Michel Gondry—you read it right—to helm Green Hornet??

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry is in talks to direct The Green Hornet, Columbia's movie update on the classic crime-fighting hero, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gondry would step in for Stephen Chow, who had been tapped to direct but dropped out over creative differences. Chow is still expected to co-star as Kato, the Hornet's trusty sidekick and chauffeur. Seth Rogen plays the Green Hornet.

Since Chow's departure, the project has been the subject of speculation that it was sliding into development hell, but the studio is intent on making the feature one of its 2010 tentpoles, the trade paper reported.

Gondry marks an offbeat choice to direct a superhero movie: He's also the helmer behind The Science of Sleep and Be Kind Rewind. He signals that the creative direction in which the studio and the film's producer, Neal Moritz, are trying to take the project is one not usually associated with the usual crime-fighter movie.

Hornet follows the adventures of Britt Reid, a bored playboy who inherits his father's crusading newspaper, the Daily Sentinel. By night he is a masked hero, fighting crime with his sidekick, Kato, who has incredible martial-arts skills. Rogen and his writer partner Evan Goldberg joined the project in July 20, 2007, as writers and co-executive producers.