In 2011 we got a big screen adaptation of The Green Hornet, a 1930s action-adventure radio drama that had been adapted numerous times throughout the decades. The last film version met with mixed reviews and moderate success, but it failed to catch on as a franchise. And it’s been over a decade, which means were well past due for the reboot. A new movie based on The Green Hornet is moving forward, and it looks like The Invisible Man’s Leigh Whannell may be taking the director’s chair.
Executives at Universal have reportedly been meeting with several directors over the last couple weeks about the directing job for the movie The Green Hornet and Kato. Deadline says it’s one of the more highly sought directing gigs available at the moment, and the studio is meaning toward tapping Leigh Whannell, who previously directed The Invisible Man for Universal, which was a success both critically and commercially.
The Green Hornet and Kato is a script by David Koepp, writer of the original Jurassic Park, the first Mission: Impossible movie, and more than 40 other films. It sounds like Universal likes the script a lot, and once a director is locked in the movie is expected to be put on the fast track to pre-production.
The Green Hornet began as a radio drama into the 1930s. It told the story of Britt Reid, the owner of a newspaper who, along with his friend/valet Kato, became crime fighters. The police believe The Green Hornet is a criminal, but that perception allows him to infiltrate other criminal organizations in order to take them down.
The radio show was adapted into a movie serial in the ‘40s and a short lived TV series in the ‘60s. The show’s primary distinction is that it marked the debut of Bruce Lee to the American audience, who co-starred as Kato. The show only lasted one season but did crossover with the more popular Adam West Batman series.
The 2011 movie version of The Green Hornet starred Seth Rogen as Britt Reid and went with an action-comedy vibe which did not match previous versions of the characters. To be fair, the movie could have been even weirder than it was as Nicolas Cage was almost cast as The Green Hornet villain in what would have been a wild performance.
It sounds like David Koepp’s script makes the story a more straight forward action thriller, which also may explain why Universal would want to bring in Leigh Whannell, as that’s what he is known for as both a writer and director.
While there probably aren’t a lot of huge Green Hornet fans out there unless you grew up listening to cassette tapes of old radio shows, those of us that are fans are probably all much happier to see a more traditional version of the character. With what appears to be a solid script and a proven director circling the project, now we just need to cast the perfect Green Hornet and Kato.