The Green Hornet is one of our longest-running, most ubiquitous superheroes in culture. Originating in 1930s radio plays, the masked vigilante and his phenomenal partner Kato has since been in film serials, a hit TV show that gave Bruce Lee an American breakthrough, and most recently, a 2011 big-budget movie starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, and Christoph Waltz. Now, the well-known filmmaker/orator of geek-friendly projects Kevin Smith will be revving up Black Beauty and taking another crack at it. Per Deadline, Smith is developing an animated series out of The Green Hornet.
Smith is working with WildBrain, a family-focused production company known for properties like Peanuts, Inspector Gadget, and the Teletubbies, to develop the new Green Hornet. Their version will take place in the present day, and star a crime-fighting Green Hornet and Kato who are the son and daughter, respectively, of the original Green Hornet and Kato. The plan is to revamp Kato from being an, at times, problematically subservient sidekick into a force of crime-fighting of her own volition. Smith had this to say about the partnership:
It’s an honor to escort the legendary Green Hornet and Kato into their very own animated series for the first time in the rich history of these iconic pop culture characters. We’ll be telling a tale of two Hornets – past and future – that spans generations and draws inspiration from a lifetime spent watching classic cartoons and amazing animation like Batman: The Animated Series, Heavy Metal, and Super Friends. I can’t believe WildBrain gave me this job and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity to extend my childhood a little longer.
I won’t mince words: I think Tusk is the last good live-action film Smith has made, with the following films shocking me with their lack of attention paid to basic filmmaking craft. But Smith will always hold a special place in my heart, and his enthusiasm for superhero properties is palpable and inviting (Smith was actually hired to tackle that first big-screen Green Hornet adaptation, his screenplay eventually turning into a comic book series). I also am a big fan of his short-lived Clerks: The Animated Series, and the idea of him returning to that world of imagination and visual delight excites me. Plus: I love this newly conceptualized Kato. Color me cautiously optimistic!
For more on the world of Kevin Smith, here’s the trailer for his latest horror flick, which… um… anyway, Green Hornet sounds fun!