Screenings have started for Michel Gondry's first big tentpole studio film, "The Green Hornet," and the early reactions on Twitter have been positive. Certainly, it seems to indicate that reports of Sony's pleasure with the film were on the money and if the early word continues to build in the same direction, it would be a remarkable turnaround for a film that only a few months ago had most movie sites ringings its death knell. So with that film gearing up for release next month, Gondry is already looking to what's next and he's certainly not short on options. The animated project "Megalomania" and ambitious musical project "The Return Of The Ice Kids" with Ellen Page attached have been in the works for a while, but it's another long-gestating project that will go first.
"I am working on a new drama which we’re going to shoot next summer, which follows 35 kids going to school on a bus. It’s about how the group affects the individual. I’d written 25 versions of the screenplay and then we found this after-school activity center in the South Bronx and did a workshop there. Basically we talked to the kids and used their stories," Gondry told Time Out London. The project is called "The We & The I," and it's one he's been talking about for a while now. When we spoke with Gondry last spring he revealed the project to us and said it was borne out of meetings with the publishers of "You'll Like This Film Because You're In It: The Be Kind Rewind Protocol," which is about community filmmaking, inspired by Gondry's film.
"It's about the group effect, how people in groups transform when the group is dislocated, because everyone jumps out of the bus at different times, there is a smaller group and how the relationships evolve," Gondry told us adding, "It's not [well-known] actors, it's going to be kids from a school in the Bronx. I love kids and just [regular] people too because they are not polluted by the medium. They come as they are and they have beautiful stories to tell, so I want to show that."
The ever-chatty Gondry also dropped some info about a new project he's working on, an animated documentary on the world-renowned linguist, philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky (if you never heard of him, ask your older brother or sister in college). "....another project I’m working on is a series of interviews with Noam Chomsky which will be played over an animated backdrop. I hear my questions back on the tapes and have no idea how he can make any sense of them. My girlfriend always makes fun of me saying that I can barely speak English and I’m working with the most renowned linguist in the world. He doesn’t actually mind it. I think he prefers someone who can barely speak than someone who’s coming at him with lots of philosophical baggage." The idea of two very talkative guys like the realistic and pragmatic Chomsky and the fantastical and whimsical Gondry chatting sounds pretty damn great, and it seems as if this one has already started.
We're definitely curious about "The Green Hornet" and we're glad that the allure of studio filmmaking hasn't caused Gondry's pet projects to fall by the wayside. In the lead up to the January 14th release of "The Green Hornet," we'll sure we'll hear more details about those projects in the coming weeks.