Enter the Hornet…

– –Another challenge for the Green Hornet:  Making it on the big screen!   Some old-time comic and radio serial heroes don’t translate especially well to movies; The Shadow and The Phantom come to mind.   Coming in January of 2011 will be The Green Hornet, an adaptation of the once-popular radio serial, comic book, and 1960’s television series.

Seth Rogen will play Britt Reid, the millionaire publisher and popular media figure who by night assumes the identity of crime fighter The Green Hornet.  The role of sidekick Kato made memorable in the otherwise forgettable tv series by the late great Bruce Lee will be played by Asian pop star/actor/director Jay Chou; look to the character of Kato to be further developed as the creator of The Black Beauty, the Hornet’s “rolling arsenal” of retro weaponry.

Bruce Lee played Kato in 26 episodes of the tv series aired in 1966-67, with The Green Hornet being known as The Kato Show in Hong Kong.  As the Green Hornet would have said to Lee’s show-stopping sidekick, “Let’s roll, Kato!”- – If only Bruce Lee was here! … <sighs>

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8 Comments on “Enter the Hornet…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    According to the back story of the original b/w movie serial, Britt Reid’s alias was derived from a dangerous insect he encountered in Africa (during the same round-the-world cruise on which he met Kato). And, according to the back story of the old radio show, Britt Reid was the grandnephew of John Reid…a.k.a. the Long Ranger!

    In point of fact, the radio show was a spin-off of THE LONE RANGER. As both were the brainchildren of Mr. Francis Striker.


    • vulpesffb Says:

      Bruce Lee supposedly joked that he was given the role of Kato because he was the only Asian actor who could pronounce the name, “Britt Reid!”


  2. carycomic Says:

    Speaking of pronounciation: technically, the name of the Green Hornet’s partner should be pronounced with a short-a sound. Like the Spanish word, “gato.”
    A long-a sound would alter the English spelling of the surname to “Keito.”

    My own personal theory is that Fran Striker might have confused and amalgamated “Kato” with the ancient Roman name, “Cato” (which is pronounced with a long-a sound).


    • vulpesffb Says:

      There were crossover episodes of “The Green Hornet” and the “Batman” series in the 1960’s. In one such episode, Burt Ward’s “Robin” fought Bruce Lee’s “Kato” to a draw…as if anyone could believe that Burt Ward would last five seconds against Bruce Lee!


      • carycomic Says:

        I remember that episode! Van Williams (the TV Green Hornet) once talked about in an interview. He half-joked that Bruce Lee could have whupped Batman, Robin, _and_ him, all at once!



  3. carycomic Says:

    One last thought: I _loved_ both the Alec Baldwin portrayal of THE SHADOW, and Billy Zane’s interpretation of THE PHANTOM. The latter was certainly more faithful to the Lee Falk original than the Syfy Channel mini-series last month!


    • vulpesffb Says:

      I also liked the Alec Baldwin “Shadow” and the Billy Zane “Phantom,” but could barely recognize the Syfy Channel character…


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