Looks like my primary concern that Seth Rogen was turning Green Hornet into an action-comedy film has been proved out [to my great disappointment]. The choice of Stephen Chow as director is very revealing as to the movie's tone.
For an action-comedy movie you'd be hard pressed to find a better director choice than Stephen Chow, his filmography is full of these sorts of movies.
A quick look at Stephen Chow's IMDB page
reveals that his filmography is dominated by comedic films [note, Chow has directed more than just action type films].
Kung Fu Hustle
, Shaolin Soccer
all have strong comedy elements in them - and that's just the 3 that Western audiences would be most familiar with.
Chow's earlier work [as writer & director] includes: The King of Comedy
1999, The God of Cookery
1996, Forbidden City Cop
1996, King of Destruction
1994 -- all described as part comedy on IMDB.
My biggest concern all long was that Seth Rogen was writing this Green Hornet film as part comedy. Stephen Chow is a great choice as director of a movie that mixes action and comedy. I could still be wrong [and still hope I am wrong] about Seth Rogen's Green Hornet
being an acion-comedy but the evidence continues to indicate that Rogen is intent on making a movie that is more Pink Panther
and/or Mystery Men
rather than a honest Green Hornet movie.
I'm going to call it now, before any potential script leaks, this is movie that Seth Rogen has planned for the Green Hornet: [in spoilers tags now that it seems I'm likely close to the mark.]
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
Here's what I 'see' for the core story of Rogen's GH movie [I refer to both the characters as Rogen's Green Hornet and Rogen's Kato to differentiate them as both act different from the existing/original GH & Kato]:
Rogen's GH/Britt Reid knows he's inept when it comes to crime-fighting - but he has the money & resources to do it [possibly even the "presence"/theatrical skill to present the GH effectively so criminals take him seriously]. Rogen's Kato is a brilliant crime fighter - he can handle himself just about any situation however he doesn't have "presence".
No longer than 1/3 the way into the movie, Rogen's Britt and Rogen's Kato butt heads [Britt jealous of Kato's skill, Kato wanting more recognition] and split up. The middle third of the movie will mostly be comprised of Rogen's GH and Rogen's Kato going the solo heroics route. Rogen's GH learns that while he has "presence" and resources he just doesn't have the skill to truly take down criminals, Rogen's Kato learns that while he has all the necessary skill [and then some] to fight criminals he just can't get them to take him seriously. Both characters learn that without their teammate they aren't much of a crime fighter, and that each needs the other.
Just in time for the climax to begin the band gets back together [so to speak] and the reunited Rogen Green Hornet and Rogen Kato handily take down the criminal boss/group [whom they had been tracking down together, and apart, since the beginning of the movie]. And all along the way the audience has had plenty of laughs.
Now, while this isn't necessarily a bad story for a movie it would [will?] be a bad Green Hornet movie. Ultimately, to pull it off you have to compromise the character of Green Hornet and Kato to turn this story into a movie. Britt Reid is no longer a skilled crime fighter in his own right [remember, Britt Reid is the Lone Ranger's grand-nephew] and Kato is reduced to a bundle of bitterness and jealousy. Also, the Green Hornet operates differently from modern heroes, remember the GH is a product of the pulp hero era [even though he original appeared on the radio]. While the GH is most definitely a hero, to the criminal element, [most of] the law, and the public at large in his fictional universe the Green Hornet is a crime boss of the highest calibre. The defeats of criminals are orchestrated so that neither the criminals or the law ever learn that the Green Hornet is not a criminal.