Wake me when it's August 17th. That's when I'll be able to view the next great offering from the geeks behind the great comedies of late. SUPERBAD stars Jonah Hill (GRANDMA'S BOY, ACCEPTED, EVAN ALMIGHTY) and Michael Cera (best known as George Michael on the hilarious - and canceled - television show "Arrested Development") in the latest brain child of the men behind THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN and this summer's biggest unexpected hit, KNOCKED UP.
Apparently he just doesn't look like he could work for a newspaper.
Those men would be producer Judd Apatow and executive producers and writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. You'll recognize their influence more when you see that Hill and Cera are respectively named Seth and Evan. You might even throw the two some props when you realize that they're both only 25 years old. Oh, and they were both nominated for Emmys for their writing work on "Da Ali G Show."
But more importantly, if you're a comic book fan, you're going to either envy or despise the pair when you find out that they've been tapped to helm the troubled big-screen production of the comic book hero The Green Hornet. While Kevin Smith, Jake Gyllenhaal, George Clooney, Jet Li and Mark Wahlberg have all at one point been attached to the project, it now looks like the potential film is set to star the cuddly Rogen as well as have his and Goldberg's names attached as the screenwriters.
For someone like me who's not all that into comic books, I didn't understand why this would be such an item of contention for so many people. The most that I know about The Green Hornet is that it was the 1966 television show which introduced American audiences to Bruce Lee. He wore a mask and inspired the name of that dude who used to live behind OJ's house. It looked hokey like the other television shows based on comic books at the time, including the seminal "Batman." Considering those qualities involved, I can't imagine why two of the men responsible for some of the funniest stuff to come out of Hollywood in a long time would be considered by some to be poor choices for The Green Hornet movie.
So I went in search of the man himself to figure out where the cause might be stemming from. That's right, I secured the exclusive rights* to the first interview with Britt Reid, the man better known as the crime fighter, The Green Hornet. (As of publication, Kato was still unavailable for comment.)
AwesomeZara: What's up?
The Green Hornet: Greetings, citizen.
AZ: You are one popular dude lately, what with all these big stars wanting to get their hands on you. Although I'm not sure if I would consider being attached to Kevin Smith all that great of a thing considering his track record recently.
TGH: To understand the conundrum that the fans have concerning his departure from the project, you have to dismiss the last few movies he wrote & directed. It is true that he has gained notoriety through writing vulgar comedies, but in addition to that he has become quite a sought after author of comics books. His credits include the return of Daredevil in his "Man Without Fear" story arc and another emerald clad hero, Green Arrow, in the "Quiver" story arc. He also went on to write Spiderman/Black Cat in "The Evil that Men Do" and Daredevil/Bullseye in "Target." Not forgetting that he was commissioned to write a screenplay for the most recent Superman movie. He will also be directing a spin-off mini-series based on the popular TV series "Heroes." He has the credentials to write an accurately themed
screenplay for a Green Hornet movie that would follow the history and spirit of the legend that is Green Hornet.
His mousse could kick your ass.
AZ: (looks around nervously) Um, well... How about you tell me who YOU are exactly?
TGH: Wherever there is great injustice, I am there. Whenever evil
threatens the common man, I am there. My heritage can be traced back to the great law-keeper/hero The Lone Ranger (Dan Reid) and I have been able to keep close tabs on crime during the day as debonair newspaper publisher
(Britt Reid). When night falls, I am the voice of justice and freedom although I am sometimes unfairly characterized a vigilante all because I go to the places and deal with the unsavory characters the police would never be able to get
close to. I am assisted by my chauffer/bodyguard Kato, who has connections to the underbelly of crime which I dare not ever question him about, I am just glad that he is on my side.
AZ: I've known a lot of geeks in my day, and I just don't see a newspaper editor as being some magical kick-ass superhero by night. Do a lot of people misinterpret your strength?
TGH: I think J. Jonah Jamison and Perry White would strongly disagree with that statement. You must understand that the essence of the secret identity is to elude any possible tie to the true nature of who we are. It must involve a profession that lacks any form of heroism and selflessness. The key is being the opposite of what your hero persona embodies. Being a writer/publisher/photographer for a newspaper, you are a story teller, not an active participant. This is an easy out for why you mysteriously "disappear" in civilian attire and magically reappear in hero attire. The most important thing is that we take advantage of our duel identities and use them to our advantage. As a publisher I have a wealth of resources to gain knowledge from. This gives me tactical advantages over criminals. I have trained my body and have the ability to counter most any attack (this is after years of training, most of which were with Kato, a master of multiple forms of martial arts.) Another tactic is playing off of the criminal's unavoidable sense of fear and paranoia. Most thieves and villains know they are in the wrong and will eventually be brought to justice. Manipulating their guilt and apprehensiveness is the best weapon against them. A college of mine once said, "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts." Playing into their fear is the key. The criminals who exhibit no fear are the real threat because, in their minds, they have nothing to lose.
AZ: (mumbling to self) And Paul thinks I go off on tangents.
AZ: Nothing. Are you trying to tell me that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are like criminals who show no fear? Because I'm really not catching onto why they'd be detrimental to The Green Hornet project.
TGH: I am by no means accusing those gentlemen of being criminals; however, I believe they will fall prey to seeing camp value in the obsolete production of the 1966 television series. People tend to lump the show in with the Batman TV series that was airing at the same time. This is problematic because of the satirical nature of the Batman series regarding the state of affairs within the comic book industry. It was never meant to be funny and for those fans who have seen the cameo Green Hornet and Kato
made on the Batman series, you will remember that it was one of the more plot and story intensive episodes.
He's still better looking than Josh Kelly.
AZ: I thought I heard something about Jack Black being attached at one point. How is he less comical than Rogen and Goldberg?
TGH: I think you are mistaken; the only superhero movie that the gentleman you mentioned had any ties with was for the adaptation of The Green Lantern which never came to fruition.
AZ: Is there a difference?
TGH: (scoffing) I beg your pardon madam but there is a significant difference! The Green Lantern was given the power to focus his will and create & manipulate energy based objects through a ring given to him by a dying member of an intergalactic corps of peacekeepers. I gained my keen detection, fighting, and strategical skills through hard work and hours of grueling training. My crime fighting prowess is the result of years of honing my abilities and not to be mistaken for those who have power given to them in the form of magic ring or any other trinket!
AZ: Fine. Aside from your Emerald hard-on for Smith, is there anyone else that you think would be capable of properly handling your heroic interludes?
TGH: I am not familiar with this "hard-on" of which you speak but there are a few other within the filmmaking industry capable of doing my legacy the justice it deserves. I believe Richard Donner would hold true the history and nature of the characters as he did so eloquently in the first two Superman films which he directed. I feel that either Sean Patrick Flanery from BOONDOCK SAINTS or Rufus Sewel from DARK CITY would be more than qualified to don the green fedora and trench coat. As for the portrayal of Kato, I would leave that to Ken Leung of X-MEN: THE LAST STAND because he demonstrated his ability to be silent but effective in hand-to-hand combat.
AZ: I'm a little surprised that you're so up on the latest movies. Do you NetFlix?
TGH: A true hero utilizes all possible resources in order to foil crime.
AZ: Yeah, you pretty much have to be a complete moron not to NetFlix.
TGH: Or Canadian.
AZ: Touche. I do believe I detected a trace of a sense of humour there, GH.
TGH: Thank you, although just "H" would have sufficed. Interestingly enough I started out as being known simply as "The Hornet" but the Green was added for the copyright. It stuck and became a part of image so I made my peace with it and never looked back.
AZ: Now we're getting somewhere. That's the first thing you've said that I can actually relate to. I wasn't always Awesome.
TGH: Embellishments were made? How... comical.
AZ: Coming from a comic book character, should I take that as a compliment?
TGH: About as much as Mr. Rogen should stick to 'R' rated comedies.
AZ: (shifting uncomfortably in my seat) Yeah, I think we've come to the end of our interview.
TGH: Could you get me Katherine Heigl's number?
AZ: No, but I think I could wrangle up some digits for a couple of Skin-e-max's lovely ladies.
TGH: Hornet sting... check!
* As if exclusive rights could be secured with a fictional character. For those of you who believe a comic book character could actually answer questions in an interview, could you explain to how to do that without the assistance of acid?
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