Whoa… can you believe it’s been over a decade since Seth Rogen attempted to bring one of America’s earliest action heroes back to the spotlight with his take on The Green Hornet? If you said “Seth Rogen made a Green Hornet movie?” don’t feel bad, memorable is not the word most would use to describe it. It may have fallen flat but it was a valiant effort and furthered the thought that you simply can’t bring those stars from the early days of radio shows and serials to the modern audience. The Phantom that killed Billy Zane’s chance at A-list longevity, The Shadow which barely made a blip on the 90s action movie scene and, most recently, The Lone Ranger…they’re all the same story, you just can’t make those early heroes work today.
Leigh Whannel disagrees, or at least I would assume he does as Deadline reports that the writer/director is in negotiations to helm The Green Hornet and Kato for Universal. I tend to side with Whannel here. After all, the guy responsible for the Saw franchise and the genius sci-fi actioner Upgrade has something those other films didn’t, a proven ability to take a core concept and apply to present day issues. You see, I didn’t mention Whannel’s biggest film yet, The Invisible Man which surprised damn near everyone who saw it by taking an admittedly creepy but altogether un-scary villain from way back when and making it something utterly terrifying while updating it to truly fit the times we are currently living in. The only real question is, How will Whannel do with a straight up action-adventure piece? The furthest he’s strayed from horror thus far is the aforementioned Upgrade (which was terrifying in it’s own way).
Thankfully he’ll have some help by way of a script written by the prolific David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible) which should set the proper tone. Word is once these negotiations conclude teh film is going to be fast-tracked to pre-production so we could see something in theaters as early as 2024.