EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Smith is reuniting with The Green Hornet in a new animated series.
The Clerks filmmaker has teamed up with kids producer WildBrain to develop a new series based on the classic superhero franchise.
Smith has long been a fan of the Green HorneT; in 2004, he was hired to write a feature film screenplay based on the character for Miramax. That project never materialized on screen – it was subsequently written by and starred Seth Rogen, directed by Michael Gondry and released in 2011.
However, the Mallrats filmmaker did turn his screenplay into a comic book series. He wrote the first four issue story arc of the series, which was published by Dynamite Entertainment in 2010.
Smith and WildBrain are developing the new animated series to target a family audience. The series will be set in contemporary times, following 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.
WildBrain, which is the owner of classic brands including Peanuts, Teletubbies and Inspector Gadget, and Smith will take the project out to broadcasters and streamers.
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 to battle criminals and villains head on.
There was also a classic 1966 live-action TV series, which introduced future martial arts superstar Bruce Lee to North American audiences as Kato.
Smith’s last feature project was writing and directing Jay and Silent Reboot and he is also directing comedy horror anthology film Killroy Was Here.
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, added, “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, Kato and Black Beauty are trademarks of The Green Hornet, Inc., which is represented by David Grace of Loeb & Loeb LLP.