Being a superhero's sidekick sucks.
At least, that’s what “The Green Hornet” screenwriters Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen thought when they tackled the topic of being a crimefighter’s junior partner, especially when the sidekick’s as cool as Kato.
“We were like, heroes and sidekicks – that doesn't make sense,” Goldberg tells PopcornBiz. “That's a dick move: ‘You're a sidekick, I'm a hero: Now let’s both go get shot at.’”
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Goldberg says he and Rogen, both longtime comic book fans, had long been kicking around the idea of tweaking the time-honored tradition that began with Batman and Robin. “We always wanted to do something about a hero and a sidekick,” says Goldberg. “Before 'Pineapple Express' Judd Apatow was like, 'Come up with 100 ideas,' and we made it to about 50. He said, 'Good enough – now write this other film that I came up with about pot.' We were like, 'Whatever you say, man.' But in there we had about three ideas that were about heroes and sidekicks, and we never did anything more than conceive the ideas.”
“And then when the studio came with this, we weren't fanatics, but we'd both watched the show and told them that we knew it,” he recalls. “We were like, 'Kato? Oh, my God. We're down, totally – We're in.' It was like someone brought us exactly what we were looking for.”
As the more publically known Rogen’s writing partner on “Pineapple Express,” “Superbad” and “Da Ali G Show,” Goldberg knows a little bit about being perceived as the secondary portion of a team.
“I've been referred to as a sidekick maybe five or ten times,” he laughs. “It's pretty funny – and a little insulting. Somewhere subconsciously that must've made a difference. I will say this: we were going to be on the cover of Screenwriting Magazine at one point, and I was like, 'I should get the Kato costume, but not get a bigger one and my gut will be hanging out and I'll be beside you.' They didn’t go for that. I have a feeling that they just wanted Seth on the cover.”