Among the missed opportunities of “The Green Hornet,” which opens this Friday, are the disappointing lack of a rendition of “Flight of the Bumblebee” performed by Sting and the failure to do anything with an email address that is constantly seen in the film. While the former is more of a personal issue, the latter oversight was brought to my attention by indieWIRE critic Eric Kohn and has been mentioned elsewhere on the Internet since the movie’s trailer debuted last fall. I’m guessing that Sony has already begun receiving enough emails to the address — email@example.com — to take notice, because when Kohn tried it last week he didn’t get any sort of reply, but when I sent an email Tuesday morning, I got back the following automated message:
This is an unmonitored email address. If you wish to send your comments to “The Green Hornet”, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s the weird thing about this email: it directs me to thegreenhornet.com rather than greenhornet.net. Yet the latter domain address does not get redirected to the former. It takes you to thegreenhornet-movie.net, which looks very different from Sony’s basic site — which, by the way, is not thegreenhornet.com. It is greenhornetmovie.com. Meanwhile, neither greenhornet.com nor greenhornetmovie.net are registered by Sony for the film. Confused? Me too. I’m also sad that nobody’s doing anything with the domain greenhor.net. That would have been so clever (my fiancee, who liked the movie a lot, pointed it out to me).
Anyway, I also sent an inquiry to the contact address provided to me and have yet to hear anything in return.
I guess this is just a matter of characters’ email addresses being no more significant than characters’ phone numbers. However, there still hasn’t been anything devised for films’ employment of email addresses the way the 555-prefixed phone numbers were designated for use in movies. Something like that isn’t necessary, though, because no public citizen would have the same email address as this one used by the Green Hornet in the film. No random person is going to be getting thousands of spam emails from moviegoers looking for the fictional superhero the way a real number in “Bruce Almighty” caused real people massive headaches when their phone kept ringing with people wishing to speak to “God.” Maybe if they’d used a gmail or AOL address, but not with this greenhornet.net domain.
Just because a movie displays an email address does not require it to have significance. And I’m not even sure what I would want done with email@example.com. A dated movie marketing idea in which fake replies from the character come back to us? Boring. But should the greenhornet.net domain go to an elaborate yet fake website for the fictional character? Anyway, the prominent display of the email does at least send fans to the film’s official website, by way of that unofficial domain, where there are interactive games and videos. So there is some potential benefit to Sony and Columbia Pictures in having the address displayed so often.
Is there anything else you could imagine or want a fictional character’s email to do?