Sorry Green Hornet fans, I’ve got some bad news for you. I’m sure all of you were as excited as I was to hear that Stephen Chow, director and star of Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer, was signed to once again direct and star in The Green Hornet. The news of Seth Rogen being cast as masked crime fighter Britt Reid, however, may have induced different emotions. It was a controversial casting choice, because the hardcore GH fans do not want this to be a comedy. More on that later. Anyway, the bad news is that Chow has stepped down as director of the film. The excuse would be the ever popular “creative differences.” Basically, Chow is not being allowed to make the GH film that he wants to make. That scares me.
Here’s the thing. I wrote earlier about Rogen’s casting in the film as the hero being controversial because no one wants a comedy. I would bet that Mr Chow is of the same thinking. The original t.v series, starring Kung Fu icon and total bad ass Bruce Lee, was definitely not a comedy. I’m sure there were funny moments, I mean let’s face it. To make a good GH movie, you are going to need to break up the action with the occasional joke. It keeps the film from getting too serious. But full on “buddy comedy” is where I see this film going. And I like it about as much as Chow seems to like what the film is becoming. See, people recognize Rogen from the comedies he has been so terrific in. The guy is laugh out loud hilarious, and I love everything he has done. But I just don’t know about him as the Hornet. I saw Pineapple Express, the most recent film Rogen was featured in. Folks who support the casting of Seth Rogen will refer to Express. They will say that the film had both laugh out loud moments AND quality action. I cannot disagree. Seth Rogen can do a little action. But can he stay serious long enough to make GH a full blown action film? And can the studio resist turning this into a buddy comedy? I mean, it is being written by Rogen and his comedy writing buddy Evan Goldberg
You’ve got to give Rogen credit; he has stated that he grew up watching action movies, and he loves them. And he really wants to make GH a quality film that does justice to the character. So I trust that is what Rogen wants. But the news of Chow’s “creative differences” with the studio suggests to me that the studio wants something different for this film. Now, I could be wrong. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time! There is evidence to support that there are good things happening in relation to the project. The fact that Chow did not completely walk away from the project is a good sign. He will still play the Hornet’s sidekick Kato. So GH can’t be all bad, can it? The studio and producer Neal Moritz are currently looking for a new director for the project. I would bet that their choice will give us a lot of insight into the type of movie that is being made. Personally, I am hoping that they hire a director that has serious action credibility. Seth Rogen can bring the funny. There is no need to hire a comedy director. Let’s hope that this film actually turns out to be pretty good.
The Green Hornet is currently slated for release on June 25th, 2010