Despite not being a big fan of comic book movies - and know absolutely nothing about the source material comics 'The Green Hornet' - I was eagerly anticipating Michel Gondry's upcoming movie. That enthusiasm , however, has been tempered by the news the movie will be "converting" to 3D. I've been excited about this project because I'm very intrigued about a visionary director like Gondry tackling a comic book movie, but also because this flick is written by Seth Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg (the guys who wrote Superbad and Pineapple Express) and Rogen himself is tackling the title role. None of the pieces seem right for a comic book movie; which of course is what makes it all so intriguing.
A few years back, when the project had first been floated to them, I had a chance to speak briefly with Rogen and Goldberg on the set of Superbad, and their enthusiasm and excitement for the material and their candid acknowledgment that they were odd choices to script it put the project squarely on my radar. The topic came up when Goldberg mentioned that because of the pre-release buzz for Superbad, suddenly doors were opening for them in Hollywood and they were getting offered a lot of stuff they wouldn't expect, including a big budget comic book movie. My enthusiasm ramped up considerably when I learned they'd landed Gondry to direct. Now, unfortunately, comes some very disappointing news about the project. Much like Clash of the Titans, Green Hornet is slated to be "post converted" into 3D. Meaning while the film was shot traditionally, it will go through the same process that led to the disappointing, cheap look pseudo-3D look of Clash; which essentially had the quality of the old 3D slides I watched in my Viewfinder as child. Why would you hire a director like Michel Gondry; a top notch visual director who creates beautiful shots and uses the camera so creatively then take his imagery and fuck it up with a tacky, gimmicky thing like post-conversion 3D? It doesn't make sense.
The announcement was met with a lot of online criticism which led to Rogen responding: "The truth is this is something that we have wanted since the very first conversations we all had about the film." Really? I call bullshit on this. Rogen - improbably - was just named the male actor who's films have made the most money in the last five years by Forbes magazine. He has clout. If he really wanted Green Hornet to be a 3D project from conception, as he claims, the film would have been shot in 3D. The reality, I suspect, is that the studio looking at the big bucks 3D flicks are bringing in right now strongly urged them to go in this direction. Rogen went on to say "A lot of the visually driven sequences Michel (Gondry) came up with first conceived for a 3D movie." Huh? What 3D movie were these originally conceived for? If Rogen and Gondry wanted this movie to be 3D all along, who come they didn't shoot it in 3D? Perhaps most telling is the simple fact that Rogen's response to the criticism of the post-conversion to 3D never addresses the actual criticism: that this 3D cheat looks like shit.