After years as a character of radio, TV and film serials, Britt Reid – The Green Hornet – last hit cinemas in 2011 in what was planned as the start of an action comedy franchise starring Seth Rogen. That didn't quite work out, but now Gavin O'Connor (The Accountant) is planning to bring something a little more serious to life.
Deadline reports that Paramount Pictures and Chernin Entertainment have bought up the rights to the character now that Sony Pictures have let them go. And now O'Connor is aboard to realise a long held dream to bring Reid and sidekick Kato to life in a movie that sounds more akin to Batman Begins (2005) than Rogen's laugh grabbing attempt.
"I've been wanting to make this movie – and create this franchise – since I've wanted to make movies," O'Connor tells Deadline. "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."
And O'Connor clearly has a vision for the project that goes beyond other super heroic attempts to bring classic characters to life. "The Green Hornet is ultimately a film about self-discovery," O'Connor adds. "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." For more from O'Connor, head over to Deadline's site.
Sean O'Keefe is aboard to write the script under O'Connor's supervision, and it certainly sounds like the director has some interesting ideas for the future of the Hornet. Now we will see whether a clean slate is what this hero needed. As always, watch this space.