Columbia Pictures has optioned the rights to The Green Hornet
, the classic crime-fighting hero whose adventures were chronicled over the generations on radio, television, and in comic books. The studio will adapt "The Green Hornet" into a feature film.
The Green Hornet made his debut on January 31, 1936 on WXYZ Detroit, the creation of the station's George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, who also created the Lone Ranger. The series, which ran until 1952 on the Mutual and NBC Blue networks, followed the adventures of Britt Reid, a bored playboy whose life is changed when he inherits his father's crusading newspaper, The Daily Sentinel.
He saves the life of Kato, a Japanese man with incredible technical and martial-arts skills, who becomes Britt's closest ally -- and transforms Britt's car into the supercharged Black Beauty, which gives them an edge as they search for evidence to expose the city's underworld in the newspaper. When Britt and Kato witness a brutal mob hit, Britt invents his secret identity -- taking his name from his powerful car's defective horn. A skilled fighter and expert marksman, the Green Hornet uses two special, non-lethal guns to subdue criminals: one fires a potent knock-out gas while the other produces the "Hornet's Sting" -- an electric shock.
Following its successful run on radio, the Green Hornet ran in several comic books. In 1966, the character made the jump to the small screen for one season on the ABC television network, starring Van Williams
as the Green Hornet and catapulting Bruce Lee
, who played Kato, to stardom.