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From the Archives: Michel Gondry on 'Green Hornet.'

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn February 24, 2009 at 7:39AM

From the Archives: Michel Gondry on 'Green Hornet.'

The news today that Michel Gondry will take over the directorial reigns from Stephen Chow on The Green Hornet, an adaptation of the popular comic book superhero starring Seth Rogen, has a certain poetic justice to it. When Gondry first moved from France to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s, he wanted to make lighthearted blockbusters, inspired by 80's hits like the Back to the Future franchise. However, due to creative differences with the studio, Gondry wound up turning his interests elsewhere. That was probably a good thing, since he went on to create a distinctive visual style that's all his own, rather than melt into the Hollywood formula. When I profiled Gondry for a New York Press cover story a few years back, here's what he had to say about his initial Green Hornet experience:

“I wanted it to have the quirkiness of Superman III,” he says. “They wanted something sleek like The Matrix. I don't see myself with this kind of darkness.” He gets increasingly impassioned as the memories flow back. “The producer was an idiot,” he says. “This guy thought I was a cool director. But I was not cool, even if I was popular with artists. It wasn't about having an attitude. It was about not having an attitude.”