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In the comics, Hal Jordan was possessed by the fear entity Parallax and went on a rampage throughout Earth. In the film this happens to Hector Hammond.

The comics differ over what caused Abin Sur's mortal crash-landing on Earth. The original story says his ship was rendered inoperative by yellow radiation that surrounded the Earth; later comics mention his ship was damaged from a battle with a Red Lantern. The film combines both versions (battle with a being of yellow radiation), thus enabling the possibility of the Red Lantern Corps appearing in future films.

The film's primary antagonist, the fear entity Parallax, was chosen as part of a long-term strategy for successive films: Sinestro would be corrupted by Parallax and form his own Corps with Parallax as their power source, while other entities of emotional power (Ion, the Butcher, Ophidian, Adara, Proselyte, the Predator, Nekron and the Life Entity) and their Corps are planned to make an appearance.

In the comics, the Checkmate organization (of which Amanda Waller and Alan Scott are agents) is specializes in covert operations. In the film, it is seen as a supervising agency (similar to S.H.I.E.L.D. or Sector Seven).

Some wide shots of San Diego are used for Coast City. One of the shots shows Parallax over the San Diego Convention Center, which is the home of Comic-Con.

The filmmakers increased the budget by $9 million for additional VFX work.

Michael Clarke Duncan, who voices Kilowog, is a big fan of the character.

A Central City sign can be seen in the film. Central City was the home of Green Lantern's superhuman ally and close friend, the Flash.

The dialogue between Jordan and Sinestro about power batteries was taken verbatim from the "Green Lantern" comic 'Secret Origin'.

Geoffrey Rush was initially unsure about voicing the alien Tomar-Re, but he had previously voiced avian roles (he had played an owl in Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010) and a pelican in Finding Nemo (2003)), and so when he saw an image of the birdlike Tomar-Re, he accepted the role. He had also noted that he had played various mentor roles before, so felt he would be more than comfortable with the role.

To prepare for his role as Hector Hammond, Peter Sarsgaard spent time with a biologist from Tulane University, who he described as "the most eccentric guy I could find." They both worked on preparing the lecture Hammond gives in the film.

In 2007, actor-writer Corey Reynolds sent Warner Bros. a treatment, "Green Lantern: Birth of a Hero", with him writing and starring as John Stewart (his favourite superhero). Reynolds intended the film to be the first in a trilogy, and was going to introduce Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern Corps and the Justice League in the consecutive sequels. While his pitch was favourably received by the studio, it was abandoned in favour of a story about Hal Jordan.

Kevin Kline was considered for the role of Senator Hammond.

An early draft of the script contained a cameo by Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern (Jordan's predecessor, whose powers were magical rather than cosmic). Scott was going to be the United States President, and near the end would reveal his own past as a Green Lantern to Jordan, and give him his blessing. He was later revised to become an agent of the Checkmate agency (the Checkmate membership stayed true to the comics), who would approach and offer Jordan membership. Later drafts finally wrote him out of the film, and replaced him with Amanda Waller.

The primary antagonist in the film was originally going to be the Legion, an alien robot possessing the collective minds of an alien insectoid race. This would have been in keeping with the original comics, where Abin Sur was mortally wounded in a battle with the Legion. However, the Legion was rejected in favour of the fear entity Parallax.

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