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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 06/22/2010

FIRST LOOK: Would you buy a Green Hornet from this man?

By Michael Cavna

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, Comic Riffs is a sucker for a debonair newspaper publisher as much as the next ink-stained writer. That and ever since our days in a dojo, we'd wished we had the moves of Bruce Lee's Kato. Put simply: The new "Green Hornet" will have to get a lot wrong for us to write it off.

In recent hours, though, the studio has released a trailer from the new "Hornet" (due out next January) and we've got to say: We're still not seeing Seth Rogen as the right man to wear the mask.

As long as we're disclosing fully, Comic Riffs will admit that we like Rogen's comedy. Sometimes quite a lot. Ever since he and Jason Segel and James Franco caught our attention in Judd Apatow's early "Freaks and Geeks," through "Knocked Up" and "Superbad" and even how he worked with Kevin Smith. But now we wonder: Was the uneven "Observe and Report" just the beginning of Rogen's desire to kick a little butt onscreen.

Actually, we should clarify: We can see Rogen as the responsibility-shirking scion. Bottle in hand, he doesn't have to suppress his sly humor and great machine-gun chuckle. So in his transformation to superhero, Britt Reid's character doesn't require having Superman's gravitas, and Reid can be lighter and more flippant than Bruce Wayne. But Rogen as the fleet, crimefighting Green Hornet, the mask-wearing nephew of the Lone Ranger who hit the radio airwaves nearly 80 years ago? We're retaining our reservations till we see more.

Or perhaps it's just that every time we hear gunfire, we're blown away by the cognitive dissonance of then hearing that very machine-gun chuckle.

Is Comic Riffs being too hasty, too limiting, too "judge-y." Guns ablazing, feel free to fire away. (And you can bet that Rogen will be sold heavily to fanboys at next month's San Diego Comic-Con.) Meantime, let us add: Jay Chou (as Kato) and Christoph Waltz look poised to steal this movie as quickly and surely as superheroes posing as villains.

By Michael Cavna  | June 22, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Geek Buzz, The Holly Word  | Tags:  Seth Rogen, The Green Hornet  
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Who did Michael Cavna know in order to get his job???

To any objective viewer with some appreciation of the action/comedy genre, the Green Hornet trailer looks great. For those nerds like Cavna that get hung up on who is right or wrong for a particular role....get a life! Keaton wasn't good for Batman, Brando wasn't good for Don Corleone, etc. etc. The list is long with previous nerd nonsensical doubters. Thankfully the movie industry pays so little attention to this group. As for who steals the movie?? Who cares! As long as its a great movie! Who cares that Heath Ledger stole The Dark Knight from Christian Bale? Anyone???? Find another line of work Mr. Cavna.

Posted by: PHILLYPOT | June 22, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for your opinion. Tim Burton and I talked briefly last year about why Keaton was an absolutely brilliant choice for Batman. (And Brando's Corleone is one of my favorite screen roles ever.) And now I fervently hope Seth Rogen meets and exceeds any expectations I and all other true action/comedy fans have for "The Green Hornet." May he prove the legions of fanboy skeptics wrong.


Posted by: Michael Cavna | June 22, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I have no love lost on Cavna, who, though I have absolutely nothing against personally, has mostly turned what I had hoped would be a fun, daily funnies blog into a superhero nerd's greatest fantasy (he also once famously exalted the wonders and joys of "Red and Rover" (gag me!) -- but I do think it's pretty cool that he got to interview Burton about Keaton. Keaton was HANDS DOWN the best Batman ever, and I would pay SO much to see him play the role again. Just amazing. As for Rogan, he is hilarious and heartwarming... he will do a great job as the Green Lantern just by being himself. Looking forward to it.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | June 22, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

For anyone who missed it -- here was the Comic Riffs post asking readers to weigh in regarding "Red and Rover":

And of course, from the outset, Comic Riffs's mission has been to cover a broad range of newsworthy comics-culture stories: from comic strips to political cartoons to big-screen animation to whatever it is Stan Lee or Joe Quesada might be working on.

And Burton was great, open to talking about any number of things -- a class interview.


Posted by: Michael Cavna | June 22, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

>> NOTE:

To read more comments about Seth Rogen as "Green Lantern," you can check out Celebritology's new poll here:

Currently, the majority of respondents are either "cautiously optimistic" or are "convinced that Seth Rogen should stick to Judd Apatow movies."


Posted by: Michael Cavna | June 22, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I like Red and Rover. I like Mutts. I really thought Calvin and Hobbes was the epitome of what a newspaper cartoon strip should be.
It sounds to me like a few people have a major jealousy going against M.C. because he has the kind of job they'll never have.
Get a real life people. (I learned that from Ted Rall)

As to Seth Rogen being the Green Hornet: I think he'd be great, IF they didn't insist on making it a comedy. It's not him, it's the apparent off-the-target script.

Everything else looks great.

I just wish Hollywood would get off it's fat butt and get Captain America and Captain Marvel done in a way that honors the legends.

"Nuff said!

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

>> InkSlingerz:

Agree completely that "Calvin and Hobbes" was the epitome of what a newspaper comic strip can accomplish creatively. As character-driven strips go, I put it right alongside "Pogo" and "Peanuts" (among others) as the very best the past century had to offer.

And back on Batman for a minute, I should note: I met Jerry Robinson a coupla weeks ago and he shared how swell he thought Christian Bale has been wearing the cape. He also mentioned that during his set visits, much to his regret, he missing meeting Heath Ledger by a day. As could be expected, he had nothing but effusive praise for Ledger.


Posted by: cavnam | June 22, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

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