The Invisible Man director Leigh Whannell is in negotiations to direct The Green Hornet and Kato for Universal, according to Deadline. Universal has reportedly been wanting to re-team with Whannell since he successfully kick-started an alternative approach to Universal Monster movies, after the Dark Universe was aborted before it could begin.
The script for The Green Hornet and Kato was delivered to Universal by David Koepp earlier this year. The Green Hornet began life on the radio and was one of the most popular shows of the thirties and forties. Two Green Hornet movies were released in 1940. The most well-known version was the 1960s television series, with Bruce Lee as Kato. And finally, there was a 2011 movie starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou.
The Green Hornet was an early version of Batman, as he was a vigilante crime fighter who managed to anger both the police and the pesky criminals. He even had cool weapons and a famous car known as the Black Beauty. Sources have told Deadline that Whannell’s version will be a serious action thriller, unlike the 2011 comedy.
The success of Leigh Whannell’s Invisible Man – which was released in 2020 before the first lockdowns started – has given Universal confidence to take a riskier approach to their classic monster characters. Derek Cianfrance and Ryan Gosling are working on a Wolfman movie, and Nicolas Cage will be starring as Dracula in Renfield. Chloe Zhao is also directing a Dracula movie, but Karyn Kusama’s Mina Harker movie is unfortunately no more.
Trying to imagine The Green Hornet as a serious action thriller seems difficult, but most superhero properties (especially Batman) are getting increasingly darker. Whannell will probably bring some of the memorable action skills from his 2018 movie Upgrade to the table, which will be exciting.
While we wait for more news on The Green Hornet, check out our guide to watching the Batman movies in order.