This week, a celebration of painfully bad bromances. And nothing else.
You don't get to $500 million in profits without selling some special-edition DVDs.
You've got to hand it to Seth Rogen: the guy wanted to make a superhero movie, so he found a hero nobody was doing anything with, one that he could conceivably play, and he wrote a script (with collaborator Evan Goldberg) that successfully hybridized the Green Hornet's atypical origin story with a slacker buddy comedy. When his director and co-star backed out, he found another director and another co-star, and the end result, the 3-D, Michel Gondry-directed, visually stunning Green Hornet, is unlike any superhero movie I've seen. It manages to take Rogen's idiotic, confrontational comedy shtick and make it a seamless part of the story of a hero's rise. Because what kind of idiot puts on a mask and goes out looking for a fight?
So we all heard about the spate of Iron Man and Avengers-related films that Marvel is putting into development in the wake of Iron Man's success. But it seems like Shellhead's big box office has done more than that. As a long-time Iron Man fan, and a pretty big comic book reader, I had no idea that Iron Man was considered second-tier. But apparently, he was a huge gamble compared to known superheroes like Spider-Man, Hulk, Batman, Superman and, uh, Ghost Rider. (Okay, I guess they're all pretty big players, but Blade was totally second-tier, and didn't he do pretty well, considering he got two sequels? But I digress.) Anyway, because a no-name superhero like Iron Man did well, B-list heroes are getting booked for big-screen endeavors in a big way.
Even though the economy is in what's cheerily being called a "downturn," you wouldn't know it from the bustle around Hollywood studios lately, with more than 40 films being hustled into production for next spring and summer. Because of the writer's strike and the looming threat of an actor's strike, most studios halted production in late 2007 and, as a result, don't have much of a slate for their 2010-2011 release schedule. The few films that did go into production following the writer's strike had strike protection insurance in case the actors -- who still haven't reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and remain without a new contract -- decided to have a strike of their own. Now desperate to fill theaters with their usual crap in two years, studios are pushing to get movies made, crossing their fingers that the actor's union in-fighting continues.
Seth Rogen just got a few inches closer to donning the Green Hornet costume. No, I'm not talking about his dramatic weight loss, I'm talking about the fact that they've lined up a director for his millionaire-superhero movie and a guy to play his chauffeur/sidekick, Kato! And, in a twist that perhaps nobody saw coming, they're the same dude. Stephen Chow, director/star of Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle is going to step into the role made famous by Bruce Lee and direct his first English-language film, both at the same time. Speaking of kung-fu hustles...
A lot can happen in two years. By summer 2010, the U.S. will be about eighteen months into a new presidential term. Sixty generations of overcrowded laboratory fruit flies will have come and gone. An elephant who gets knocked up today will be taking her baby on its first migration. Two years is a long time, in other words, but Sony Pictures is planning way ahead by revealing its Green Hornet website, complete with a brand new, shiny green logo. (Hilariously, the new website reminds us that "This film is not yet rated." No! Really? "This film is not yet in existence," is more like it.) Why now? Why so early? Maybe Sony doesn't realize it could shoot itself in the foot with two solid years of pre-release hype. Maybe Sony is trying to get the movie-going public used to the idea of its unconventional action movie star. Or maybe an intern just had some free time on his hands and wanted to play around with Photoshop.