The Green Hornet. Well, well, well. What a bumpy ride this one’s been getting in the press and on blogs.
First of all there was a loud shout of skepticism about the casting of Seth Rogen, then euphoria at the signing of Stephen Chow, then Chow puled out of directing and rumours abound that he’s bailing entirely, then the film is reported to be on the chopping block… and now, well, some pretty compelling evidence that it isn’t. Not at all.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 24th, 2008 by David Chen
In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, and Adam lament the removal of Stephen Chow from The Green Hornet, discuss whether or not a Schwarzenneger cameo would be a good idea for Terminator Salvation, and evaluate the early movie careers of Seth Gordon and Frank Miller. Special guests Erik Davis and William Goss join us from Cinematical.
Join us next Monday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as your favorite film podcast runs down their top films of 2008 and reviews The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
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Last week it was announced that Stephen Chow would no longer be directing The Green Hornet, but that he was still attached to play the Hornet’s sidekick Kato. However, that might not actually be the case at all. Chow tells The Associated Press that he might not play Kato in the film due to possible schedule conflicts. Sounds to me like Chow is graciously trying to step down from the role and from the project as a whole. But then Chow gives this curious quote about how he might still direct The Green Hornet, but two years down the line:
“If I direct ‘The Green Hornet,’ the superhero comedy will have to be delayed for two years,” Chow said. “The timing might not be right for a superhero comedy in two years. And I want to make a movie based on an original idea.”
Chow says he would like to free some time up to work with Jack Black on a different superhero comedy, but no details about that project have been revealed. I have no knowledge of the behind the scenes shuffle going on, but I’m guessing that Stephen Chow’s more comedic version didn’t mesh well with Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg’s original take, and that the project might be is serious jeopardy of falling into development heck.
Why would Chow believe that he could still direct the project in two years if the trades reported that he stepped down from the director’s chair due to “creative differences”? It just doesn’t add up unless you consider the possibility that maybe Columbia Pictures might be more sold on Chow’s version of The Green Hornet over that of Rogen/Goldberg. Either way, it doesn’t look like a good sign for the project.
Stephen Chow will no longer be directing Columbia Pictures’ big screen adaptation of The Green Hornet after all. Apparently he has stepped down due to “creative differences”. It’s likely that Chow butted heads with the studio or producers/screenwriters Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Chow is still attached to play the Hornet’s sidekick Kato.
The studio is on the search for a new director and still plans to begin production by Spring for the announced June 25th 2010 release date. Variety says that a new director could be attached by year’s end (which is just a couple weeks away).
I actually think this is a bit of good news for the project. While I’ve certainly enjoyed Chow’s films, I am not interested in his take on this superhero franchise. I have never believed that Chow’s over-the-top style comedy would be a good fit for this project. What do you guys think?
The crime-fighting character was created by Fran Striker and George Trendle, who also created The Lone Ranger, for a radio serial that launched in 1936 on WXYZ Detriot. The series detailed the adventures of millionaire publisher Britt Reid, a debonair newspaper publisher by day, crime-fighting masked hero at night, along with his sidekick, Kato. The series has had several incarnations, including a film series, comic books, and a live-action 1960’s TV series that starred Van Williams and introduced Bruce Lee to U.S. audiences.
Last year there was a crazy rumor began to circulate that Will Smith‘s son Jaden Smith would star in a remake of The Karate Kid, with Stephen Chow attached to direct and take over the role of Mr. Myiagi.
Sounded horrible then. Still sounds horrible now. And it turns out the crazy rumor wasn’t so crazy.
Variety confirms that Jaden will star in a “refashioned” remake of the 1980’s classic. It gets worse, the film will be set in an exotic locale, with a shoot planned for next year in Beijing. Chris Murphy‘s screenplay is said to “borrow elements” from the original film, and is not a strict remake.
Jaden, an avid practitioner of karate, made his big screen debut as Will Smith’s son (big stretch) in Pursuit of Happyness. He can be seen next in The Day the Earth Stood Still. No word on if Stephen Chow will be involved, although I’d expect he might be too busy on The Green Hornet.
Discuss: Contribute your negative thoughts below.
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Key words: “…and direct.” We’ve known for more than a year that Seth Rogen wanted Stephen Chow to co-star as Kato in The Green Hornet, a role previously made famous by Bruce Lee, and today the casting was confirmed. What’s surprising is that Chow, who’s had considerable international success as a director with Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle and CJ7, will also helm the feature from a script by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, marking his American debut. Given Chow’s penchant for cartoonish, slapstick live-action and martial arts, I’m not sure what to think of the choice. Then again, Slashfilm has questioned the commercial prospects and creative potential of this project ever since Kevin Smith abandoned it and Rogen hopped on. From a press release today from Columbia Pictures via Superhero Hype…
“I’m excited to be taking on The Green Hornet–obviously, I’ve been a huge fan of the show since I was a kid. The idea of stepping into Bruce Lee’s shoes as Kato is both humbling and thrilling, and to get the chance to direct the project as my American movie debut is simply a dream come true.” – Stephen Chow
“The material is a perfect match for his sensibilities–Stephen in the director’s chair is the best thing for the film.” – Producer Neil Moritz (I Am Legend, Click)
“Stephen was always my and Evan’s first choice for director and to play Kato. We just hope that he never finds out we’re not the Wachowski Brothers.” – Seth Rogen
Chow has a considerable fanboy following in the States, so the choice should earn insta-cool cachet online similar to the hiring of David Gordon Green for Pineapple Express. I’m curious to know what our readers think. Similar to PE, Rogen has described the film as having “very intense action,” with much of the comedy bouncing off the dynamic between Green Hornet—a bored playboy who decides to fight crime in a party mask—and his kung fu-abled driver, Kato. Opening Summer 2010, three weeks after Marvel Studios’ Thor and one week before Toy Story 3, I can’t help but shake memories of The Shadow, another hero that originated in ’30s radio serials and wasn’t a household name at film’s release and paid for it. But I do grasp the hazy retro-Hollywood charm of the characters—I’d love to see this material done in the fashion of The Long Goodbye—and the freedom-from-scorn in reinventing them. All in all, you have to admire Rogen’s eye for hip collaboration.
Discuss: Stephen Chow directing Seth Rogen in The Green Hornet. After Pineapple Express, is Seth Rogen a viable action-comedy star? He’s already dropping the pounds.
Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that Sony is moving forward with Seth Rogen‘s The Green Hornet. Rogen is cureently working on the script with his Superbad co-writer Evan Goldberg. The story follows Britt Reid, a bored playboy who spends his nights fighting crime with his sidekick, Kato (Rogen has said that he wants Stephen Chow for the role). No further details are known at this time. No director has been hired. But we now have a release date: June 25, 2010 – three weeks after Marvel’s Thor, and one week following Pixar’s Toy Story 3.
The crime-fighting character was created by Fran Striker and George Trendle, who also created The Lone Ranger, for a radio serial that launched in 1936. The series has had several incarnations, including film series, a live-action 1960’s television show, and comic books.
Movie studios have been trying to turn The Green Hornet into a feature film for years now. In the 1990s, George Clooney and Jason Scott Lee were supposedly lined up to play the leads. In the late 90s, Music video director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind) worked with RoboCop screenwriter Edward Neumeier on a possible adaptation. In the Summer of 2004, Miramax purchased the rights for a writing/directing vehicle for Clerks director Kevin Smith. Smith later decided that he didn’t want to be responsible for an effects and action laden movie, and the film went into turnaround. And now, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift producer Neal H. Moritz obtained the film rights and optioned them to Sony.
I believe, one of the many reasons a feature film adaptation has never gotten off the ground is that contemporary audiences aren’t interested in this old character. He’s not much of a recognized name outside of the superhero world. In a previous article I theorized that “this could possibly be a good thing, allowing the screenwriters to have more wiggle room (usually comic book cannon prevents writers from straying far from the character’s roots). But on the other hand, look how that turned out for Catwoman.” It seems like Rogen’s take might involve a more comic tone than previous efforts.
Why can’t they leave the movies from my childhood alone? Months ago it was rumored that Will Smith’s nine-year-old son Jaden was in talks to star in a modern day remake of The Karate Kid. The rumors were quickly denied by a spokesman for Smith. However it was confirmed that Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment is developing a new Karate Kid film.
Moviehole now reveals that Kung Fu Hustle‘s Stephen Chow is now in talks to direct and star. Please god, say it isn’t so! Chow would play the Mr. Myiagi role in the new film if he does sign on.
“I’m very fond of ‘The Karate Kid’ and would love to join in the remake project, no matter as a producer, director or actor”, says Chow. “But it depends on my schedule. As you know, next year I will work on two movies, ‘Dragon Ball’ and ‘Journey to the West.'”
Lets hope that Chow’s schedule fills up quick. And don’t worry, it gets even worse. Will Smith apparently wants to shoot the film in China. Please, someone, anyone, stop him.