Seth Rogen Explains Why They Chose Michel Gondry for Green Hornet
by Alex Billington
February 25, 2009
When I first heard the news that Michel Gondry would be directing Seth Rogen's The Green Hornet, I wasn't sure whether to believe it at first. While I love Gondry, he just doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would direct a big-budget superhero movie - or so I thought. Rogen, who spoke with MTV recently about the news, enthusiastically explained why he is actually the perfect choice and even goes so far as to explain how they got him to begin with. After sending him the script, Gondry loved it so much that he shot a fight scene to try and prove to Sony that he could do it and make it look good - without using any cardboard.
Of course, Gondry doesn't only use cardboard, but if you've seen any of his films (specifically Science of Sleep or Be Kind Rewind), you know that he loves to use a lot of everyday material. He has a unique style, which I love, but it doesn't seem to lend itself well to a superheroes. But Rogen promises that this "will be a great combination… of both of our styles. 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 [Gondry's] been doing."
If that's not enough to convince you that Gondry might be the perfect guy, then check out this story. Rogen explains that he got the script into Gondry's hands both for input and to 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." From there, he overboard to prove he was the right director:
Gondry loved the Green Hornet script so much, in fact, that he began filming it immediately. "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."
I'd love to see that footage, but we'll probably have to wait for the DVD. Just hearing that story makes me so much more confident that Gondry can pull this off and that he does want to direct it (and isn't just taking a paycheck). "Me and [co-writer] Evan [Goldberg] have always been gigantic fans of [Gondry]," Rogen says. "We just like anyone who thinks outside the box, and there's really nobody who thinks more outside the box then he does; he's really a magician in a lot of ways." I couldn't agree more! With Gondry directing, I'm more excited for Green Hornet than I ever was before, even when Stephen Chow was attached.
And as for our concern about cardboard, I don't think we have to worry about that at all. "My direct quote to [Gondry] right before he met with the studio was, 'You have to convince them they're not gonna show up on set one day and everything is gonna be made out of cardboard.' And he said, 'I can definitely do that.'"