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Rogen nestles into ‘Hornet’ hive

Columbia taps 'Knocked Up' star for action pic

Seth Rogen, action star?

The doughy star of this summer’s breakout hit, “Knocked Up,” is finalizing a deal to write, and likely star in, Columbia’s bigscreen adaptation of “Green Hornet.” He will exec produce, along with co-writer and frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg.

Rogen would play Brit Reid, millionaire publisher-turned-masked crime fighter — a role George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Jake Gyllenhaal flirted with in various stages of the project’s long gestation.

The Green Hornet” started as a radio serial before being turned into a comicbook, film and TV skein by the 1960s. TV show was notable for the presence of the late Bruce Lee as sidekick Kato, a kung fu expert with a killer car.

However, the project — which seems almost old-fashioned compared with today’s elaborate superhero movies — has struggled to get off the ground in recent years. Universal and Miramax both abandoned the project before producer Neal Moritz set it up at Columbia a few months ago (Daily Variety, March 21).

Rogen has developed into a potent double threat at the instigation of Judd Apatow, who cast the Canadian in “Undeclared” while he was still a teen and then pushed him to write for the short-lived skein. Rogen co-produced and appeared in a key supporting role in Apatow’s “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and has since set up several writing and acting projects around town. “Superbad,” the first script he wrote with Goldberg, will bow from Columbia next month.

He originally wrote it for himself, but the project took so long to get off that ground that he has a supporting role as a cop in it. Rogen is skedded to appear at Comic-Con next week to tubthump the movie.

Also in the works: “The Pineapple Express,” which he co-wrote and will star in for Col; and “Drillbit Taylor,” a Paramount project. He has several acting projects in the works, including “The Spiderwick Chronicles,” “Fanboys” and a voice for “Horton Hears a Who.”

UTA reps Rogen.

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