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Michel Gondry Calls Critical 'Green Hornet' Fans "Fascists"

by Edward Davis
December 15, 2010 6:21 AM
8 Comments
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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.

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8 Comments

  • Glass | December 16, 2010 2:16 AMReply

    Fan responds: "One-hit wonder"

  • MDL | December 15, 2010 10:19 AMReply

    The Green Hornet release date is January 14th. That pretty much tells us that it is probably not a great film. January is traditionally the graveyard month for films that open in NY and LA. But maybe it will surprise us?

  • GreenY | December 15, 2010 9:53 AMReply

    Maybe comic book fans should go to film school, get a degree, make some small movies to get started, and then they'll be on their way to directing their own comic book movies just like Gondry.

    But then, when would they have the time to read comics, surf the net, play World of Warcraft, make their own Green Hornet costume, fight over Star Trek and get to the store before the new Barely Legal sells out.

    I guess that's why comic book fans are not directors.

  • The Teal Hornet | December 15, 2010 9:17 AMReply

    I am a die-hard comic book fan and love comic book movies. Some of the more militant comic fans may tend to take Gondry's statement as a total slight (I can see some getting disgruntled over the "fascist" remark), but to be honest I can see what he's trying to say. Some of us DO tend to think what WE say is the way it should be. Comics and comic fandom has always had this bit of exclusivity to it. A real sort of boy's club mentality. Almost like we tend to think: This is OUR world and if you or anyone else isn't hip to our jive, you don't get it or get in on it. Thing is, it's the general public (those that don't read the comics and such, but are interested in seeing these sort of movies as well) that makes up the majority of the ticket sales. Not just the fans, everyone in general has to be considered on all levels of making these comic book movies too. Everybody is the demographic for these films a lot of times. They want to get as many possible bootys in the seats as they can, so they create comic movies to appeal to everyone...not just the comic fans.

    There are so many ranters out there already hating on this movie site-unseen due mostly to Seth Rogen being cast as opposed to a more Hugh Jackman-like actor. Also a factor is that the tone of the movie is an action-comedy on the level of say the Lethal Weapon movies (especially the sequels). Fans wanted a handsome/physically conditioned Britt Reid/Green Hornet and a more serious/noirish take on the property. But let's face it, The Green Hornet isn't as well known and iconic as Batman. They could get away with a more action-comedic telling of T.G.H. than with Batman and many other properties.

    Thing for me is that I'm one of those more than willing to let this movie have it's shot. I wouldn't have cast Rogen, but I do admire his slimming down for the role and working with it. I admire the cajones it takes to take that on in spite of the rants against him. It makes me think back to all the naysayers when Michael Keaton was cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Tim Burton's version of that property. No, Keaton was miles and miles away from the Bruce Wayne we all know from the comics (which my favorite Batman Christian Bale matches well). But Keaton's casting in that role made it believable and interesting because you could see a guy like him dressing up as a human-bat crimefighter. Same goes with Rogen, for me. I can imagine a guy like him taking on the persona of a hornet-themed crimefighter rather than a Hugh Jackman-type. Although I'd have loved a more faithful interpretation of Britt Reid/The Green Hornet, I find Rogen in the role interesting.

    Also, it's been said that preview screenings have gone over extremely well with this movie. Aint It Cool News had glowing things to say on the movie. So I won't be at all surprised if Gondry and the crew make the more militant fans eat their words.

    I'm not saying I think Gondry is right in what he said either. In fact, if I were to be able to voice ANYTHING to him in having read this, I'd say one thing: Choose your words more carefully, otherwise you'll run the risk of alienating the fans of the source material from you like Brett Ratner did after dissing fans because they didn't like his X-Men 3 film.

    I'm looking forward to seeing The Green Hornet next month. Hoping to have a good time with it. Just so long as it's not Jonah Hex-bad, I'll be cool with it. ;)

  • BradZuhl | December 15, 2010 8:42 AMReply

    They should have killed the Green Hornet in the first 10 minutes and just made it a Kato movie. The Green Hornet was the least interesting part of the old TV show and will be the least interesting part of this film!

  • Jacob Black | December 15, 2010 8:03 AMReply

    He does have a point because the genre DOES belong to them. Seth Rogan is a joke. No way I'm seeing this movie. Too bad too. It couldve been legit if the leading actor wasn't such a fool. I would have loved to see Kaito in action.. Maybe I'll watch it when it goes to streaming Netflix or fable TV.

  • brou | December 15, 2010 7:01 AMReply

    "the rumored disaster" that was just presented that way on the internet without any proof...

  • Meronym | December 15, 2010 6:40 AMReply

    “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."

    He has a point.

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