Just five days after news came that Nicolas Cage had passed on the chance to play The Green Hornet villain comes the news that Inglourious Basterds baddie, Christoph Waltz, has reportedly been cast as Green Hornet‘s foe.

Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood scored the exclusive news that Waltz has been cast as the villain, Chudnofsky, in Michel Gondry’s upcoming comic book adaptation, The Green Hornet. No other details have been released about the role, although in the past it has been described as a “gangster” who’s “scary,” and, “not where the comedy comes from.” Cage was circling the role for a little while before he passed on the opportunity, favoring lead roles in two different revenge flicks (that wasn’t the reason we were given, but it’s what we can summise).

If this Christoph Waltz news is true (and I’m guessing it is), it would come after one heck of a performance from Waltz as the methodical and cunning Col. Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s wonderful Inglourious Basterds. After spending several years acting on stage and as a prolific Austrian TV actor, Waltz’s Nazi detective role blew pretty much everyone who saw Inglourious Basterds away. He won the Best Actor award at the Cannes film festival earlier this year, and is a shoe-in for a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Oscars next year. If he doesn’t – and this may be a little early to call, as a lot of Oscar-bait movies  have yet to be released – I’ll pull a Werner Herzog and eat my own shoe.

Just kidding… or am I?…

There’s been a lot of naesaying going on about Gondry’s comic book adaptation of Green Hornet, mainly because it’s Seth “Judd Apatow’s go-to-funny-guy” Rogen who’s playing the titular role. I’ve actually been in the camp that’s looking forward to the movie, mainly because it’s the über-talented Michael Gondry – the man who directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – who’s at the helm. Even if I was extremely disappointed when Stephen Chow left the project (with Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou taking his place), the Gondry fan in me – as well as the diverse cast – has me extremely interested in seeing it.

I suspect that with Waltz’s potential casting a lot of the naesayers will change their opinion of the project, if only somewhat. Needless to say, Waltz is dynamite acting talent as well as one helluva villain, and so I have to say I couldn’t be more pleased if he ends up getting this role.

What’s your opinion on Christoph Waltz potentially playing The Green Hornet villain? Is he a good choice or do you have someone else better in mind? I dare you to name one…

The Green Hornet stars (as stated) Seth Rogen, and co-stars Cameron Diaz, Jay Chou, Tom Wilkinson, David Harbour, Edward James Olmos and (potentially) Christoph Waltz. It is currently filming (if you haven’t checked out the first set photos, do so here), and is now scheduled to be released on December 17th, 2010.

Source: Nikki Finke (DeadlineHollywood)