One of the comedy men-of-the-minute, Seth Rogen, is starring in two upcoming movies, both within the "realm of the geek." One is the much-talked-about adaptation of The Green Hornet, the other is the lesser-known Paul, a new comedy from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost about an alien that's escaped from Area 51. Recently Rogen has talked about both projects to bring us eager fans up-to-date with what's going on.
As anyone who's been keeping up on The Green Hornet news knows that Stephen Chow recently left the project. His departure was confirmed after a casting call for Kato, the role he was supposed to be playing, was released by the studio.
Chow's departure was much to the dismay of people (myself included) who thought the actor was perfectly suited for Green Hornet's action-comedy mix (see Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle as proof). Here's what Rogen had to say about the situation:
"In my head, we lost Stephen Chow in April, so it's something I've had a lot of time to wrap my head around."
Rogen talks about how they're looking for actors from all over the world to play The Green Hornet's sidekick, Kato, from well known international stars to complete unknowns. He says they're open to adapting the role for the actor, and are willing to cast actors who don't have martial arts experience (as the previously released casting call stated).
Am I the only one who now wishes even more that Chow was still on-board?...
However, even if Chow is now officially off of The Green Hornet, Rogen is adamant and pretty damn convincing that the project is still very much alive and well. Here's some of what he had to say:
"There's more people working on the film every day! They traditionally don't spend millions and millions of dollars on movies that are dead... It's really hard to make a big movie. It's exponentially more difficult to make a $100 million movie than it is to make a $20 million movie, especially in this economy... I think just for us to make a movie that we feel confident in and for [Sony] to have a movie that they feel confident in, that's taking a long time."
With regards to Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) taking the directorial reigns (a role Chow was once attached to as well), Rogen has great things to say about him and his involvement:
"We're encouraging him [Gondry] to make it as visually exciting and inventive as anything anyone has ever seen. We're fans of these types of movies when they're done well. We think that we can handle the story and the script and the dialogue, but we know nothing about cameras and lights and fancy ways of making things look amazing. And that's what he's better at than anyone in the world pretty much. So we're encouraging him to really go for it."
In comparison to The Green Hornet, the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost written, Greg Mottola directed alien comedy, Paul, may not seem all that significant. But with a cast of Pegg and Frost plus Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, and (possibly) Sigourney Weaver, added to an awesome comedic premise, I am very much looking forward to it.
Adding to that killer cast is Rogen, who's voicing the titular alien, Paul. Up until now, the nature of how Paul will look (and sound) has been pretty secretive, but while promoting his upcoming Adam Sandler comedy, Funny People, Rogen let some details slip:
"I am [doing the voice of Paul]. And the motion capture of Paul as well... As of right now it's [the voice is] pretty similar to my voice. I don't know, they could change their mind, but right now it kind of sounds like exactly what you are hearing right now."
I don't think it's much of a surprise that Rogen's voice as Paul will probably end up pretty similar to his natural voice. His voice is instantly and naturally humorous (it makes the sound of him laughing funny in and of itself); it's already been put to good use such animated films as Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens.
However, even if Rogen's voice is funny, I would rather have him do something a bit different with it for Paul. After all, this is a film by the guys behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, so I hope for something more original than just having Rogen play the voice of Seth Rogen.
What do you think about what Seth Rogen has said about The Green Hornet and Paul? Are you looking forward to both of these projects?
The Green Hornet is scheduled for a July 9th, 2010 release, and Paul is slated for a release sometime in 2010.