The former head of Marvel Studios is getting back into the superhero game, just not with any of the characters from the House of Ideas. Michael Helfant, who was head of the fledgling studio from 2005 to 2007, and his partner Bradley Gallo have won the movie rights to the classic pulp hero The Green Hornet and intend the reboot the character for the big screen through their Amasia Entertainment banner. Helfant revealed he hopes that this new version will "bridge the film worlds of America and Asia." The search for a writer and filmmaker for the new version is ongoing.
"This is one of the only stand-alone classic superhero franchises," Helfant said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "We're a bunch of fan geeks at Amasia and are thrilled about creating something fresh and truly worthy of this legacy property. A new world that is relevant and thrilling, while respecting and honoring the original vision of creator George W. Trendle."
The Green Hornet first debuted on the inaugural "The Green Hornet" radio program in 1936 where it played as a companion to The Lone Ranger show (the two characters were later retconned to be related). In the context of the series, the hero The Green Hornet is newspaper publisher Britt Reid who spends his nights in costume with his sidekick/driver Kato terrorizing the criminals of the city with their pre-Batmobile super car The Black Beauty. By day Reid uses his publishing prowess to paint his alter-ego as a wanted criminal, building on the myth of his alter-ego.
Following his success on the radio, the character made the leap to comics in the 1940s and was still being published as recently as two years ago by Dynamite. He then took the jump to the big screen appearing in two sets of film serials the same year. The Green Hornet reached the peak of his popularity when he debuted on television in the 1960s which starred Van Williams as the titular hero and legendary martial artist Bruce Lee as Kato.
Hollywood previously tried to make The Green Hornet a major player on the big screen with a 2011 reboot starring and co-written by Seth Rogen. The Sony produced film failed to light the box office on fire domestically, bringing in $98 million in the US on a $120 million budget. Since that film was released other studios have attempted to follow suit with Paramount announcing in 2016 that they were developing a gritty take on the material with The Accountant filmmaker Gavin O'Connor lined up to direct. The rights to the property lapsed before that version could make it in front of cameras.