Family-friendly show will feature classic superhero franchise elements including famous ‘Black Beauty’ high-tech car.
Leading kids and family entertainment company WildBrain is teaming up with actor/director Kevin Smith on a new, original animated series based on the Green Hornet superhero franchise. The series, set in contemporary times, will follow the adventures of a re-imagined Green Hornet and Kato – now the grown son of the original Green Hornet and the daughter of the original Kato – as they partner to battle crime in Century City. The family-friendly series will feature key elements from the storied property, including the famous “Black Beauty” ultra-high-tech car.
The Green Hornet originated as a radio series created by George W. Trendle in the 1930s, telling the story of Britt Reid, the wealthy owner and publisher of the fictional newspaper, The Daily Sentinel. By day, Reid oversees his paper’s reporting on crime and injustice, but by night he dons his green mask and ventures across the city in the Black Beauty with his sidekick Kato to battle criminals and villains head on.
The Green Hornet franchise has spawned numerous comics series, toy lines, movie serials, a 2011 feature film starring Seth Rogen and Jay Chou, and the classic 1966 live-action TV series, which introduced future martial arts superstar Bruce Lee as Kato to North American audiences.
According to Smith, “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 best known as the creator of the classic indie films Mallrats, Clerks, Chasing Amy and the Jay and Silent Bob franchise. A self-described “professional pop-culture junkie,” he has garnered a large fan base with his weekly podcasts and YouTube videos, in which he riffs on comics, superheroes and pop culture. Smith has written numerous Green Hornet and Kato comics for Dynamite Entertainment, as well as Daredevil comics for Marvel and Green Arrow for DC. He also owns the comic book store Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, in Red Bank, New Jersey, which was the subject of the reality television show Comic Book Men.
The Green Hornet, Kato and Black Beauty are trademarks of The Green Hornet, Inc., which is represented by David Grace of Loeb & Loeb LLP.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.