Gondry Talks Green Hornet
Bill Desowitz: I was curious to read that you were previously connected to The Green Hornet at Universal in '97.
Michel Gondry: That's true: one of the rare truths that's been written on the net.
BD: You obviously have a passion for this.
MG: I have a passion for it and felt personally connected to it -- it was supposed to be my first feature. I even let down my son, who was six at the time, and was very excited when I told him the story and had to tell him I wasn't going to do it. When I was asked again, I was like, "Yes, I want to show my son that I'm doing what I'm saying."
BD: What appealed to you about The Green Hornet?
MG: What I liked the best in the new version was the take of Seth and [co-writer] Evan [Goldberg], which was how you did with your sidekick [played by Jay Chou] when he's cooler than you. It was a terrific idea to develop.
MG: Yes, and they both hate the father [played by Tom Wilkinson].
BD: What I found most interesting was how you incorporate your interest in manipulating time and space. What was it like visualizing Kato's fighting?
MG: Well, we took two stunt guys in New York and asked them to fight certain ways, knowing that we would change the speed of one of them and then in the same shot we would reverse the process. So, basically, let's say you have two characters shot in the same frame. There's a sort of bank of time or frames that is available, so when one speeds up, it involves time in the future. So now they are not in the same dimension, so it's OK as long as they don't interact physically with each other because it would be a pure special effect. But what happens is that if I want to get them back in the same time and space, the faster one has to become slower or the other one has to become faster. So I had to keep the time changing as much as I could while they're not physically interacting. So that was the beginning of the idea about playing with the space/time theory where you borrow time and reimburse it.
BD: How challenging was that technically?