'Green Hornet and Kato' set for new movie reboot from Universal

Tom Beasley
Seth Rogen portrayed the title character in 2011 film 'The Green Hornet'. (Credit: Sony)

Comic book hero Green Hornet is set to return to the big screen once again with a new version of the character from Universal Pictures.

Created in the 1930s for radio, the Hornet is the alter ego of newspaper publisher Britt Reid, who works as a masked vigilante by night with the help of masked partner Kato.

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The character made the jump to comic books and film serials in the 1940s, before starring in a 1960s TV series in which martial artist Bruce Lee portrayed Kato.

Seth Rogen played the title character in the 2011 film version of The Green Hornet, which was directed by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind helmer Michel Gondry.

The new Universal take will be a “contemporary version” of the story according to Michael Helfant — co-founder of Amasia Entertainment, which is partnering with Universal on the project.

Amasia Entertainment founders Bradley Gallo and Michael Helfant at the “Them That Follow” party at Sundance Film Festival 2019. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for AT&T and DIRECTV)

In a statement reported by Variety, Helfant said: “Our goal is to make a film that existing fans will love, and new fans will love to discover.

“With Universal, it feels like we are merging the past and the future, creating a contemporary version of the franchise that is fresh and exciting while respecting its long legacy and history.”

The rights to The Green Hornet were previously at Paramount, with The Accountant director Gavin O’Connor attached to create an “edgy” version of the character in November 2016.

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The 2011 movie version of The Green Hornet earned a relatively soft $228m (£184m) at the global box office and earned mixed reviews — scoring a 44% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Van Williams and Bruce Lee in 'The Green Hornet' in 1996. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives)

The 60s TV version, meanwhile, has become something of a cult favourite as a result of the subsequent fame of Bruce Lee.

In fact, the scene featuring Lee in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place on the set of The Green Hornet.

The scene proved controversial, with Tarantino forced to defend it against accusations of racism.

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There is no timetable currently set for the new Universal reboot of The Green Hornet.