Leigh Whannell In Talks To Direct ‘The Green Hornet And Kato’

by Erik Amaya

Leigh Whannel may be sticking with Universal for a while.

Deadline reports the director is in negotiations to direct the studios’ The Green Hornet and Kato. The project, based on the 1930s radio show — itself inspired by the pulp characters who would go on to influence the early comic book superheroes — will presumably update the concept of a wealthy hero who masquerades as a notorious underworld figure and his martial arts expert companion into something appealing for 21st century audiences. Universal picked up the rights to the Green Hornet two years ago and have spent the time since looking for right creative participants.

The original premise revolved around Britt Reid, a newspaper heir who takes up the two identities for various reasons. At his side, his trusty chauffeur Kato. Although popular on radio and Saturday morning movie serials, the enduring versions of the characters derive from the 1960 Green Hornet series, which featured Bruce Lee as Kato. The character’s billing in the new projects suggests he will be as important to the proceedings as Reid. According to Deadline’s sources, Whannel’s vision will be more series than the TV show or the most recent film iteration with Seth Rogen as the eponymous hero and Jay Chou as Kato.

As with all in-development film projects, it is unclear how long it will be until the film arrives in theaters, but considering Universal has already spent two years looking for a director, we expect the turnaround will be quick.

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