Just as the unfairly maligned "The Green Hornet" is gaining traction after haters dogged the film sight unseen and some perpetuated rumors that Sony was unhappy with the film, a recent remark by director Michel Gondry threatens to alienate fans.
As mentioned, "The Green Hornet" has battled a year of bad buzz; the film re-upped to 3D after the fact, tongues whispered dissatisfaction from the studio and early trailers did little to prove what some had predicted from day one -- a 'Green Hornet' film starring Seth Rogen was a misguided idea.
But trailer after trailer for the film has improved and in a move to combat the negative and perhaps completely unjustified buzz, Sony recently screened the picture to the geek community. Jeff Wells would call this a herding in the "easy lays" manuever, but nevertheless the perception of the picture is already changing. While geek bloggers aren't allowed to write about it, they have been given the OK to tweet about it and the general sentiment coming out is: Not bad/pretty good and certainly not the rumored disaster (perhaps Sony still trusts in the Twitter effect).
So then, all is good in 'Green Hornet' land, right? Well, it might be, but Gondry may want to be less candid or perhaps use less strongly-worded language.
"I usually identify with the nerds but these ones just reinforce the social rules. Their values are fascistic," Gondry recently told the U.K. Guardian complaining about the critical response to the idea of the Gondry-led, Rogen-starring 'Green Hornet' flick. "All those people marching around in capes and masks and boots. The superhero imagery is totally fascist!"
The director told the British publication that much of their moaning all came down to strident unfair geek expectations. "When you step into this genre, they feel it belongs to them. They want you to conform, or they won't like you. They want the conventional. But it's fine. The movies has been doing very well, I think, whenever we've screened it to normal people."
Gondry also stands behind the choice of Rogen as the lead (though really, it's Rogen's pet project and he wrote it with "Superbad" co-writer Evan Goldberg). "I'm attracted to working with comedians because they don't have that stars' idea of what a hero should be."
There's been talk of a sequel, and Goldberg himself told us earlier this summer that one is mapped out, but it will really depend on how the super hero action flick does at the box-office. "The Green Hornet" is due in theaters January 14, 2011.