As much as I like Seth Rogen’s films and also appreciate the notion of director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind) giving a superhero project his own unique spin, I’ve yet to become all that excited for their The Green Hornet big screen update. Most likely due to the fact that I know little to nothing about the old TV series, other than it followed a newspaper magnate that moonlit as a crime fighter by night, alongside Bruce “Kato” Lee. All kinds of fuss has been made over the amount of weight Rogen lost for the physically-taxing role, and, frankly, that seemed more interesting than the film itself.
When Nicolas Cage was announced as the film’s villain a couple of weeks back, my scarce enthusiasm teetered further into nothingness; with each news Cage casting word, I chuckle more deeply. He’s shameless in his choices, which is worthy of some daps, but that also translates into his films ultimately sucking harder than last night’s MTV Video Music Awards (zing!; insert **Russell Brand as a host** there if you’d like). At that point, The Green Hornet had turned into the first Seth Rogen project that I’d snored toward without hesitation; ironic, since it’s his biggest one yet.
Late last week, word spread that Cage had backed out, but, still, little vigor coming from my direction. Until now—–according to Nikki Finke, the beast that ransacked Inglourious Basterds, the better-be-nominated-for-an-Oscar Christoph Waltz, has been tapped as the new villain “Chudnofsky” in Gondry’s The Green Hornet. And, just like that, The Green Hornet has shifted into high-level intrigue. Only because I’m extremely curious to see whether Waltz is a fluke or not; he came out of the left field of obscurity to own the fierce Inglourious Basterds, blessing Quentin Tarantino with a monumental performance full of nuance and suave eccentricity, but that’s all we have to judge the guy on. I, for one, need more to go off of before I hail Waltz as an absolute powerhouse. Since his past German television work is hard to come across, I’ll have to wait for The Green Hornet (assuming he doesn’t eventually drop out a la Cage).