The Green Hornet and Kato movie is moving forward with The Invisible Man director Leigh Whannell in talks to helm the project. The Green Hornet became a major character in pop culture during the early days of radio, leading a popular adventure show before starring in movie serials. The character received another boost in interest when 1966's The Green Hornet show came out and introduced audiences to Bruce Lee as Kato. More recently, Britt Reid, a.k.a. Green Hornet, and his sidekick Kato were rebooted on the big screen, as Seth Rogen and Jay Chou starred in Sony's Green Hornet movie in 2011.
Seth Rogen's Green Hornet movie brought an action-comedy approach to the characters, but it was not a successful reboot of the classic characters created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker. The IP has mostly sat on the shelf in Hollywood ever since then, as plans for a reboot with Gavin O'Connor directing stalled. The latest development for a new Green Hornet movie came in 2020 when Amasia Entertainment and Universal began developing a new film centered around Reid and Kato.
There is now significant progress being made on The Green Hornet and Kato, as a report from Deadline states that Leigh Whannell is in negotiations to direct the film. He is fresh off working with Universal on The Invisible Man, which earned rave critical reviews in 2020 and was a sleeper box office hit. Whannell reportedly emerged after a long director search for The Green Hornet and Kato. The studios reportedly love the latest draft of the script from David Koepp, who joined the project in late 2020. If Whannell's deal closes to direct, it is expected Universal will fast-track the new Green Hornet movie.
Details on what the new Green Hornet and Kato movie will be are still sparse at the moment. Universal has not given the film a release date, and the story of Green Hornet and Kato's adventure is still a mystery. One new insight that comes if Leigh Whannell directs is the reported tone. Deadline's article notes that his version of The Green Hornet and Kato will adhere to his strengths and turn the project into a more serious action thriller. That will make it distinctly different from Sony's 2011 attempt at using the characters.
Leigh Whannell directing a new Green Hornet movie might be a somewhat unexpected move for him. However, he does have some time on his hands after dropping out of Ryan Gosling's Wolfman movie. Whannell is certainly known for his horror movies, but Green Hornet and Kato should be his chance to return to the action genre after surprising audiences with Upgrade in 2018. Perhaps he will even recruit his Upgrade star Logan Marshall-Green to play the Green Hornet. Regardless, Leigh Whannell's involvement in The Green Hornet and Kato makes the project even more exciting.