Seth Rogen knew there was nowhere to hide. When he and writing partner Evan Goldberg took on the task of reinventing “Green Hornet” in a post-”Dark Knight” world, there was bound to be mud slung in their direction. Perhaps, though, he didn’t think there’d be so much of it.
As Rogen himself put it earlier this year, the production faced “every possible obstacle … to the point that it really just got ridiculous,” including major recastings and the departure of director Stephen Chow (“Kung Fu Hustle”) during pre-production. Then, once filming was complete, Sony decided to convert the film into 3-D, then pushed the release from audience-friendly dates in summer and December to the perceived cinematic wasteland of January. As every snag became public, websites and fans seemed to turn against the project. “Green Hornet,” the Internet decided, was nothing but squandered potential, a train wreck, something to avoid at all costs.
And then a funny thing happened: People started to see the film, and they liked it. A lot. All the while, Rogen and Goldberg sat back and watched the scrum. They had a feeling things would turn around.
“It’s something that Evan would constantly have to remind me of throughout the process, in that this is kind of exactly what we thought would happen,” Rogen told MTV News recently. “From the second we thought of doing a movie like this, I remember talking about it like, ‘Everyone’s going to think it’s going to be insane and terrible and we’ll just have to keep our heads down and make it, and then it’ll come out and then people will slowly see that we weren’t nuts and that it was actually a good idea.’ ”
That’s not to say all the Web-based hate didn’t get to him. There were times, it seems, that Rogen had to restrain himself from chucking his laptop out the window, or at least from staying offline for a while.
“As you get wrapped up in it, as there’s two years of time where people are saying how bad it is, without having seen anything, it does get frustrating and, ultimately, just disappointing, more than anything. You look at these outlets that, as a comic book nerd, I kind of respected at times and thought were interesting voices just say things that are insane and completely uninformed and uneducated and based on no reality whatsoever, and it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, that’s disappointing. I thought these guys were cool.’ But they’re not. They’re just like everybody else.”
Now, however, with the film hitting theaters Friday and praise coming from all corners for its entertaining balance between high-octane action and the sort of laughs familiar from Rogen’s earlier comedies, the guy is feeling good. Not that he’s one to brag.
“It is nice that people actually have to base their assumptions on the movie now and not just what they think the movie is going to be like,” he laughed.
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Green Hornet.”