Green Hornet is introducing a new generation of superheroes, with some help from Kevin Smith. The Jay and Silent Bob filmmaker is teaming up with WildBrain, the kids entertainment company behind Peanuts, to develop a Green Hornet animated series which will follow a new Green Hornet and Kato, the kids of the original heroes who are now crimefighting partners, not just hero and sidekick.
The Green Hornet animated series will follow the son of the original Green Hornet and the daughter of the original Kato in contemporary times as they partner up to battle crime in Century City. But this new series from Kevin Smith and WildBrain, which will target a family audience and feature “classic Green Hornet elements that fans know and love, including his ultra high-tech car, the Black Beauty,” won’t just be a rehash of the original series created by George W. Trendle in the 1930s. This is a crime-fighting partnership for modern-day, which mean’s Kato’s daughter will no longer be the sidekick but a full-fledged crimefighter in her own right.
Smith said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the yet-untitled Green Hornet animated series:
“It’s an honor to escort the legendary Green Hornet and Kato into their very own animated series for the first time in the rich history of these iconic pop culture characters! We’ll be telling a tale of two Hornets – past and future – that spans generations and draws inspiration from a lifetime spent watching classic cartoons and amazing animation like Batman: The Animated Series, Heavy Metal, and Super Friends. I can’t believe WildBrain gave me this job and I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity to extend my childhood a little longer.”
Stephanie Betts, EVP Content and Current Series at WildBrain added, “We’re thrilled to embark on a new animated Green Hornet series with Kevin, who has set up an incredibly rich world with a cast of amazing characters – especially Kato, who is no longer just a sidekick, but is now a strong female partner to the Green Hornet. With his ingenious talent and passion for superheroes and classic franchises, Kevin is the perfect creator to update the Green Hornet. We’re excited to share the new Green Hornet and Kato with audiences worldwide.”
Smith is a famous comic book geek, and has been busy in the past few years making his mark on beloved properties like Masters of the Universe, in addition to new Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob sequels. Smith has been previously involved with Green Hornet on the comics side of things, publishing a Green Hornet story for Dynamite Entertainment based on an unused film script in 2010, and releasing a six-issue Batman ’66 crossover featuring Batman and Green Hornet, Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet, with Ralph Garman in 2014.
The Green Hornet originated as a radio series created by Trendle in the 1930s, following the adventures of wealthy newspaper owner Britt Reid as he overseas his paper’s reporting on crime by day, and fights criminals by night with his sidekick Kato. The radio series would famously spawn the classic 1966 live-action series which introduced American audiences to Bruce Lee, as well as a variety of comics, toy lines, movie serials, and a less well-received feature film starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou. The property has long been criticized for making Green Hornet the hero when the far more interesting (and skilled) character was clearly Kato, especially as played by Lee in the ’66 series. So seeing a modern-day animated take give more importance to Kato’s daughter will be exciting.
No release date or network (or streaming service) has yet been set for the Green Hornet animated series.
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