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The Green Hornet and Kato Coming from Universal and Amasia

Universal Pictures and Amasia Entertainment are teaming on The Green Hornet and Kato, the companies announced today. They are currently in development on the film based on the iconic characters.

Universal is optioning the rights to The Green Hornet from Amasia after co-founders Michael Helfant and Bradley Gallo acquired control of the motion picture franchise rights in a highly-competitive bidding war this past January. Helfant, the former President of Marvel Studios, and Gallo will produce the film for Amasia.

Van Williams and Bruce Lee in The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet was one of early radio’s most popular adventure shows (predating Superman), before being turned into 1940s movie serials and the 1966 TV series, which introduced Bruce Lee (Kato) to the United States.

The classic story focuses on Britt Reid owner/publisher of The Daily Sentinel. Armed with knowledge from his sources, cool weapons, a supercar known as The Black Beauty, and teamed with his trusty aide Kato, Reid became The Green Hornet, a vigilante crime fighter wanted by the police and feared by the criminal world.

Van Williams and Bruce Lee in The Green Hornet

Peter Cramer, President of Universal Pictures, said: “The Green Hornet is one of the most iconic and beloved superhero tales ever created, and it has entertained generations of fans in every form of storytelling.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Michael, Bradley, and the entire Amasia team to launch an exciting new cinematic world for Britt Reid, Kato, and the Black Beauty, and we can’t wait to share it with global audiences soon.”

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou in The Green Hornet (2011)

Helfant said: “Universal will be a great home for our new Green Hornet and Kato. The team at Universal share our passion & enthusiasm for the property and will devote the resources to launch a truly global franchise. And, it’s very cool that Universal was the original distributor of the 1940’s movie serials.

“Our goal is to make a film that existing fans will love, and new fans will love to discover. With Universal, it feels like we are merging the past and the future, creating a contemporary version of the franchise that is fresh and exciting while respecting its long legacy and history. I can’t wait!”

Gallo added: “The team at Universal completely understands the creative direction we want for The Green Hornet brand. Their sensibilities and relationships with writers, directors and actors are exceptional. And, the confluence of America and Asia is so important.

“Who better to partner with than a company that has such a major presence on both continents? We also know that Universal will align with our ‘film geek’ sensibilities and offer up a vision which respects the iconic world of The Green Hornet.”

Seth Rogen and Jay Chou

Amasia Entertainment is currently in post-production on John Patrick Shanley’s Wild Mountain Thyme, starring Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Christoper Walken and Jon Hamm. Last year, the company premiered Them That Follow, which stars Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann and Lewis Pullman, in competition at the Sundance Film Festival.

Amasia will also be executive producing Dark Shadows: Reincarnation for Warner Bros. Television, a sequel series to creator Dan Curtis’ 1960s gothic soap opera with a fiercely loyal fan base. Amasia’s Mr. Right, starring Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick and RZA, is currently an audience favorite on Netflix.

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