It’s not the first time Kevin Smith has felt the Hornet’s sting. Back in the 90s, Smith wrote a screenplay for The Green Hornet that never got produced. It did, however, get adapted into a critically-acclaimed comics series from Dynamite Entertainment. With his Hollywood Babble-on podcast cohost Ralph Garman, Smith also wrote the DC/Dynamite crossover Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet. He knows his way around the character.
That makes the news coming out of Wildbrain both surprising and not. The production company focuses on kids’ entertainment, and that’s one thing Smith isn’t exactly synonymous with, though this last year has seen him take the reins on an animated continuation of the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. But he’s got a passion for the Green Hornet, and if you’re a Smith fan, you know he’s nothing if not enthusiastic about the projects he tackles.
From the description, it also sounds like he’ll be updating ideas from his previous screenplay, first and foremost a female Kato who is no sidekick. The time is absolutely right for that, and I’d love it if they took a page from Seth Rogen’s Green Hornet film and made Britt Reid the least important crimefighter in the team of Kato, Lenore Case, and the Green Hornet. Let me be clear, though — this is unrelated to Universal Studios’ recent news that they are developing a Green Hornet film. I kind of like the animation idea better.
Here’s what Wildbrain has to say:
WildBrain, a global leader in kids and family entertainment, has teamed up with renowned filmmaker, screenwriter and actor Kevin Smith to develop an original animated series based on the classic superhero franchise, Green Hornet. The new animated series will target a family audience and feature classic Green Hornet elements that fans know and love, including his ultra high-tech car, the “Black Beauty”. Set in contemporary times, the series will deliver some exciting new elements as it follows the adventures of a re-imagined Green Hornet and Kato – now the grown son of the original Green Hornet and the daughter of the original Kato – as they partner to battle crime in Century City!
Kevin Smith said: “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.”
Stephanie Betts, EVP Content and Current Series at WildBrain, said: “We’re thrilled to embark on a new animated Green Hornet series with Kevin, who has set up an incredibly rich world with a cast of amazing characters – especially Kato, who is no longer just a sidekick, but is now a strong female partner to the Green Hornet. With his ingenious talent and passion for superheroes and classic franchises, Kevin is the perfect creator to update the Green Hornet. We’re excited to share the new Green Hornet and Kato with audiences worldwide.”
The Green Hornet originated as a radio series created by George W. Trendle in the 1930s, telling the story of Britt Reid, the wealthy owner and publisher of the fictional newspaper, The Daily Sentinel. By day, Reid oversees his paper’s reporting on crime and injustice, but by night he dons his green mask and ventures across the city with his sidekick Kato – in their ultra high-tech car the “Black Beauty”– to battle criminals and villains head on.
Over the decades, the Green Hornet franchise has spawned numerous comics series, toy lines, movie serials, a feature film and the classic 1966 live action TV series, which introduced future martial arts superstar Bruce Lee to North American audiences as Kato.
Kevin Smith is best known as the creative force behind such indie classic films as Mallrats, Clerks, Chasing Amy and the Jay and Silent Bob franchise. A self-described “professional pop-culture junkie”, he entertains legions of his fans weekly with his podcasts and YouTube videos, providing exuberant and passionate views on comics, superheroes and pop culture. Smith has written numerous Green Hornet and Kato comics for Dynamite Entertainment, as well as Daredevil comics for Marvel and Green Arrow for DC. He also owns the comic-book store Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, in Red Bank, New Jersey, which was the subject of the reality television show Comic Book Men.
The Green Hornet, Kato and Black Beauty are trademarks of The Green Hornet, Inc., which is represented by David Grace of Loeb & Loeb LLP.
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