green hornet reboot

UPDATE: Universal is now involved with the project, per several sources. Also, the project is now being called The Green Hornet and Kato. The original story continues below.

Nothing in Hollywood stays dead forever, which means it’s time for a Green Hornet reboot. The crime-fighting character began life in 1930s radio serials before jumping into 1940s film serials and then a 1960s TV series. A comedic big-screen adaptation arrived in 2011, with Seth Rogen in the lead. Now, Amasia Entertainment is setting out to make a new Green Hornet film.

Per THRMichael Helfant and Bradley Gallo‘s Amasia Entertainment has won the rights to a new Green Hornet movie, because if there’s one thing kids love these days, it’s characters from 1930s radio serials. Sony previously held the film rights to the character, which resulted in the 2011 Michel Gondry film starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz, Edward James Olmos, David Harbour, Tom Wilkinson, and Cameron Diaz. While that movie was by no means a flop –  earning $227.8 million against a $120 million budget – it didn’t exactly set the world on fire, either, and no sequel was planned.

Since then, Universal, Dimension, Columbia, and Paramount all had their hands on the film rights. Paramount was recently planning a reboot of their own, with Gavin O’Connor directing. That fell through, and now Amasia will give it a go.

The Green Hornet was the brainchild of producer George W. Trendle, who wanted to cash-in on the popularity of The Lone Ranger. As a result, The Green Hornet was billed as a modern-day descendant of The Lone Ranger. In the mythology of the series, The Green Hornet is “Britt Reid, the owner and publisher of the Daily Sentinel, a major newspaper for an unnamed big city. Reid’s father, Dan, was the Lone Ranger’s nephew, and a teenage Dan appeared on The Lone Ranger as a recurring character. In The Green Hornet, Reid uses the power of the press to target organized crime and eventually adopts the persona of the Green Hornet as another way of fighting corruption. Because of his tactics, the Hornet is considered to be a criminal by both the police and the underworld. Reid encourages this view, using his supposed lawless status to trick criminals into giving themselves away. As the Hornet, Reid wears a mask to conceal his identity and carries a gun that shoots a gas capable of rendering his opponents unconscious. Kato, his chauffeur, assists him and drives a specially designed car called the Black Beauty.”

“This is one of the only stand-alone classic superhero franchises,” said Michael Helfant. “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.”

I’m not going to tell you a new Green Hornet movie can’t be successful, but this just strikes me as another case of Hollywood assuming brand awareness is all that matters – a presumption that frequently backfires.

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