Seth Rogen: June start for Green Hornet, but no cheesy F/X

When Stephen Chow was set to direct The Green Hornet, one might have expected CGI comedy in the Kung Fu Hustle style. With Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) taking over, could the crime fighter battle homemade special effects?

Co-writer and star Seth Rogen has already acknowledged that he and Evan Goldberg are writing a script for Gondry and has described their take on the Hornet as the ultimate story of a hero and his sidekick. The Green Hornet is that rare superhero whose sidekick is more famous than he is. Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee played Kato in the '60s TV series. Who even played the Hornet? (It was Van Williams.)

Just getting the movie made seems like an accomplishment after filmmakers from Christopher McQuarrie to Kevin Smith tried to get it started before Rogen, Chow and Gondry. Rogen updated a group of reporters on the film's progress Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting Observe & Report. The following Q&A features edited excerpts from that interview.

After all these false starts and director changeovers, when do you actually start Green Hornet?

Rogen: To film? It should—right now we're scheduled sometime at the end of June.

Will Michel Gondry be able to do his homemade style of effects?

Rogen: You know, he actually really does not want to. Me and Evan have actually come up with [ways]. We've approached him with ideas, like, "Hey, maybe we could do something like this. You could do you some of your weird people made out of string and s--t like that." He's like, "No, I don't want to do any of that." He's like, "The fact that you think I want to do that drives me crazy and makes me never want to do anything like that again." You know, he hates being predictable and repetitive and doing what's been done before, so as soon as he starts to feel like he's expected to do something, then he doesn't want to do it at all.

Is it still the hero/sidekick story you've described before?

Rogen: Yeah, and I would say if anything, it's taken on a much greater [scope]. At first we were kind of resisting the notion of an origin story, but then we realized we could kind of embrace it and then play with that idea; it could be a lot better. So that's something we've added.

With your busy schedule, will you be able to do the sci-fi film Kevin Smith wants you for?

Rogen: I don't know. He's doing that other movie right now. He hasn't written it as far as I know.

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