"It's f---ing crazy!" he said when we spoke with him Tuesday, accentuating the point with his trademark laugh (which was imitated by Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard backstage at the Oscars).
"Me and [co-writer] Evan [Goldberg] have always been gigantic fans of [Gondry]," Rogen beamed. "We just like anyone who thinks outside the box, and there's really nobody who thinks more outside the box then he does; he's really a magician in a lot of ways."
Serving as writer, producer and star of the film that begins shooting soon, Rogen admitted that he had always been pulling for Gondry to land the high-profile gig — and even helped the French filmmaker get an inside track. "I've actually been e-mailing with him for a really long time, because he was involved with the project a long time ago," he explained. "With the permission of nobody, I sent him our script ... to get his input and ideally convince the studio to meet with him. They were skeptical of ... I wouldn't say his ability to make a giant budget studio movie, but his willingness to make a giant budget studio movie. But he loved the script, he totally got it, which a lot of [potential directors] just didn't."
Gondry loved the "Green Hornet" script so much, in fact, that he began filming it immediately. "To convince the studio to let him do it, he filmed a fight scene on his own," Rogen marveled. "He just hired stunt men and did it by himself! Just to show some of the stuff he could do, some of the weird filming techniques he has and some of the stuff he can pull off. I mean, this is something he did in two days and it was instantly unlike anything you've ever seen before. It was impossible not to hire him once he presented what he could do for it."
Now, Rogen and Goldberg are looking forward to blending their unique "Superbad" sensibility with a decades-old crime-fighter and a thoroughly modern filmmaker. And while he assured us that the result will prominently feature Gondry's knack for making ordinary things look extraordinary, he was quick to say that the film won't simply be the Gondry we've come to expect.
"My direct quote to [Gondry] right before he met with the studio was, 'You have to convince them they're not gonna show up on set one day and everything is gonna be made out of cardboard,' " laughed Rogen. "And he said, 'I can definitely do that.' "
"["The Green Hornet"] will be a great combination of both of our movies, of both of our styles," Rogen said of the film, which hits theaters June 25, 2010. "It should have the type of conversational tone and comedy that me and Evan have been doing — and some of the action that we have been starting to try to do — along with the wild, visual imagination and funny awkward sensibility that he's been doing."
Check out everything we've got on "The Green Hornet."
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