The deliberate progress on Seth Rogen’s big screen version of “The Green Hornet” is the stuff of movie junket jokes, with updates coming slowly from one promotional press conference to the next.
“I’ve decided we’re never gonna make the movie,” Rogen laughs. “We’re just going to promote it for the next 10 years.”
Rogen is currently handling publicity duties on the Judd Apatow-directed “Funny People,” but the most recent information on “Green Hornet” hasn’t been of a positive nature. Stephen Chow, originally set to direct the movie and step into Bruce Lee’s shoes as Kato, first departed as director and then exited as Kato, news widely reported last week.
“In my head, we lost Stephen Chow in April, so it’s something I’ve had a lot of time to wrap my head around,” Rogen tells reporters. “That’s not a change. It might appear to be one to the world in the way that this type of information is doled out, but to me, we haven’t had a Kato since April and we’re looking. So it really doesn’t change that much as of late. We’re kind of in the same boat that we were in beforehand.”
Rogen is quick to emphasize that just because the small setbacks are what attracts buzz on the Internet, “Green Hornet” is progressing at a reasonable pace. It’s a pace that just reflects the growing pains of Rogen’s latest elevation in writer-producer-star status.
“It’s really hard to make a big movie. It’s exponentially more difficult to make a $100 million movie than it is to make a $20 million movie, especially in this economy,” he explains. “That actually does effect things. DVD sales are down, which scares the studios. And we’re not trying to make what they would probably consider to be a 100 percent safe version of a movie like this. You know? We like to push the envelope in some directions. We like to do things that we find interesting and original and you bring Michel Gondry into the equation and that opens up a whole new bag of worms. So, I think just for us to make a movie that we feel confident in and for them to have a movie that they feel confident in, that’s taking a long time.”
Rogen adds, “Luckily it’s all very personal relationships with these people. I mean Matt Tolmach and and Amy Pascal, we’ve been working with since “Superbad.” So I’ve known these people for a while. They know us. They trust us. We trust them. So it’s been pretty pleasant. It’s not like anyone’s screwed anyone or anything like that. It’s been a great process. It’s just hard. It’s difficult to get a movie like this made.”
Proof of the advancement of “Green Hornet” — with or without a Kato — may be only days away, with San Diego’s Comic-Con seeming like a good place to kick-start some momentum.
“There may be a little something at Comic-Con,” Rogen acknowledges, haltingly.
Anything in particular? The movie isn’t scheduled for any sort of panel…
“I never know what I can say and what I can’t say,” he says, followed by a nervous laugh and no further answers.
After the press conference, HitFix approached Rogen and asked if, as we’ve heard, Comic-Con throngs may get their first glimpse at the film’s version of Black Beauty, Green Hornet’s famed Chrysler Imperial.
“It may be…” [Long pause.] “It may not be.”
“Funny People” opens on July 31, 2009.