Amasia won the feature film franchise rights to the Green Hornet in January with Amasia’s co-founders Michael Helfant and Bradley Gallo producing. Helfant is a veteran Hollywood executive who was president and chief operating officer of Marvel Studios for several years starting in 2005.
“The Green Hornet” originated as a radio show during the 1930s based on the vigilante Britt Reid character, owner/publisher of The Daily Sentinel. The 1966 TV series introduced Bruce Lee to the United States as Reid’s sidekick Kato. Seth Rogen starred in Sony’s “The Green Hornet,” which was produced by Neal Moritz and directed by Michel Gondry, generating $227 million worldwide at the box office on a $120 million budget.
Universal announced the deal on Thursday with Peter Cramer, president of Universal Pictures, saying in a statement, “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.”
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!”
Amasia is executive producing “Dark Shadows: Reincarnation” for Warner Bros. Television and is currently in post-production on John Patrick Shanley’s “Wild Mountain Thyme,” starring Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm. Amasia also recently released “Them That Follow,” which stars Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann and Lewis Pullman.
(Pictured: Van Williams and Bruce Lee in the 1966 “The Green Hornet” TV series.)