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.'"
Reader Feedback - 15 Comments
I loved both Eternal Sunshine and Be Kind Rewind, plus loads of the music videos that Gondry has done. I feel very very sure that he can pull off a big flick like this.
Marcus on Feb 25, 2009
I think Gondry's a fantastic director, and well capable of making Green Hornet. Hope to see that footage someday soon.
Dan on Feb 25, 2009
Chow definitely would have made a better movie. Maybe not American enough to do well domestically, but it would have been a great film.
9mm on Feb 25, 2009
Love Chow and Gondry quite a bit. But this is encouraging news. I didn't know if the project could ever seem as cool as it did when Chow was attached to direct - but Gondry is a sweet choice and I'm, surprisingly, even more excited now. Knowing the type of stuff Rogen and Goldberg write, I think Gondry is probably a better fit.
Matt on Feb 25, 2009
Gondry has definitely tamed his style into something that can be classified as "mainstream" while still maintaining the insanity of his bursting creativity energy. This will be interesting to say the least.
Fuelbot on Feb 25, 2009
In case no one knows this, Gondry pioneered the bullet time technique used in one of the biggest action movies ever, The Matrix, in his Bjork video "Army of Me" back in 1995. I can't imagine what he'll come up with for a feature film!
Yo on Feb 25, 2009
While Gondry has a incredible talent.....the weak link is the star. Not even he can direct a non-talent as Rogen.
Tim "CLoverfield" on Feb 25, 2009
The Green Hornet is beloved, while Seth Rogen is hated beyond belief and will ruin this sacred character. Sigh. PS where is Gale?
rogenhatersunite on Feb 25, 2009
With Rogen involved, this is DEAD to me!
Nut-Meg on Feb 25, 2009
All Michael needs is a good script ( not written by Rogen) and a good leading man, or, an actor that could actually act. ( so this is not Rogen). Then he would actually do a fine job with the Hornet. As long as the likes of Rogen is attached, this will fail. Then no one will ever touch this material again. What a sad day for the Green Hornet and his fans.
D-9 on Feb 25, 2009
With Rogen in the lead, Bruce Lee is turning over in his grave. UGH!
slipstream on Feb 25, 2009
#11 you cant turn over when you are dead. Who cares about the green hornet anyways. Rogen is totally sweet almost everything he does is really, really funny. I hate it when people rate a movie before they see it. It's cool to hear their opinions of what they want to see. But in the end movies are just about making money, they don't actually care about staying "true" to the source material. Haters should be lucky enough that they are making a live action adaptation, because at the end of the day, even if the movie sucked ass, you still have the graphic novel, no harm, no foul. STFU
Tehprofit on Feb 25, 2009
This whole comedy angle seems line a poor idea to me and no matter how buff Rogen is going to get I still do not seem him as a superhero. Maybe some footage will change my opinion but as of now Sony should cut their losses now.
Ryan on Feb 25, 2009
I'm with #13 on this one. Comedy + Superhero = Cheese Case in point: Batman Forever (Riddler & Two Face.. in case I got the my movie titles mixed up) If he can it pull off, I'll eat my hat.
Hand Knotted Rugs on Feb 26, 2009
#12! Alot of us care about the Green Hornet, and have for years and tears. And Seth Rogen is the absolute worst choice ever. EVER! I am not the only here that thinks Rogen is an on-talent and this damage he will do to our Hero, will never be able to be repaired! My God, you obviously do not know anything about the Hornet and his history
Hornet Fan on Feb 26, 2009
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