Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Michael Gondry Says Nic Cage Wanted To Play 'The Green Hornet' Villain With A Jamaican Accent

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 10, 2011 at 4:01AM

Director Says He Was "Relieved" When Cage No Longer Wanted The RoleAt one time, "The Green Hornet" looked very different. Seth Rogen was still on board in the lead, crime-fighting role but Stephen Chow, the star of "Kung Fu Hustle" was signed up to direct and play Kato and Nicolas Cage was in talks for the villain. He eventually walked from the part and at the time, gave a very sober account of an actor struggling to ensure the integrity of the character he was looking to play. Interesting coming from the guy with "Season of the Witch" now in theaters, but anyway....
2

Director Says He Was "Relieved" When Cage No Longer Wanted The Role



At one time, "The Green Hornet" looked very different. Seth Rogen was still on board in the lead, crime-fighting role but Stephen Chow, the star of "Kung Fu Hustle" was signed up to direct and play Kato and Nicolas Cage was in talks for the villain. He eventually walked from the part and at the time, gave a very sober account of an actor struggling to ensure the integrity of the character he was looking to play. Interesting coming from the guy with "Season of the Witch" now in theaters, but anyway....

“ 'Green Hornet' was something I wanted to do. I think Michel Gondry is very talented and I had hoped it would work. But I think Seth Rogen and Michel had a different direction for the character tonally than the way I wanted to go," he told Canadian press. "I wasn't interested in just being a straight-up bad guy who was killing people willy-nilly. I had to have some humanity and try to give it something where you could understand why the character was the way he was. But there wasn't enough time to develop it." But to hear director Michel Gondry now tell it, Nic Cage had some pretty wild ideas for what he wanted to do with the character.

Talking with the New York Times, Michel Gondry reveals that Cage wanted the character to have a Jamaican accent (amazing) but obviously that decision caused some clashes. “I was quite relieved when he announced he no longer wanted the part,” Gondry said. Christoph Waltz ended up snagging the role of Chudnofsky, the bad guy who is also in the midst of a mid-life crisis. But that's not the only bit of intriguing development trivia surrounding the film.

“Stephen wanted Kato to implant a microchip in Britt’s brain and control him with a joystick,” Rogen said about the director first on board the project. “Maybe they’re doing that in China, and I’m not aware of it. I don’t read the newspapers as much as I should.” But that's just the tip of the iceberg for the comic franchise that went through a variety of versions since Gondry signed on in 1997.

Mark Wahlberg was initially offered the lead while the director's personal choice was Vince Vaughn as Britt Reid; Jason Scott Lee ("Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story") was slotted for Kato. In the first version of the film that had a script by Edward Neumeier ("Robocop") the villain ate human hearts, swallowed a pacemaker and met his end via a microwave. “The studio said it had ‘creative differences’ with us, so the film was shelved," Gondry said.

The project was kicked back to life in 2004 with Kevin Smith attached to write and direct and Jake Gyllenhaal eyed for the lead. But Smith's version, which featured a female Kato, never got off the ground and eventually hit in the form of a graphic novel. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg jumped on the film in 2007 and after Chow didn't work out in the director's chair, the project fell back in Gondry's lap.

With the film boasting an expensive $130 million budget (not counting the dollars spent marketing the picture), it's no surprise that even earlier incarnations of the project had mega-watt stars like Eddie Murphy and George Clooney interested. But Seth Rogen, outside of Apatow-produced pictures, is a bit of an untested element. That said, test screenings have apparently gone well, screenings of the film for the geek community have generated some decent buzz, newer trailers have played much better and despite Gondry calling fanboys "fascists," with weak January selections at the box office, the film could prove to be a surprise smash.

Guess we'll find out if a Rastafarian Nic Cage would've helped or hurt "The Green Hornet" when it opens on Friday.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Michel Gondry, Super Hero Films, Eddie Murphy, Nicolas Cage, The Green Hornet


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates