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Cast This: The Green Hornet and Kato

12.07.2016

We're at a point where we get a different movie version of Spider-Man every few years, so it's no big surprise that any property is considered viable for the reboot treatment not long after the last time it hit theaters. Hence, Paramount already has a new GREEN HORNET movie in the works.

The studio currently has THE ACCOUNTANT and WARRIOR director Gavin O'Connor working on bringing the classic pulp character back to theaters, reportedly with a new take that will "bring a gravitas to The Green Hornet that wipes away the camp and kitsch of the previous iteration." (Somebody's not a Rogen fan, apparently.)

Green Hornet's alter-ego is wealthy newspaper publisher Britt Reid, who is joined by his chauffer/bodyguard Kato to become masked vigilantes by night. The character debuted the 1930s as a radio show before making the leap to live-action in movie serials and onto the printed page in a series of comics.

Garbed in his distinct crimefighting costume (green mask, overcoat and fedora), Green Hornet is known for defeating villains by using hand-to-hand combat skills, plus an array of gadgets and a high-tech car called the Black Beauty.

Until recently, most awareness of Green Hornet was probably from the 1966 television adaptation that starred Van Williams (who passed away this week at age 82) as the titular hero, and famously featured martial arts legend Bruce Lee cracking henchmen heads in the Kato role.

After that, the Green Hornet slumbered for a while, and then there seemed to be a lengthy struggle to bring the character to the big screen as the property bounced in and out of development beginning in the early 1990s.

The director's chair was briefly occupied by Kevin Smith, followed by Hong Kong superstar Stephen Chow (who was also going to play Kato). George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Jake Gyllenhaal had each been pursued at various points for the lead role, while Jason Scott Lee and Jet Li were in consideration for Kato.

Ultimately the directing duty went to ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND filmmaker Michel Gondry for the 2011 feature (he had also been a contender back in the 90s), with star Seth Rogen as a hapless hero supported by Jay Chou's exponentially more competent Kato to take on villain Christoph Waltz.

Although Gondry's involvement initially seemed inspired, the finished product couldn't decide if it wanted to play straight, stoner, slapstick or surreal. That doesn't seem to be an issue for O'Connor, who obviously intends to skip the comedic approach and deliver a straight-up action movie.

So who should wear the hat and mask of Hornet this time?

I still wouldn't mind seeing Jake Gyllenhaal take the part, but I'll also toss out the idea of Tom Hiddleston or Alexander Skarsgard. Any of them have the range and physique (and hair) for heroics.

As for Kato, the instinct might be to go right to a kung fu screen veteran like Donnie Yen or Jackie Chan, but instead I would cast a vote for someone like Joe Taslim (THE RAID), Daniel Wu ("Into the Badlands") or Daniel Dae Kim ("Lost").

Or for a twist, the new movie could take a page from Dynamite's recent Green Hornet comics (written by Kevin Smith) and gender-swap the role for a big Hong Kong star like Fan Bingbing (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST), or Thai ass-kicker JeeJa Yanin (CHOCOLATE), or Ellen Wong from SCOTT PILGRIM VERSUS THE WORLD.

Let us know below who YOU think would make a great Green Hornet and a kickass Kato!

For the previous column's call to cast Domino in DEADPOOL 2, you had a number of intriguing recommendations like Alison Brie, Alexandra Daddario, Emily Blunt and Lauren Cohan.

But the clear favorite to play the luck-powered mutant appeared to be 1. Lizzy Caplan, followed by 2. Mackenzie Davis ("Halt and Catch Fire") and 3. Katheryn Winnick ("Vikings"):

 

Source: JoBlo.com
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