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GREEN HORNET

About The Film
"As a kid, I really, really loved The Green Hornet,” says producer Neal H. Moritz. "I loved the fact that Bruce Lee played Kato and I loved Van Williams as Britt Reid. They were wish fulfillment shows for me. I had always been jealous that somebody else was going to get to make The Green Hornet into a movie.”

Born in the 1930s as a radio serial, The Green Hornet garnered many fans in all media – not only on radio, but in film serials, comic books, and, for one season in the 1960s, a television series that catapulted Bruce Lee to stardom in the U.S. With the new film, The Green Hornet makes his feature film debut and introduces the masked avenger to a new generation of fans.

The film is directed by Michel Gondry. As the filmmakers shepherded the project, there were a number of directors who expressed interest in the project, but when the chance to work with someone like Gondry comes along, you jump at the chance. And they were thrilled that even with Gondry's well-earned rep for mind-bending films, it was clear that the movie he wanted to make was the Gondry spin on the project Moritz, Rogen, and Goldberg had envisioned all along. "We couldn't be more fortuitous to have someone with Michel's creative ingenuity,” says Moritz. "At the beginning, I was really excited about the possibility that Michel was interested – I'm a huge fan and we've been friends for many years – but this would be a tentpole action-comedy. Was that what he wanted to do? Was it too outside his wheelhouse? And Michel saw a way to take the framework of this big Hollywood movie and bring his original voice, look, and sound – so yes, it's an event title, but it's also a Michel Gondry movie.”

Gondry says, "I've had the opportunity to do a movie in this genre before, but they always had a slick attitude – the one guy saving the world – and I don't identify with that guy. I like to have people portrayed on the screen that have flaws, a sense of humor, maybe a bit of a loser at times. That's what was appealing about this movie.”

"There's danger in having a ‘shtick,'” Gondry continues. "Of course, there are sequences that will have my specific signature, but no one wants to repeat their past work. I want to make movies that combine technical filmmaking with real acting. This is big action-comedy, and clearly there are a lot of effects, but because we captured so many of those effects in-camera. The actors could act and be funny, and the result is a great performance.”

"Britt Reid is famous for being the son of someone who did something great, but he's just a dude who parties,” says Seth Rogen, describing his character. Rogen also wrote the screenplay with his partner, Evan Goldberg. "He's never once done anything meaningful in his life. But when his father dies, he sees he has the opportunity to do something that gives his life purpose and direction – he decides he's going to use his inheritance as a force for good.”

The Green Hornet is presented in 3D, a decision that fits perfectly into the story that Gondry is telling, including the way he filmed it. "Michel is a revolutionary,” Moritz says. "You know, he's the guy who invented ‘Matrix time' – he did it in a Smirnoff commercial years before they used the same technique in The Matrix. Michel uses every tool, every trick of the camera, CGI, everything, to tell the story. And 3D is just another innovative tool that allows filmmakers to tell their stories in a new way. So of course Michel was interested in releasing the movie in 3D, and using the depth and scope of the film in this dramatic new way.”

Grant Anderson and Rob Engle were the supervising stereographers charged with adapting Michel's vision for 3D presentation. According to Engle, the fact that much of the movie was shot in 2D and then enhanced with 3D allowed Gondry more control over the final image – and as a result truly allowed him to play with the 3D space in his unique Gondry way. "What conversion allows us to do is to manipulate the three-dimensional space in a way that you can't do with traditional photography,” says Engle. "Shooting in 3D, what you see is what you get. But the way we did it, it actually opens up the door to using 3D in a creative way and manipulating 3D in unexpected ways. I think that's what really excites Michel. For example, in certain places, he's taking elements of one shot, and at the cut, he will carry over elements – bits of glass or a weapon – to the next shot. In that way, there's a sense of continuity of 3D space that you wouldn't have naturally with 3D photography.”

What is more, the final decision to release the film in 3D came shortly after completion of principal photography, giving Gondry the ability to design many of the effects sequences with 3D in mind.

"Michel is a visionary,” says Engle. "He's constantly coming up with unique and creative ways to use the film medium. I think 3D adds a new and exciting weapon to his filmmaking arsenal.”

In fact, Gondry prepared an early presentation when he first met with Moritz, Rogen, and Goldberg: his vision for the film's action sequences, which he calls Kato-Vision. "Michel brought in something that he had made at home, which basically showed a fight scene between two guys, and it was one of the things that got us really excited about doing the movie with him,” says Moritz. "Within the same frame, you saw two people fighting at different speeds. Michel is a guy who knows how to revolutionize what you see on film.”

Rogen puts it succinctly: "When I go to see a movie, I want to see something I've never seen before – and if there's a dude who's come up with a lot of stuff I've never seen before, it's Gondry.”

With Gondry's captivating visual style, Moritz's experience with action films, and Rogen and Goldberg's success with comedy, the film had "a triad of people from very different worlds,” says Moritz. "When I'd see the kind of work the others were doing – Michel's creativity, Seth and Evan's work with the screenplay – it inspired me to bring my A game, too. Since I'd been a fan for such a long time, it was great to know that I was involved with people who shared a passion for the material – Michel, obviously, and Seth and Evan, who have a deep love for the genre.”

Indeed, any major feature film requires a high level of collaboration to pull it off, but The Green Hornet is an especially good example. Cameron Diaz explains, "It's really a great partnership and a lot of fun working with them. You'll be on set and Michel comes in and gives the direction. Then Seth and Evan hear that and talk to Michel about a new line of dialogue. All of a sudden there's this synergistic thing that happens – the set is a blender, all these ingredients are being poured in, you push a button, and out comes the perfect piña colada.”

For their part, Rogen and Goldberg "were looking for a new movie to write,” explains Rogen. "We had always been comic book fans, superhero fans. For a long time we had been trying to write a movie about a hero and his sidekick. But nothing was quite right for us until we looked at the Green Hornet. Here was this famous character with a real legacy, but still a property that would allow us to put our own interpretation into the characters. It was like this project was tailor made for what Evan and I wanted to do – we could explore the relationship between Britt and Kato around the framework of this kickass action-comedy. It was perfect.”

Perfect, Rogen says, because from their point of view, over time, the characters have become true equals. "Kato started out as a sidekick role, and like a lot of sidekicks, he

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