It looks like Seth Rogen’s big screen take on The Green Hornet has been swatted down. Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny (you might know him as the ubiquitous Moriarty from Ain’t It Cool News) reported over the weekend that sources close to the picture say it’s "highly unlikely" that the film will shoot at all during 2009. Considering The Green Hornet was supposed to hit theaters on June 25th, 2010, this is news that doesn’t seem to bode well for the future of the project.
Of course, none of this comes as especially surprising. Before Seth Rogen even came aboard, The Green Hornet had been tried and failed twice–once with Michel Gondry at the helm in the late 90s, and once with a script from Kevin Smith in 2004. Then, just this past December, director Stephen Chow left the current incarnation over the dreaded "creative differences" (though, almost hilariously, he stayed signed on to co-star as the Green Hornet’s sidekick, Kato). At the time however, the powers-that-be at Sony Pictures ambitiously stated that they would have a new director in place by the end of 2008. But when no one was hired before the ball dropped in Times Square, the writing appeared to be on the wall.
While the failure to get The Green Hornet off the ground and into theaters feels like a hit to Mr. Rogen’s untouchable status–especially in the wake of the less-than-stellar returns from Zack and Miri Make a Porno–we think this could be the best news the actor could have possibly received. The Green Hornet is the type of expensive vanity project that brings down movie stars. If it bombed, it would have stayed stuck to Mr. Rogen’s name like a piece of gum on the bottom of his shoe. We’re not saying that he can’t branch out of his comfort zone–please, we’d actually encourage that–but taking a risk on a studio blockbuster comic book adaptation just seems careless.
In the meantime, if you need a Seth Rogen fix, you’ll just have to settle for the four movies he has coming out in 2009. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Mr. Rogen, it’s that he isn’t afraid to work. We’re sure he’ll come up with something to replace The Green Hornet in his iCal very shortly.