Evan Goldberg On Stephen Chow & The Early 'Green Hornet' Collab: "He Wanted Utter Control"

by Edward Davis
January 10, 2011 6:20 AM
1 Comment
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'Hornet' Co-Writer Defends 3D Conversion



"Green Hornet" hits theaters this weekend, Friday January 14, so we thought we'd re-run some great interviews we conducted with writer Evan Goldberg ("Superbad," "Pineapple Express") last year.

While some filmmakers are fluent in the type of diplomacy needed for swimming with sharks in Hollywood, "Superbad," "Pineapple Express" writer and Seth Rogen collaborator, Evan Goldberg is quite the opposite; an utterly candid man with a lot to say.

Goldberg wrote "The Green Hornet" with Rogen, and the screenwriter is also an executive producer on the film as well. The movie is directed by Michel Gondry, but you may recall that before the visually inventive director came onboard to helm the picture, the original Kato in the film was supposed to be "Kung-Fu Hustle" director/writer/star Stephen Chow. Chow dropped out of the project because of "creative differences" and was later replaced with Taiwanese actor Jay Chou, but by Goldberg's account, those differences were perhaps not entirely amicable, or at least a lot of their issues were lost in a cultural translation.

We were curious and had to ask how and why their creative visions for the picture diverged.

"The truth is [our creative visions for the film] differed drastically. You’d think our similar comedic styles would work together. In order to make a movie like 'Kung Fu Hustle,' which I think is one of the greatest movies ever made, you need to have complete and utter control, and I think he needed [that], and he came from a different world. I can’t even answer the question properly, because I don’t know how that world works. Two worlds collided, is the short answer. We’re from very different places and it didn’t pan out. But the guy’s still a genius. I can still picture the version with him, but it didn’t work out."
As for "The Green Hornet" being bumped from December 10 to January 14, 2011 to allow for 3D post-conversion, like Gondry recently said, Goldberg insists this was an idea from the very start.

"It was all our idea, we wanted to do it from square one. Seth was off filming some other movie and I took that opportunity to go to every single 3D vendor and meet with people. I learned everything about 3D. Well before we tried to make the 'Green Hornet,' we desperately tried to convince everybody it has to be 3D and you’re going to regret it and spend more money in the long run if you don’t. And actually it all worked out for the best because we didn’t film it in 3D, and it turns out that’s kind of better. The conversion process seems to be superior, because, to get really specific, the 3D cameras have different eyes and lenses so you can’t capture flares. So we have all these cool flares that you wouldn’t have in a movie like 'Avatar.' So we’re going to have floating flares coming at you, and artistically it’s going to be really cool. Really the conversion process—I mean they just announced 'Thor' and 'Captain America' are not going to shoot in 3D and are going to convert. And there’s still advantages to shooting 3D at times, but in my opinion the shooting of 3D will be for sports, the conversion will be for movies."

Meanwhile, Goldberg announced a new CG project that he and Rogen are working on. It involves "Kung-Fu Panda" director Mark Osborne, and Jonah Hill, and it's called "Sausage Party." We know it's an animated project, but details are slim for now.

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1 Comment

  • asiafilm | January 11, 2011 1:49 AMReply

    I agree with Evan Goldberg that KUNG FU HUSTLE is one of the greatest (art) movies ever made....even though it is totally entertaining. However, Goldberg et al.'s "creative" differences with cinematic visionary director Stephen Chow shows that their Western Hollywoodian egos are too large for Chow's sublime filmmaking. Even though Goldberg has good taste in watching films, he still doesn't seem to realize that a writer/producer must graciously and humbly give up all power when accepting the gifts of an inspired genius. Unfortunately, we all have lost a terrific Green Hornet, and received a forgettable diluted copy instead. I doubt it will bring in the riches that Goldberg et al. expects. Poor Green Hornet. Poor audience.

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