Seth Rogen Discusses The Green Hornet Villains, Kato, and Playing a Superhero
07.22.10 by Ryan
The adaptation of The Green Hornet has been bumpy for Seth Rogen and company. Original director Stephen Chow (KungFu Hustle), left the director's chair during pre-production when Michel Gondry stepped in. By the time Jay Chou came on board to play Kato, Nicolas Cage, the movie's villain, decided to drop out over creative differences. Several delays, and a bomb scare later, Rogen joked that the movie wouldn't "never" get made, but they would still "promote it for the next 10 years."
Those troubled days seem long gone now, as Rogen explained to Moviefone. The actor and co-writer said that, once the hiccups ceased, they were able to make "the exact movie we wanted to make."
We got Gondry as the director, we got the cast that we never would've dreamed of... it's one of those things where it's almost like every time we had a setback, something much better ultimately would arise. We feel like we've really accomplished something because so many people said we never would do it.
Cameron Diaz is one of those "dream" cast members, and Rogen admitted he "couldn't believe" she agreed to be a part of the movie and called her a "delight to work with." Another "dream" cast member was Christoph Waltz, who stepped in for the departing Cage to play L.A. crime boss Benjamin Chudnofsky. After Cage left the project, the actor admitted that he left Green Hornet because Rogen and Gondry had "a different take" on the character, saying that he wanted the character "to have some humanity." That "humanity" Cage wanted, according to Rogen, was a Jamaican accent, something Rogen doesn't seem to miss with Waltz's performance.
When that dissolved, we saw it as a real opportunity to kind of get back to a version of the character that we were more interested in all along... which was definitively not from the Bahamas or any Bahamian region.
While Cage may not have wanted to play a "straight-up bad-guy," Rogen says The Green Hornet will be more of a straight-up origin story.
When you find me, I'm in no way the type of person that would ever care to stop a crime or be equipped to stop a crime. We really wanted to chart the evolution of just your normal everyday dude into what the world views as a superhero.
But Rogen admits it's Chou who really becomes the superhero.
He's definitely the strong-but-silent type, but that makes up for me because I'm the weak-but-loud type. So I think together we complement each other very well. As you can see in [the sizzle reel], he gets a lot of the laughs. It's not just me, you know? He has great timing... Like he is the leader. He is cooler, he is smarter, he is much more physically adept than I am and it played into the whole joke that we have for the movie — basically, that he shouldn't be the sidekick, you know?