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Why Michel Gondry was "quite relieved" when Nicolas Cage left Green Hornet

01.10.2011

Why, you might be asking, is Nicolas Cage wearing a rasta tam hat? That's a very good question but you're getting ahead of yourself. All in due time. Let's take this one from the top...

Back in the summer of 2009, right before Comic-Con, it was announced that Nicolas Cage had signed on to star as Chudnofsky, the lead villain in Seth Rogen's THE GREEN HORNET. Michel Gondry was set to direct and filming was scheduled to begin later that year. But then in September of that same year it was announced that Cage was leaving the film and being replaced by Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz.

So why did Cage leave the film? At the time he told, The Canadian Press that "Seth Rogen and Michel had a different take on the character," and that he "had to have some humanity" to the character" so that you could "understand why the character was the way he was." Apparently that humanity was being a Rastafarian?

A recent New York Times article reveals the real reason Cage left the film and it would appear that while Rogen and Gondry had a "different take on the character," as Cage claimed, their different take was that Chudnofsky shouldn't act like Bob Marley.

Gondry and Cage had frequent arguments about the direction of the character because "for reasons known only to [Cage], he insisted on using a Jamaican accent." It was a difficult few months for the production but eventually Cage left the film and Gondry couldn't have been happier. "I was quite relieved," Gondry admits, "when [Cage] announced he no longer wanted the part."

It's still unclear what Cage thought having a Jamaican accent would bring to the part to "understand" why he was the way he was and we may never know (unless he calls back in to the JoBlo Podcast).

It's far from the only kooky idea in the lengthy development of the film. When Stephen Chow was attached to star as Kato, he wanted the script to have his sidekick implanting a microchip in Britt's brain and later controlling him with a joystick. "Maybe they’re doing that in China, and I’m not aware of it," says Rogen. "I don’t read the newspapers as much as I should."

Extra Tidbit: There's a great cameo in the beginning of the film but I won't say more beyond that.
Source: NY Times

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