THE GREEN HORNET, which entailed the exploits of a crime-fighting newspaper publisher and his martial-artist chauffeur/sidekick Kato, started as a 30s radio show and been adapted into several media versions including a 60s television series (with Bruce Lee playing Kato). A feature film version feels as if its been in development just as forever.
But it looks like Seth Rogen's comedic take could be the real deal. Based on a script by Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg, the project initially had Hong Kong actioner helmer Stephen Chow doing double duty both behind the camera and playing sidekick Kato. Chow however had a change of heart and dropped out of the former while remaining in the latter. Now comes word that a new director has signed on. And its definitely an interesting choice indeed.
That director is Michael Gondry, a true visual storyteller who I consider only second to Terry Gilliam when it comes to surreal, dream-like imagery. His past efforts include the excellent "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" as well as "Be Kind Rewind" and "The Science of Sleep", which he also wrote.
Rogen puts it like this: " "With the permission of nobody, I sent him our script ... to get his input and ideally convince the studio to meet with him. They were skeptical of ... I wouldn't say his ability to make a giant budget studio movie, but his willingness to make a giant budget studio movie. But he loved the script, he totally got it, which a lot of [potential directors] just didn't."
Gondry loved the "Green Hornet" script so much that he filmed an action sceneto show to the producers, "To convince the studio to let him do it, he filmed a fight scene on his own," Rogen marveled. "He just hired stunt men and did it by himself! Just to show some of the stuff he could do, some of the weird filming techniques he has and some of the stuff he can pull off. I mean, this is something he did in two days and it was instantly unlike anything you've ever seen before. It was impossible not to hire him once he presented what he could do for it."
"["The Green Hornet"] will be a great combination of both of our movies, of both of our styles," Rogen said of the film, which hits theaters June 25, 2010. "It should have the type of conversational tone and comedy that me and Evan have been doing — and some of the action that we have been starting to try to do — along with the wild, visual imagination and funny awkward sensibility that he's been doing."
While I'm still of a wait-and-see mindset regarding whether the SUPERBAD-style can smoothly mesh with a full-on action movie (as opposed to PINEAPPLE EXPRESS which was more of a comedy featuring action scenes), I am seriously amped to see what a visual genius like Gondry has up his sleeve for this kind of material.
If nothing else it'll certainly be more interesting than the current action standard of sped-up, shaky cam incoherence and Michael Bay-esque, ADHD-riddled editing.
But what are your thoughts, fellow Morons?