Writer-director Smith gleefully cast Routh, the squeaky-clean star of "Superman Returns," as the closeted lover of a male porn star in the upcoming comedy "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," which stars Rogen and Elizabeth Banks. (Have you seen the banned posted for the film? It's after the jump.) Now, during a run through the Toronto International Film Festival, the always quotable Smith told Sci-Fi Wire that he wants to build an entire superhero film around portly comedic star Rogen.
"First, I'm going to do a 180 turn and do a horror movie called 'Red State,' " Smith said in an interview Sept. 7 at the Toronto International Film Festival. "It's going to be a total horror-political-psychological movie without a funny line in it. Then I'm going to do the science-fiction superhero movie. It's going to be an original superhero that I've created. It's stewing right now. I want to do it, though, and, God willing, it will star Seth Rogen."
Rogen, the star of "Knocked Up" and scene-stealer from "The 40 Year-old Virgin," may not seem like the square-jawed superhero archetype, but start getting used to the idea.
The 26-year-old Vancouver native also has plans in place to write and star in a silver-screen adaptation of The Green Hornet, the 1930s radio-serial hero who was briefly (but memorably) revived in 1966-67 for a stylish television series that first brought Bruce Lee to the eyes of America. On that show, Van Williams played the dashing and wealthy Britt Reid, the publisher of The Daily Sentinel by day and two-fisted masked man by night. Lee played his valet, Kato, who joins him as he prowls the night in their sleek, weapons-laden car, the Black Beauty.
"The Green Hornet" is due from Sony in 2010 and Rogen is co-writing with Evan Goldberg ("Pineapple Express," "Superbad"). The producer is Neal Moritz ("Prom Night," The Fast & the Furious" films), who also has a "Luke Cage" project underway with director John Singleton and star Tyrese Gibson and a discussed "Flash Gordon" revisitation with "Sahara" director Breck Eisner.
There was a fairly instantaneous fan-backlash when the Rogen-as-Hornet idea was first floated. The star has said he has no plans to transform the venerable character into a bawdy "Superbad" hero. He also hasn't sounded especially passionate about the source material, at least not in one interview from June, which was also with Sci-Fi Wire:
For years we'd really been trying to write a movie that was kind of about a hero and his sidekick. When we heard the The Green Hornet movie was up for grabs, we thought that could be the perfect way to do this story, because he is the only hero whose sidekick is more known than he is. We thought it would be a good way to tell this relationship story and just do a big crazy action movie.
At Comic-Con International 2007, Rogen was on a panel for "Superbad" and got a "Hornet" question. Sheigh Crabtree, covering for the Los Angeles Times, jotted down this quote which, again, shows that Rogen isn't coming to the project with a real passion for the hero.
"It's something that Evan [Goldberg] and I are big fans of.... We wrote 'Pineapple Express' together ... and we thought, 'What if we make an even bigger action movie? And what if I wear a mask? Evan really wanted me to wear a mask because he is so sick of seeing my face."
-- Geoff Boucher
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