He is back. The 1930s radio hero, The Green Hornet, has spawned serials, television shows, and comic books over the years, now a new Green Hornet film (starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, and Christoph Waltz) is right around the corner for release. The basic plot, characters, and even the Hornet’s spiffy ride, the Black Beauty, remain consistent throughout all different media adaptations. The latest film adaption, in theaters this Friday, is based most closely to the 1966 television series of the same name (famous for featuring Bruce Lee in his first mainstream role). Several parallels were drawn between the show and the screwball Adam West Batman series on air during the same period. Interesting how today the tables have turned, most recent Batman films have been dead serious and the upcoming Green Hornet is portrayed as a comedy.
The new Hornet film also introduces the premise, “protect the law by breaking it” which is new to the franchise, but sets the film apart from other superhero films. Although, technically, vigilantism is illegal, thus most all superheroes break the law. But laws were meant to be broken, right?
The film appears well cast for an action comedy. Personally, I’m not a big Seth Rogen fan, but he seems capable for this rendition of Britt Reid/The Green Hornet. Cameron Diaz also graces the silver screen as Britt Reid’s gorgeous secretary. Behind the scenes, I’m looking most forward to Michel Gondry’s direction in his first action film endeavor. Gondry is famous for his unique surreal style in his comedic dramas (Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, Be Kind Rewind), so the Green Hornet will be a new test of his skill. It may end up having a completely new look of its own.
Overall, the Green Hornet looks like a fine adaption for a fresh new audience. This Friday, round up your friends—the fans of Seth Rogen, Michel Gondry, comic books, or fans of the Green Hornet himself—grab a bucket of pop corn and pack a theater; let’s watch a movie.
On a side note, the original creators of the Green Hornet, George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, are also responsible for creating another mask wearing and side kick toting hero, The Lone Ranger. The famous, western legend incidentally has a remake in the works for him as well.