According to Deadline, Kevin Smith (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob) and kids content producer WildBrain (Peanuts, Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget) are in the process of developing a brand new animated series, centered on George W. Trendie and Fran Striker’s classic 1930s superhero The Green Hornet. They’re currently planning to shop the project to networks and streaming services.
“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,” Smith said in a statement. “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.”
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The Green Hornet animated series is being created for a family audience that will be set in contemporary times. It will follow 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. It will also feature the Green Hornet’s ultra-high-tech car, Black Beauty.
“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.” WildBrain’s EVP Content and Current Series, Stephanie Betts said.
Interestingly, Kevin Smith was originally attached to write a screenplay for Miramax’s previously planned live-action Green Hornet film which was then cancelled. However, he later decided to release his unused screenplay through a comic book series instead, with Dynamite Entertainment publishing it from 2010 up until 2013.
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The characters were first created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker in 1936. The Green Hornet was one of early radio’s most popular adventure shows, predating Superman, before being turned into 1940s movie serials from Universal. A 1966 TV series, distributed by 20th Century Fox TV, followed, introducing Bruce Lee (Kato) to the United States. The story centered around Britt Reid owner/publisher of The Daily Sentinel. Armed with knowledge from his sources, cool weapons, a supercar known as The Black Beauty, and teaming with his trusty aide Kato, Reid became The Green Hornet, a vigilante crime fighter wanted by the police and feared by the criminal world.
After Miramax failed to develop the live-action film adaptation during the 1990s, Sony Pictures revived the project in 2008 with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg set as the new writers and executive producers. In 2011, the action-comedy led by Rogen and Jay Chou was released and had grossed over $200 million at the worldwide box office.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)