Earlier this week we brought you updates from The Green Hornet executive producer and co-writer Evan Goldberg on several of his upcoming projects; including (but not limited to) Pineapple Express 2 and Sausage Party.
Today we bring you the portion of our interview with Evan in which we discuss what he, and writing partner (and The Green Hornet star) Seth Rogen, discovered about the (sometimes) erratic temperaments of fanboys. Goldberg also reveals why one persistent IMDB commenter received multiple personal emails from both Seth and himself.
SR: There’s been a lot of attention around this movie in terms of genre fans. What have you learned about the fanboy culture and their expectations for existing properties?
EG: They’re all mentally insane. That’s what I’ve learned. They are all like completely crazy. People who’ve loved the movies that Seth and I have done for a long time viciously turned on us when they heard that we were doing this – before they knew anything about it. But I can see why they would have thought it was a bad idea, like I don’t think they are crazy for being like ‘Ah, you guys are doing The Green Hornet?’ cause’ how could they know what we were gonna do? It’s not possible. But one of the reasons that we took The Green Hornet was because it was a little malleable – because it’s not as defined as Batman or Spider-Man.
SR: Which are also becoming really malleable.
EG: Yeah I mean, Batman’s not malleable? He had nipple studs six years ago. I think it’s all pretty malleable. But the fanboy culture is extremely flippant and erratic. I’m a little disappointed, I’m a little disappointed in it.
SR: Are you? Talk to me about that.
[We form a golden circle of trust.]
EG: I just…You know I don’t go on the Internet and review things, but over the last week or two I’ve been looking at stuff, which I really never do, but I love reading bad remarks on our movies because its super funny to me. And for a long time people launched campaigns on the Internet against this movie and now, two weeks before the movie is coming out they’re like ‘Ah, looks pretty good. I’ll go see it.’
Evan had his own moment of positive fan nerdgasm when, in one of the highlights of his career, he took a meeting with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas came in and chatted for twenty minutes – which the writer describes as simply, “the most mind-blowing thing ever.” When asked if he thought of himself as a nerd, Goldberg replied that he wasn’t quite sure what that was anymore.
EG: I thought I was a nerd. Now I know I’m just a little bit of a nerd, I have nerdy tenancies, but I don’t think I’m an actual nerd. I read comic books, a lot, that’s nerdy, but I don’t sit on the Internet trashing movies I’m gonna see anyways…for hours…I don’t think I’m a huge nerd.
SR: Why do you think there was such a strong reaction to this project?
EG: I think that people didn’t want us to make a mockery of something that they liked – but I mean, The Green Hornet is super old, there’s been no incarnations of him for forty years.
SR: Do you feel like people are sort of enhancing their sense of nostalgia?
EG: Yes, that’s it!
SR: So you have experienced some of this? (She said with a slight flavor of irony).
EG: Yeah the whole Green Hornet! People are like ‘How dare you?’ and I’d like to sit down with any of them and say ‘So, what was your favorite episode of the show? Oh wait! You weren’t alive then and you have no clue about The Green Hornet.’ I can’t tell you how many of these angry fanboys are like ‘How dare you ruin such a great comic?’ It wasn’t regarded as a comic, at any juncture, there have been comics of it but The Green Hornet isn’t known as a comic. People are like ‘You’re ruining one of my favorite comic book characters!’ It’s a radio show! It was a radio show. It drives me crazy, I just don’t get it. I figure it’s people with…anger issues. Because when I go online and I see a movie that doesn’t look very good, I think ‘That doesn’t look very good,’ and then I go back to my life. It must just be anger issues.
SR: I think that’s just the Internet in general, and by proxy, the world — or is it the reverse? Who can tell anymore. I’ve personally been told to go to hell, die, and eat sh**t. In that order, which I thought was sort of interesting, by someone who apparently equated my slight criticism of a television show to microwaving their girlfriend. In any case, back to our regularly scheduled – What was the most extreme reaction, and why do you think that reaction was had?
EG: Oh, I can tell you who.
SR: Tell me who!
EG: SRB-3 on IMDB. That guy lives to trash Seth and he’s overdone it so much that now, there’s threads on what an idiot he is. Oh it’s great, if you want to get a laugh, check out SRB-3 on IMDB, who Seth and I have personally emailed to be like ‘Trash us all you want, the movies are gonna keep coming, you can’t stop us.’ He keeps saying that ‘Rogen miscast himself,’ he keeps saying that Seth cast himself in this movie? Failing to comprehend that we got hired by a producer who could have not put Seth in the movie. He keeps saying things like ‘I don’t know why Rogen cast such and such a person.’ It’s not like Seth is on a throne telling everyone what to do. Watching that guy’s comments is funny.
SR: I feel like on the next movie you guys should build dual-sided thrones.
EG: I would love to write a movie just making fun of that one guy.
SR: I feel like you should (potentially therapeutic for everyone).
EG: He’s the fanboy I really want to mess with. I wonder if him hearing this will make him happy, or just crush him.
SR: We’re gonna get this on IMDB, so we’re gonna find out.
The Green Hornet is in theaters now, and is doing fairly well so far, bringing in an estimated $34 million this weekend.
[SIDENOTE: Keep an eye out for one more interview with Evan on how he and Seth approached adapting the Green Hornet character, and story, for a modern audience.]