The LA Times reports today that originally, Sony had wanted to release "The Green Hornet" in a much more friendly, blockbuster-y March date but the folks over at Warner Bros. were less than pleased. Why? The WB had already set their green-affiliated hero -- "Green Lantern" -- for a June release just a few months away, and were concerned that having two comic movies with a color and a noun in the title hitting multiplexes so close to each would confuse audiences and possibly those guys who put the letters in the marquee sign. So they took it to
the streets an arbitration with the MPAA who ruled in the WB's favor. Consequently, Sony and WB shook hands over a five month bumper between films, and thus a January 14th release date was born.
Of course, we don't have to remind you the release date issue was only one of many battles fought on the way to bringing "The Green Hornet" to cinemas. In what is now old lore by now, "Kung Fu Hustle" helmer Stephen Chow was originally slated to direct and those associated with the production have made no secret that he had some wild ideas and wanted total control. In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (not online) Michel Gondry says Chow had, "Really, really crazy ideas that you would not dare bring to a studio." Such as? "AIDS was involved. Plastic boobs were involved too." (A rep for Chow denied Gondry's claims.) Wow. Well, needless to say, Gondry's version scuttled those elements though if you think about it, there really aren't enough plastic boobs in movies.
Anyway, it turns out that a January date was probably a better opening date anyway. The cinematic landscape is barren this month and the film took in over $500,000 at midnight screenings during a season when trying to convince somebody to leave the house at all and face Old Man Winter is a dicey prospect at best. Anyway, we'll see what the Monday morning quarterbacks say once the weekend box office grosses are in but March is crowded month anyway -- "Sucker Punch," "Battle: Los Angeles," "Rango," "Red Riding Hood" -- and frankly the film is probably much better off with little to no competition (sorry Vince Vaughn and Kevin James). And oh yeah, in case you didn't stay up last night and missed it, Michel Gondry directed "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Check out the opening monologue below.