sure this costume was kept this way to please the male audience. I get that. But come on some straps or something.

      • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

        LOL!! I bet u were something. That’s so cute LB!

        • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:02 PM #

          THe hubs was SM. Too bad we didn’t know each other then. haha!

          And Lurker, Lynda Carter was rock awesome. Just saw her on ‘The Talk’ and she looks just as amazing. my husband about fell over and said he hopes I look that good when I’m her age. hahaha!

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:04 PM #

            If SM & WW had a baby what super hero would it be?

            • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:07 PM #

              I thought those were the wonder twins?

              • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

                LOL!!

                • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

                  Come on! Saturday morning cartoons!
                  Justice League and the Super Heros!
                  I was planted in front of the tv.

            • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

              Is this a trick question? 🙂

              • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM #

                No! Be creative. I liked Lurker’s answer.

                Who would it be?

                • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

                  How can you beat the Wonder Twins??? 🙂

                  • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:15 PM #

                    Put your rings together – ready…activate!

                    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

                      LOL!! This is soooooo funny!

                    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

                      More like Wonder Woman and Spock!!!

                    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:19 PM #

                      What’s even sadder is that you know what I’m talking about. And yes I’m showing my age.

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

      check this out! Pretty cool.

      http://southern4life.blogspot.com/2010/10/first-look-original-sketch-of-wonder.html

  16. Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

    Ladies, I’m gonna have to head out early! Everyone have a good night!

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

      Night Paris!!!!! Have a good night! 🙂

    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 7:59 PM #

      Good night Paris!

      TC!

      • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 8:12 PM #

        Night Paris!

  17. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

    Many of you have discussed how poor the costumes were in Twilight Eclipse. Why do u think the costumes changed so drastically from New Moon to Eclipse?

    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:09 PM #

      No clue, could toss a few theories out –

      Actor input
      Budget

      • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

        I don’t know. Did they keep the same wardrobe department through out the series? If not, that could be a reason why. Different team, different ideas.

        To be honest though, I don’t care! 🙂

        • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

          LOL!

          For New Moon and Eclipse it was the same designer.

          • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 8:24 PM #

            Ah well, I have no idea then!

        • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM #

          I am loving your “I don’t care” attitude by the way. Just so you know…:) I”m just sitting with my imaginary popcorn watching the show pass by…

          • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

            Hmm, hadn’t realised it had extended to here when it’s brought up. I wonder how long it will last too. It’s been a couple of days at least, which is odd because my mood constantly changes every few hours. I like it! Must keep it up!

    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

      I think because of fans and the action in the film.

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

      Honestly, I’ve sort of blocked these images from my mind. There is really only one person’s costume that bugs the snot out of me because I never got that Bella was a tomboy, but whatever…..

      IMO, …..shoot, I don’t know. It’s like no one sat down and really figured out what the characters should really look like or what they would dress like. Hence the horrible wigs.

      • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

        Who could really see the costumes because the wigs were just so front and center?

        Maybe that’s why I can forget the costumes so easily!
        My brain is scorched with the wigs!!!!

      • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

        O.k. Everyone this was a sore topic to bring up. Sorry!

        I wish I had a Men in Black pen to erase your memory. LOL!!

        • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:23 PM #

          haha! 🙂
          (Ok, and speaking of MIB, loving Josh Brolin as young Tommy Lee)

  18. Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

    Ok, what is one of the worst costumes you have ever seen in a movie?

    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:22 PM #

      That’s a good Q. There’s just so many let me think. LOL!!

      • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

        Oh no!!! That’s not good.

        Mine would be Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. Dude, I do not, DO NOT need to see your ding-a-ling. Not necessary.

        That would be followed up by Silk Spectre’s horrible yellow black thing. Just no. No, no, no.

        • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

          LOL!! I agree Dr. Manhattan what were they thinking?

        • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

          SMH in agreement.

    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

      LB this is a hard question.

    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM #

      George Clooney’s Batman Costume

      & Nicholas Cage Batman Costume.

      • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

        NICHOLAS CAGE AS BATMAN!!!!!???? Where the heck have I been?!

        *rushes out to google*

        • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 8:35 PM #

          My mind has gone completely blank!

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

            That’s O.k. Ozzie! I should not have brought up TW!

        • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

          Aaahh!!!! My eyes! My eyes!

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:39 PM #

            LOL!

        • in2flix April 27, 2011 at 5:14 PM #

          Hahahaha…………..

      • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:35 PM #

        GC: nipples. Eeewwww.

        • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM #

          LB did you see your Dr Manhattan comment was in that article!
          HAhahaha.

          • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:44 PM #

            Yes, apparently we weren’t the only ones. haha!

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:39 PM #

      Alicia Silverstone’s batgirlhttp://www.spacestation.carolan.info/Batgirl1998AliciaSilverstone.jpg

      • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:40 PM #

        sorry

        • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:44 PM #

          WOW! See this would not work even in the proper context. LOL!

        • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:44 PM #

          Yeah that’s pretty bad.

  19. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:39 PM #

    I also hated Arnold’s Mr. Freeze costume from Batman.

    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

      Yes this is pretty bad too!

      • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

        Yeah!It was way overdone!

      • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:50 PM #

        I have to say the last Sex in the City film. The costume were really horrible.

        • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:55 PM #

          Oh true, I finally saw that recently.
          Those dresses looked like a lot of just draped fabric.
          Not really wonderful.

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 9:01 PM #

            They also got in the way of the story. Not that it was that great. But the costume were very distracting. IMO! I think Carrie was walking on the beach with all this fabric blowing. It was so impractical and stupid.

            • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 9:04 PM #

              I saw the Devil wears Prada again the other night. Gotta say I love the clothes in that film (especially when she had the D&G boot)but I have to ask you a question?

              My mom always used hidden zippers and I still think it’s really tacky to see a silver zipper up the back of a couture dress.

              • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 9:06 PM #

                Yeah! See this is one of my favorites as well. I do agree.

  20. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:47 PM #

    What is it about Superman’s costume that’s the most appealing?

    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

      Well I think the cape is the most iconic piece of his costume.

      • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:56 PM #

        True! What about the little briefs. Do u think u could fight crime in these and still look cool?

        • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 9:00 PM #

          Well that’s so we don’t have a tacky unitard looking thing. So you have to have those.

          • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 9:03 PM #

            o.k. how does he find the time to squeeze into that get up?

            • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 9:05 PM #

              The director yells – “Cut”
              LOL

              • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 9:07 PM #

                LOL! CLASSIC!! Love it!

  21. Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 8:54 PM #

    Ladies I love you to death but have to run! Jut got a sitter and I have 20 minutes to pull my disaster of a house together!!!! Aaahhh!!!!

    Will check in tonight with my review!!!!

    So freakin’ excited I can hardly stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 8:57 PM #

      Have fun LB!

    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 8:57 PM #

      Enjoy LB!

      Goodnight!

  22. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 9:04 PM #

    O.k We have five minutes left. Do u have anything else u would like to add to this discussion?

    • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 9:08 PM #

      No, my brain is still blank!

      • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 9:09 PM #

        Its ok Ozzie, I finally got mine firing on all cylinders today! (my brain) Rough couple of days.

  23. Open Book April 26, 2011 at 9:11 PM #

    That’s o.k ladies. If u don’t have anymore Q. Than I will say goodnight until next time.

    It’s been fun!

    Goodnight!

    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 9:13 PM #

      Goodnight!

      • ozzie20 April 26, 2011 at 9:22 PM #

        Night all!

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