Green Hornet Delayed
According to an article at Variety.com Sony Pictures is moving THE GREEN HORNET from this year’s Christmas holiday slot of December 22nd to January 14th, 2011—the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.
Rumors had been circulating before the announcement, which might suggest studio doubts about the film’s box office viability during the competitive Christmas season. However, Sony claims the decision is due to their desire to release THE GREEN HORNET in 3-D.
The studio’s marketing department says the shift will allow time to complete the digital conversion and also that assure more 3-D equipped theaters will be available, as a number of other 3-D films will be competing for screens in December.
THE GREEN HORNET (based on the radio series created by Fran Striker & George W. Trendle that hit the airwaves in 1936 – and more directly from the 1966 20th Century Fox TV series) has been controversial with genre fans from the beginning.
Fans on websites such as Superherohype have expressed concern over Seth Rogen’s scripting the project with his SUPERBAD and PINEAPPLE EXPRESS collaborator Evan Goldberg, fearing that undue comedy would intrude on the fairly grim and semi-realistic adventures of Britt Reid and Kato.
Additionally Rogen’s casting as the traditionally dynamic and heroic young newspaper publisher, given his usual on-screen persona as an amusing but chubby and ineffective pot-head, seemed a questionable choice to many (including this writer), but the actor slimmed down dramatically.
After all, the first screen Hornet was the amiable Gordon Jones (THE GREEN HORNET, 1940), best known to most modern audiences as comic foil Mike the Cop on TV’s ABBOTT & COSTELLO—and he did a creditable job in the 13-Chapter serial.
Rogen, a professed superhero fan, assured interviewers that he intended to make a balanced action-comedy, and the selection of director Michel Gondry (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND) soothed fears somewhat.
Production started last year with a target release of July 2010. When that date was pushed back to December, Rogen noted “We got the same date that movies like I AM LEGEND and AVATAR are getting, so we’re thrilled to be there.” Now, with the Martin Luther King weekend, GREEN HORNET will have the same date as PAUL BLART: MALL COP.
Only time will tell if THE GREEN HORNET will make a box office sting — or just create more negative buzz.
Note: The Green Hornet spawned two multiple-chapter serials from Universal Studios, the second being THE GREEN HORNET STRIKES AGAIN, as well as various comic book adaptations in the 40’s, 60’s, and late `80’s. Two “Better Little Books” tied to the radio show were published, as were two paperbacks based on the Television version.