We may be looking at the first instance, but certainly not the last, of 3D used as an excuse to essentially dump a tentpole film. Sony announced today that not only will they be converting Michel Gondry's Green Hornet to 3D, but they're pushing back the film's release from December 22 of this year to January 14, 2011.

According to THR the studio promised to do the 3D conversion with "top quality" and "produce all its visual effects shots in original 3D," which essentially code for "this is not a Clash of the TItans situation." We're meant to assume that the three week release delay is part of that very detailed 3D conversation process, but I honestly don't know who they think we're fooling. The Green Hornet is still a solid six months away from release, which leaves plenty of time for the 3D conversion to look, well, as good as 3D conversion can look. Those three weeks won't make a lick of difference in that process.

What they will do, though, is move Green Hornet out of the crowded pre-Christmas release window and into what's known as the January graveyard, the time of year when studios assume we'll see whatever shit they throw in the theaters and don't bother to release anything they care about. There are a few exceptions to this role, including Sony's own Paul Blart Mall Cop, but those successes are usually accidental. What probably isn't an accident, though, is that this switch comes just days after rumors hit that Sony was unhappy with the film and was ordering reshoots.

The 3D conversion may be more than an effort to save face and make some extra money on a movie the studio has no faith in, but it sure doesn't look like that from here. I'm still really excited to see The Green Hornet and comforted knowing that a Gondry film I love, Be Kind Rewind, was also seemingly dumped in a January release date. The Green Hornet was probably never going to be a tentpole release that could compete with the likes of Tron: Legacy and a new Harry Potter. But it does worry me a little that Sony might already be washing their hands of the project entirely.

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