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‘Green Hornet and Kato’ Eyes Leigh Whannell to Direct Universal Reboot

The masked crime-fighting superhero is returning to the big screen as filmmaker Leigh Whannell is in talks to direct Green Hornet and Kato, according to Deadline.

With a background in horror, and previously collaborating with James Wan, Whannell penned the scripts for the Saw and Insidious franchises before making his directorial debut in Insidious: Chapter 3. The director would go on to achieve critical acclaim and box office success with the release of Upgrade (2018) and The Invisible Man (2020). Whannell was previously in talks to direct the upcoming reboot of Universal’s The Wolf Man starring Ryan Gosling as the lead character.

The film will be produced by Amasia Entertainment which acquired the rights to the character in 2020 under Bradley Gallo (Magic Rock) and Michael Helfant, who once served as President of Marvel Studios and oversaw early MCU projects such as Iron Man (2008) and The Incredible Hulk (2008). Universal will be distributing the film which would be a fit for Whannell due to his history with the studio.


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Despite the plethora of adaptations, the premise of the franchise typically centers on Britt Reid, a wealthy publisher, who disguises himself at night and fights crime alongside his friend Kato. The character of The Green Hornet was first introduced to audiences through the radio program of the same name in 1936. The popularity of the series spun off into other platforms such as film serials, comics, and television, most notably the 1966 television series which starred Van Williams as the title character and Bruce Lee as Kato.

The most recent adaptation of the character was the 2011 reboot starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, and Cameron Diaz. Despite the star-studded cast, the film gained a negative reception from critics who disliked the comedic aspect of the film. Due to the negative reception and lower-than-expected box office performance, sequel plans were scrapped. However, with a new reboot on the way, and an acclaimed filmmaker potentially attached, The crime-fighting duo may have another chance to shine.


Due to the film’s early development, no casting has been announced. While no official plot details have been revealed yet, the inclusion of Kato’s name in the title suggests the character may potentially have a more prominent role in the film compared to previous adaptations. With Whannell potentially at the helm of the new attempt of the franchise, the character may finally have some new life.

No release date for Green Hornet and Kato has been set yet.


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