Miramax Taps Kevin Smith for Green Hornet

Miramax has signed indie king Kevin Smith (CLERKS) to write and direct a feature film version of THE GREEN HORNET, reported VARIETY. The script should be finished by late summer and the studio hopes to have the film ready as a summer tentpole in 2005. Universal had long been developing the film until it sold the rights to Miramax in 2002 for $3 million.

Smith is famous for being a huge comicbook fan, having written for the titles DAREDEVIL and GREEN ARROW. He even wrote one of the many scripts for the next SUPERMAN feature for Warner Bros. However, Smith has long said he wasn't interested in directing a superhero flick because of the huge pressure from studios to make a blockbuster and from fans to keep completely faithful to the original text. However, he decided to do GREEN HORNET because the title has its fans, but there isn't as an ingrained sense of who the character is so there is more room for creative license.

Created for the radio in 1936 by Fran Striker and George Trendle, the story follows millionaire newspaper publisher Britt Reid, who dons a mask by night to fight crime alongside his faithful servant Kato.

No cast has been signed yet for the film, but Smith voiced his interest in the rumored leads while the film was at Universal -- George Clooney as the hero and Jet Li as his sidekick Kato, which was the role in the 1960s TV series that introduced Bruce Lee to America.

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