Well, let’s hope this doesn’t go the way of ‘Fantastic Four‘. The director of ‘The Accountant’, Gavin O’Connor is attached to reboot ‘The Green Hornet’ as both producer and director, with Sean O’Keefe providing the script.
In addition to the recent #1 hit ‘The Accountant’ starring Ben Affleck, O’Connor has helmed other gritty flicks such as ‘Warrior’, ‘Pride and Glory’ and ‘Miracle’. Needless to say, whatever he does with this property will be a far cry from the comedic bomb that Seth Rogan starred in back in 2011.
In a recent interview, O’Connor expressed his enthusiasm for the brand, saying:
“I’ve been wanting to make this movie — and create this franchise — since I’ve wanted to make movies. 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.”
If you didn’t see the Seth Rogan movie… well, for one thing, you’re not alone, but for another, the premise of ‘The Green Hornet‘ is that he is a millionaire named Britt Reid who pretends to be a criminal in order to infiltrate the underworld and thwart the criminals that believe him to be an ally. He is joined by his kung-fu expert valet Kato, who drives their high tech vehicle The Black Beauty.
The concept of ‘The Green Hornet’ began back in 1936 as a radio serial, similar to ‘The Lone Ranger’, which it often aired in tandem with. The character was adapted to film serials and later television in 1967. (The TV show even crossed over with ‘Batman’.) The character hasn’t remained in the public consciousness since then, relegated to the occasional comic book series.
O’Connor has some pretty hefty aspirations for a new film, as he explains:
“For almost 20 years now I’ve been tracking the rights, watching from the sidelines as they were optioned by one studio or another. When I discovered the rights were available again, I tracked them down, partnered with Peter Chernin and we set the movie up at Paramount. With the rights now in our loving hands, I’m beyond excited to bring The Green Hornet into the 21st century in a meaningful and relevant way; modernizing it and making it accessible to a whole new generation. My intention is to bring a gravitas to The Green Hornet that wipes away the camp and kitsch of the previous iteration. I want to re-mythologize The Green Hornet in a contemporary context, with an emphasis on story and character, while at the same time, incorporating themes that speak to my heart. The comic book movie is the genre of our time. How do we look at it differently? How do we create a distinctive film experience that tells itself differently than other comic book movies? How do we land comfortably at the divide between art and industry? How do we go deeper, prompt more emotion? How do we put a beating heart into the character that was never done before? These are my concerns…these are my desires, my intentions, my fears, my goals.”
It’s unclear how long it could take to get this movie made. It could be years, which would be for the best. The terrible Seth Rogan film just came out five years ago. People haven’t forgotten it and since that was most people’s first exposure to the character, that’s the only version they know.
A similar thing happened with ‘Fantastic Four’. Not only was there terrible buzz, but the previous campy movies were still fresh on people’s minds. Many either didn’t understand that the new film wasn’t connected or didn’t understand why they were rebooting it so soon after the others. (Answer: to keep the film rights away from Marvel Studios.)
But at any rate, O’Connor seems highly invested. This sounds like a true passion project.
What do you think? Are you intrigued in a badass ‘Green Hornet’? Do you think O’Connor can wipe away the camp of previous versions?