Leigh Whannell In Negotiations To Direct The Green Hornet And Kato

Leigh Whannell

by James White |
Published on

Though it looked for a while like The Invisible Man's Leigh Whannell would be following that up with more horror via The Wolfman, he's since left that movie, to be replaced by Derek Cianfrance. But Universal still wants to stay in business with Whannell, and he's now hammering out a deal to direct The Green Hornet And Kato for the studio.

The Green Hornet was one of early radio’s most popular adventure shows, before being turned into 1940s movie serials and the 1966 TV series that introduced Bruce Lee (who played Kato) to the States. The story focuses on Britt Reid, owner-publisher of The Daily Sentinel. Armed with knowledge from his sources, cool weapons, a supercar known as the Black Beauty, and teamed with his trusty aide Kato, Reid became The Green Hornet, a vigilante crime fighter wanted by the police and feared by the criminal world.

This was a concept last brought to screens via Sony by Michel Gondry, with Seth Rogen co-writing and starring as the Hornet, and Jay Chou playing Kato. It blended a dollop of humour into the story, but didn't do heroic business at the box office.

Since then, Paramount flirted with the idea, and Gavin O'Connor considered making a more serious version. But that lingered in development and the rights have since been snapped up by Universal, which started accepting pitches in 2020. David Koepp has since written a script, which the studio likes and, after meeting with several directors, executives went with Whannell following his take on directing it.

We're intrigued to see what Whannell will do with the idea, and whether it'll be a more straight-forward action thriller or combine some of the satire/madness he brought to Upgrade.

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