Leigh Whannell to Direct The Green Hornet and Kato Movie For Universal


It looks like Leigh Whannell could be reuniting with Universal as the director of The Green Hornet and Kato. According to Deadline, Universal started the ball rolling on a Green Hornet movie back in early 2020 by optioning the rights, but obviously the Covid pandemic meant things have been stalled for a while. Whannell seems to have been instantly snapped up to helm the picture after adding his name to the list of potential candidates, and considering the success he brought to Universal’s The Invisible Man, it is not surprising the studio want to work with the director again.

The Green Hornet was one of the first “superhero” style characters to appear in popular culture. Before DC Comics brought the crime fighting figures of Batman and Superman to the world, The Green Hornet appeared in early radio adventures before becoming the subject of Universal movie serials in the 1940s, a TV series in the 60s – which was the first U.S. production to feature Bruce Lee who appeared as Kato – and most recently a Sony movie starring Seth Rogen. While Rogen played the story for laughs, Whannell’s style is obviously going to be a much more likely to be a serious affair.

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The Green Hornet is the masked crime-fighter alter ego of Britt Reid, publisher of the Daily Sentinel newspaper who juggles his regular day job with night-time detective work dressed in a long green coat, gloves and fedora, hence the colorful name given to him by the police and general public. The Hornet is accompanied by Kato, his martial artist partner who is usually in charge of the Black Beauty, the pair’s tech-savvy car. While his original radio appearance named the character as the grandnephew of The Lone Ranger, it is unknown whether this will be carried into the new movie.

Related: Bruce Lee Talks Kung Fu in Vintage Footage on Green Hornet Set

Leigh Whannell Has Come A Long Way As A Director

Having come to everyone’s attention as the star and co-writer of horror smash Saw, Leigh Whannell has gone on to write some of the most profitable horror movies of the last 20 years, including Saw II and Saw III, several Insidious movies, Upgrade and The Invisible Man. After making his directorial debut on Insidious Chapter 3, he went on to direct and executive produce both Upgrade and The Invisible Man. After proving that he could deliver big movies on a budget, it is not surprising that he is being sought for other projects.

With Whannell’s main body of work being in the horror genre, there is a question of exactly how this will be factored into The Green Hornet and Kato. While The Green Hornet doesn’t have many horror overtones in any of its previous forms, Universal turned The Invisible Man into a much darker story than some previous iterations of the character. While not much is known about the movie, David Koepp, who previously penned Kevin Bacon’s supernatural thriller Stir of Echoes, has written the script, which could also be a sign that this will be a much darker version of The Green Hornet than seen before.



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