It has been recently revealed that Paramount Pictures has partnered with Chernin Entertainment and have acquired the rights to one of the most iconic and, ironically underrated, superheroes, The Green Hornet. The studios have brought onboard Gavin O’Connor to direct, whose most recent project was the highly successful Ben Affleck project, The Accountant. It has also been announced that O’Connor has enlisted Sean O’Keefe onto his team to work with him on the script for the film.
Judging by O’Connor’s enthusiasm for the project, I think it’s safe to say that we may be finally getting The Green Hornet film that we’ve all been waiting for and also one that the character deserves.
“I’ve been wanting to make this movie — and create this franchise — since I’ve wanted to make movies,” O’Connor revealed. “As a kid, when most of my friends were into Superman and Batman, there was only one superhero who held my interest — The Green Hornet. I always thought he was the baddest badass because he had no superpowers. The Green Hornet was a human superhero. And he didn’t wear a clown costume. And he was a criminal — in the eyes of the law — and in the eyes of the criminal world. So all this felt real to me. Imagine climbing to the top of the Himalayas, or Mount Everest, or K2 over and over again and no one ever knew? You can never tell anybody. That’s the life of Britt and Kato. What they do, they can never say. They don’t take credit for anything.”
Though O’Connor’s energy and enthusiasm for the project is encouraging, he realizes that he’s got his work cut out for him. Erasing the fans preconceived ideas and feelings for the character won’t be an easy task. While the ’60 television series starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee was written as a crime drama and is a cult favorite with fans, it is also a product of its time when “camp’ was king. And let’s not forget Seth Rogen’s film version of the character. On second thought, let’s go ahead and do just that, shall we. This will truly be a labor of love for O’Connor that he has waited a very, very long time to sink his teeth into.
“For almost 20 years now I’ve been tracking the rights, watching from the sidelines as they were optioned by one studio or another,” he said. “When I discovered the rights were available again, I tracked them down, partnered with Peter Chernin and we set the movie up at Paramount. With the rights now in our loving hands, I’m beyond excited to bring The Green Hornet into the 21st century in a meaningful and relevant way; modernizing it and making it accessible to a whole new generation. My intention is to bring a gravitas to The Green Hornet that wipes away the camp and kitsch of the previous iteration. I want to re-mythologize The Green Hornet in a contemporary context, with an emphasis on story and character, while at the same time, incorporating themes that speak to my heart. The comic book movie is the genre of our time. How do we look at it differently? How do we create a distinctive film experience that tells itself differently than other comic book movies? How do we land comfortably at the divide between art and industry? How do we go deeper, prompt more emotion? How do we put a beating heart into the character that was never done before? These are my concerns…these are my desires, my intentions, my fears, my goals.”
And this isn’t going to be your father’s Green Hornet, at least not if O’Connor has anything to say about it. This hero is not going to be your typical rich boy with too much free time on his hands and mega-bucks to burn, oh hell no! O’Connor’s version of Britt Reid is going to be deep, dark and troubled.
“The Green Hornet is ultimately a film about self-discovery,” O’Connor professed. “When we meet Britt Reid he’s lost faith in the system. Lost faith in service. In institutions. If that’s the way the world works, that’s what the world’s going to get. He’s a man at war with himself. A secret war of self that’s connected to the absence of his father. It’s the dragon that’s lived with him that he needs to slay. And the journey he goes on to become The Green Hornet is the dramatization of it, and becomes Britt’s true self. I think of this film as Batman upside down meets Bourne inside out by way of Chris Kyle [American Sniper]. He’s the anti-Bruce Wayne. His struggle: Is he a savior or a destroyer? Britt made money doing bad things, but moving forward he’s making no money doing good things. He must realize his destiny as a protector and force of justice by becoming the last thing he thought he’d ever become: his father’s son. Which makes him a modern Hamlet. By uncovering his past, and the truth of his father, Britt unlocks the future.”
O’Connor said the character won’t be hiding behind his gadgets or Kato either. He’s giving Reid a military background that will provide the character with physical skills to qualify as an absolute badass: “Britt’s shadow war background makes him a natural at undercover work. This is connected to his military backstory, which is more CIA Special Activities Division than SEAL Team 6. He’s cross-trained in intelligence work and kinetic operations. A hunter at the top of the Special Operations food chain, working so far outside the system he had to think twice to remember his real name. We will put a vigilante engine under the hood of his character,” O’Connor said.
With any luck, fans will give this iteration of the Hornet and Kato the chance it deserves and we will get a film franchise that rivals that of Batman, Iron Man and Captain America. If everything falls into place and the writing is on the money, this version of the character is going to be sick af! The Green Hornet has always been a true favorite of mine and I, for one am, am excited about the project and cannot wait to see it up on the screen. So with that I say, LET’S ROLL!
A release date for this film has not yet been set. But when it is, it will most assuredly be announced here at SuperCineverse.
For More SuperCineverse