In an interview with Mr. Beaks from Aint It Cool News, Seth Rogen has denied claims that his upcoming action flick The Green Hornet is dead. Instead, he talked up the visual inventiveness of director Michel Gondry, who Rogen hopes will make the film “as visually exciting and inventive as anything anyone has ever seen.”
First, let’s look back at the tumultous history of Rogen’s Green Hornet, and then let us know your thoughts on the project.
Early last year, Columbia/Sony Pictures announced (seemingly out of nowhere) that Seth Rogen and his Superbad/Pineapple Express writing partner Evan Goldberg would pen a new film based on the legendary crime-fighting character The Green Hornet. Not only that, but Rogen would star as The Green Hornet himself!
We had our doubts: Could Rogen capture the essence of playboy/masked vigilante Britt Reid (blood relative of The Lone Ranger!) with that trademark bear-like laugh and rotund body shape?
Legendary kung-fu star Stephen Chow joined the project as director, while also taking up the role of Reid’s chauffer/bodyguard Kato. It gave the project some much-needed action credibility.
However, Chow dropped out of his directing gig in December of 2008, due to creative differences with Rogen and Goldberg. Perhaps the subtle comic style of the duo clashed with Chow’s zany-madcap slapstick antics? At this point, Chow was still slated to star as Kato.
During this year’s Sundance Film Festival in January, the rumour going round Salt Lake City was that The Green Hornet was dead in the water. Columbia/Sony were supposedly about to pull the plug on the project.
Of course, by February Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry had jumped aboard as the film’s new director. Gondry had previously attempted to bring the project to the big screen in the late-1990’s, before it bounced around Hollywood and landed back in his lap a decade later.
Now here we are in July, and a casting call for Kato pretty much confirmed that Chow would no longer have anything to do with Rogen’s Green Hornet.
Cameron Diaz was recently in talks to take on the lead female role in the picture, although neither her involvement nor her potential character has been confirmed.
And that brings us back to Rogen’s interview. In regards to the rumour of TGH being axed:
“No, we’re building sets! There’s more people working on the film every day! They traditionally don’t spend millions and millions of dollars on movies that are dead. (Laughs)”
Rogen described the hunt for the new Kato as “a wild adventure,” and that actors from around the world are being considered for the part.
He also assured Gondry fans that the director’s unique style would not be pared back for the upcoming collaboration. With principal photography expected to begin before the end of the year, we can only hope that Rogen’s positivity is a genuine reflection of this project’s potential.
Oh, and as for his so-called ‘unflattering’ body shape, here is The Incredible Shrinking Seth Rogen circa April 2009:
Discuss: Does this project sound completely unappealing to you? Has it been cursed since day dot? Or can it replicate the success of Iron Man, in which a relatively unknown character was brought to life by a visually inventive director and an unexpected and offbeat comic actor?