Impish auteur Michel Gondry has been talking to all and sundry about his involvement in the much-anticipated, Seth Rogen-headed adaptation of The Green Hornet.
Gondry said to Total Film that he was surprised that Rogen was even listening to many of his ideas given his current box-office clout compared to the former Freak and Geeker. He said the trust put in him by Rogen is “quite amazing”, adding: “I mean, look at my numbers on IMDb, and my average is $10 million and his average is $90 million a movie, so I’m glad he’s paying any attention to what I’m suggesting.”
He goes on in the interview to say that this could well have something to do with the fight scene he made for his audition tape to try and get the job. He describes the seen as being “not elaborate”, explaining that he changed the camera speed at “different spots in the image at different times”. Going further, Gondry illuminates:
“The camera speeds up and slows down but at different times for different characters’ images. So one will go fast and the other will go slow — and then they’ll meet. It’s as if they’re in different dimensions, but when they touch each other, they come into the same dimension”.
Deeper than this is a short interview with Sci-Fi Wire in which he explains his entire directing style. He says he takes the comments from critics of his work which hurt him – “Generally if I was upset about a comment, it was because there was some truth in the comment,” he says – and compiles them into a notebook to help him improve as a director.
He goes on to explain his ethos in approaching the Green Hornet project:
“I’ll try to portray a human quality I see in real life and I appreciate through the medium. That’s my job, to not use the film to camouflage moments of a person’s personality, but to reveal that personality, and I think this is a very clear and broad statement, maybe something to do with feeling good or this type of direction, so I don’t see why this should not be easy for people to appreciate.”
As usual, his comments seem encouraging for his plans on the project, indicating a desire not to fall into the traps of so many indie film directors entering into the Hollywood machine and losing their personality in the process.
There seems to be a desire on the side of both Gondry and, importantly, Rogen to make something outside of the standardised formula now prevalent in comic book hero movies. More and more, this is becoming a very anticipated project in my book.
Photo from Flickr user tomsaiyuk
The Green Hornet has become something of a buzzed-about project since the addition of Michel Gondry as director, adding his talents to those of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in the writing department, the former also starring. For all the excitment building around the film however, it seems even Rogen is a little unsure as to how things will pan out when it comes to fruition.
Speaking in an interview with Collider, Rogen said he and Goldberg had been given a rejection by Gondry after coming to him with ideas which involved incorporating some of his own style, “weird people made out of string and shit like that” as Rogen puts it. “He’s like, ‘No, I don’t want to (do) any of that’,” Rogen says of Gondry’s reaction, adding that he hates to be “predictable and repetitive”.
The other question Rogen is fielding is over the involvement of Hong Kong action star, and the creator of Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer, Stephen Chow. The latter had been tapped to play both Kato and direct at one point, although this then devolved into him only playing Kato and on to further speculation that he is not involved at all.
On the issue, Rogen : “He may be Kato. I’m not 100 per cent sure if that’s the case, but it’s a very likely possibility”, adding the movie is in the very early stages and that he honestly knows nothing else.
On the subject of the actual story however, Rogen indicated that he and Goldberg were edging towards doing an origin piece. He said the two had resisted such an option to begin with, “but then we realized if we kind of embraced it and played with that idea it could be a lot better so that’s something we’ve added”.
The whole project still sounds pretty decent, especially with the visual style and imagination of Gondry on board. I would also like to see Chow take on the role of Kato, mostly to provide him with a way into Hollywood and an opportunity to start competing for those Jackie Chan comic-kung fu roles he so richly deserves.