A New ‘Green Hornet’ Movie is in the Works

Published on January 31, 2020

The Green Hornet and Kato may get another chance at the big screen. It’s been nine years since the Seth Rogen-produced take on the character, which audiences and critics mostly rejected. In the years since the Michel Gondry superhero movie, there’s been whisper here and there of another movie based on The Green Hornet. Once again, the character and talk of a new movie is back in the news.

The Feature Film Rights

After a competitive bidding war for the property, Amasia Entertainment has come out on top with the feature film rights. The Green Hornet began in 1936 as a radio show. 30 years later, it was a television show (1966-1967) starring Bruce Lee, and only nine years ago, a movie with Seth Rogen. Rogen played newspaper publisher Britt Reid, who fights for justice by day and, in a green and nifty costume, by night. His sidekick, of course, is Kato. 

New and Old School

The last film adaptation was a modern spin on the classic character, turning Britt Reid into a partying manchild who has to grow up. It was a strange movie in that it both deconstructed the superhero genre yet fell prey to its most boring cliches. According to Amasia co-founders Michael Helfant and Bradley Gallo, they want to make a Green Hornet movie that’s new and fresh but captures the spirit of the character’s legacy, as they told Deadline:

“This is one of the only stand-alone classic superhero franchises. We’re a bunch of fan geeks at Amasia and are thrilled about creating something fresh and truly worthy of this legacy property.  A new world that is relevant and thrilling, while respecting and honoring the original vision.”

A Real Fan is Involved

From the sound of it, the material is now in the hands of someone who actually loves it and wants to honor what they appreciated about the character. Helfant added he’s been trying for years to get the rights but always came up short: 

“When I was a kid, The Green Hornet was one of my favorite television series. I loved everything about it: the Green Hornet, Kato, and of course, the Black Beauty. They were the coolest!  It was personally painful to leave them all behind when I left Dimension. So I tried to option the property again at Marvel before it went over to Sony, and then again in 2017 before the rights landed at Paramount.”

Maybe that was missing from the previous movie: a real, longtime fan. The comic book character isn’t the most beloved or famous hero, but Rogen was poking a little fun at the property. Maybe a more sincere and less self-aware take is what will bring the character successfully into the 21st Century. 

A Modern Spin

Nowadays, a movie about a superhero running a newspaper does sound timely or obvious. Amasia’s co-founder, Gallo, was a CNN journalist at one time. He sees the potential in telling the story of a hero running a paper, trying to spread the truth. Gallo added:

“As long as I’ve known Michael, he has expressed his loving ‘nerdom’ for Green Hornet and passed on his addiction to me. I am looking forward to bridging the film worlds of America and Asia – and I’m very grateful to be on this journey with Michael, Amasia, the Green Hornet family, and fellow fans!”

Years ago, Paramount was working on another adaptation after Sony’s version failed to make a profit at the box-office. For whatever reason, Paramount’s Green Hornet never happened, despite having an exceptionally good director involved, Gavin O’Connor, the man behind Miracle, Warrior, and The Accountant. The Green Hornet certainly needs a fresh vision in this day and age of far too many comic book movies to stand out among the herd.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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