By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 14, 2010 at 12:43PM
Pity the studio corporate flacks who have to keep straightening out the rumors that hit the internet--especially big-name movies that will build traffic as they spread like kudzu. For example, IESB reported that Sony Pictures is apparently "displeased with the results" they've seen so far of Michel Gondry's The Green Hornet film adaptation, citing claims that the "tone is too campy, they're not happy with the work from director Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen does not look the part. At all. In fact, the feeling at Sony is the movie is a disaster."
Sites like Cinema Blend took up the story, which fed into a lot of initial concerns about the hiring of Seth Rogen and director Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).
Sony spokesperson Steve Elzer responded by saying that the IESB story was "complete garbage." Studio execs had only seen about a third of the movie, Elzer said. "What we have seen is outstanding. The piece is unfounded."
This reminds me of the extended Warner Bros./Spike Jonze adventure on Where the Wild Things Are. It took a great deal of work, money and effort to marry the commercial needs of the studio with the artistic vision of the filmmaker. Which they eventually did. Similarly, didn't Sony know who they were getting into business with? Added Elzer: "The stuff that has been shown to us is remarkable. We fully support [Gondry] and are confident in the direction he is heading."
Word is The Green Hornet is visually stunning--as you would expect--with strong performances and action sequences, and not at all campy. But does it add up to a commercial movie that audiences want to see?
Over at Summit, a company spokesman insists that contrary to a widely disseminated report from Lainey Gossip about the need for lengthy reshoots--without director David Slade--on the Twilight sequel Eclipse in Vancouver, the company has long planned to do two to three days of "pick-ups" with Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in Vancouver, in the next few weeks. The spokesman (who called Lainey Gossip Vancouver's Perez Hilton) would not specify the exact shots, but asserted that Slade would be in charge (the story rather improbably suggested that Summit was seeking help from ex-Twilighters Chris Weitz and Catherine Hardwicke). Summit is so over-the-top in their praise of the director, in fact, that they say this movie could be "the best of the three."
Where there's smoke there's fire. There's no way that Gondry is directing a Green Hornet with Seth Rogen that will resemble a commercial studio movie--it will be movie that I might want to see, though. As for Summit, while Slade is a strong director, he always seemed like a very macho choice for a romantic franchise aimed at women.