Green Hornet

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The Green Hornet is a masked fictional crime fighter. Originally created by Fran Striker for an American old-time radio program in the 1930s, the character has appeared in other media as well, including film serials in the 1940s, a network television program in the 1960s, and multiple comic book series from the 1940s to the 1990s. Though various incarnations sometimes change details, in most incarnations the Green Hornet is Britt (or "Brit") Reid, a newspaper publisher by day who by night goes out in his masked "Green Hornet" identity to fight crime as a vigilante, accompanied by his similarly masked Asian manservant Kato and driving a car, equipped with advanced technology, called "Black Beauty". The Green Hornet is often portrayed as a fair-to-above average hand-to-hand combatant and is often armed with a gun that sprays knock-out gas (an electric stun weapon called the "hornet's sting" was added to his arsenal in the TV series).

Originally, the show was to be called The Hornet, but the name was changed to The Green Hornet so that it could be more easily trademarked. The color was chosen because green hornets were reputed to be the angriest.

One relatively minor aspect of the character which tends to be given limited exposure in the actual productions is his blood relationship to The Lone Ranger, another character created by Striker. The Lone Ranger's nephew was Dan Reid. In the Green Hornet radio shows, the Hornet's father was likewise named Dan Reid, making the hero the Ranger's grand-nephew.

The Western property was sold to another company in the 1950s, a legal complication that resulted in the identity of the Masked Rider of the Plains being obscured when it has been dealt with at all in Green Hornet depictions (though a comic book from NOW Comics later displayed the Hornet's living room as being decorated with a painting of a man dressed very similarly to the Lone Ranger; the radio series had expressly indicated the presence of such a portrait there).


Contents

Radio series

The character premiered in The Green Hornet, an American radio program that ran on WXYZ (a local Detroit station), the Mutual Broadcasting System and the network known through its succession of various owners as NBC Blue, the Blue Network and the ABC Network from January 31, 1936 to December 5, 1952.

The series detailed the adventures of Britt Reid, debonair newspaper publisher by day, crime-fighting masked hero at night:

"With his faithful valet Kato, Britt Reid, daring young publisher, matches wits with the Underworld, risking his life so that criminal and racketeers within the law may feel its weight by the sting of the Green Hornet!"

During World War II, this was changed to:

"... matches wits with racketeers and saboteurs, risking his life so that criminals and enemy spies will feel the weight of the law by the sting of the Green Hornet!"

After the revving of the Black Beauty motor, the announcer would then say:

"Ride with Britt Reid in the thrilling adventure (episode title)! The Green Hornet strikes again!"

(When the series first began in 1936, this was originally:

"Ride with Britt Reid as he races toward another thrilling adventure! The Green Hornet strikes again!"

and after the thrumming of the hornet sound, Britt Reid would then call out, "Hurry, Kato! Here's where we smash a (type of racket, such as graft, political, union, etc.) racket!")

The vigilante nature of his operation quickly resulted in his being declared an outlaw himself, and Britt Reid decided to play to it. The Green Hornet became thought of as one of his city's biggest criminals, allowing him to walk into suspected racketeers' offices and ply them for information, or even demand a cut of their profits. He would be accompanied by his similarly masked but unnamed chauffeur/bodyguard/enforcer, who was also Reid's valet, Kato, initially described as a Japanese, and eventually as a Filipino. A widespread urban legend has been the claim that the show's writers switched from one nationality to the other immediately after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, but the first disappeared well before direct U. S. involvement in the war, and the latter was not initially given until much later, with nothing more specific than "Oriental" being said in the interim. (When the characters were used in the first of a pair of movie serials, the politically perceptive producers of 1939 had Kato's nationality given as Korean.)

The radio show used Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" as its theme music, blended with a hornet buzz created on a theremin, and "The Infernal Dance of King Koshchei" from Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird, usually used after this announced part:

"Stepping through a secret panel in the rear of the closet in his bedroom, Britt Reid and Kato went along a narrow passageway built within the walls of the apartment itself. This passage led to an adjoining building which fronted on a dark side street. Though supposedly abandoned, this building served as the hiding place for the sleek, super-powered "Black Beauty", streamlined car of The Green Hornet. [Sound of Reid and Kato getting into car] Britt Reid pressed a button. [Sound of car starting] The great car roared into life. [Sound of revving engine] A section of the wall in front raised automatically, then closed as the gleaming "Black Beauty" sped into the darkness." [Sound of engine roaring and car driving away]

Other famous classical works used as incidental music for the series included Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony, Ludwig van Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, Paul Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Modest Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain and the Overture to Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman.

Britt Reid is a blood relative of The Lone Ranger. The character of Dan Reid, who appeared on the Lone Ranger program as the Masked Man's nephew, was also featured on the Green Hornet as Britt Reid's father, making the Green Hornet the grand-nephew of the Lone Ranger. Confirming this was the November 11, 1947 radio show episode "Too Hot To Handle": After his secret identity was uncovered in a previous episode, "Exposed" (broadcast October 28, 1947), by Linda Travers, a novice reporter secretly hired by Britt's father to check up on him, Britt told his father Dan that he was the masked Green Hornet. After his initial shock and anger, Dan Reid referred to a "pioneer ancestor" of Britt's that he himself had rode alongside with in Texas, a man who rode a horse and acted as a vigilante, and expressed his pride in and love for his son. As he explained this, the Lone Ranger theme briefly played in the background.

The Green Hornet was played by:

  • Al Hodge (who later went on to play television's Captain Video)(1936-1943)
  • Donovan Faust (1943-1944)
  • Robert Hall (1944-1947)
  • Jack McCarthy (1947-1952).

The role of Kato was originated by Raymond Hayashi but handled through most of the run by Roland Parker, who also voiced "The Newsboy" at the conclusion of each episode who hawked the "Extra" edition of The Sentinel that carried the story of the weekly racket or spy ring being smashed, concluding with:

"Read all about it! Green Hornet still at large! Sentinel Ex-tree, paper!"

Mickey Tolan was the radio series' final Kato.

Jim Jewell directed the series until 1938. Jewell's sister, Lee Allman (Lenore Jewell Allman) wanted to play a part in a radio series at WXYZ so Jim had her written into The Green Hornet. She was the only actress to play Lenore Case, Britt Reid's secretary, during the entire run of the series. "Casey" was aware of her boss's double life, but only in the later years of the run. Similarly, another confidant, Police Commissioner James Higgins, did not come into existence until near the end of the series; he was introduced in the previously mentioned episode "Too Hot to Handle" as an old friend of Dan Reid's who was being blackmailed and who was rescued by the Green Hornet. Shortly thereafter, either Dan Reid or Britt himself confided the Hornet's secret identity to Higgins.

Other major characters in the radio series included Mike Axford (originated by Jim Irwin, then played for most of the series by Gil Shea), a bombastic former policeman who originally had been hired by Britt Reid's father as a bodyguard for Britt but who drifted into becoming a reporter for The Daily Sentinel by virtue of his contacts at Police Headquarters (especially his best friend Sergeant Burke, known usually as "Sarge") and who was the most dedicated pursuer of the Green Hornet (while expressing his admiration for the Hornet's ability to both smash criminals and elude the authorities) with his pet phrases "Holy Crow!" and "Sufferin' Snakes!" and his usual parting phrase "See ya later. So long!"; Gunnigan, the irascible city editor of The Daily Sentinel (whose temper invariably got worse in the presence of Axford or even when Axford was talking to him on the phone); Ed Lowery (played by Jack Petruzzi), one of The Sentinel's best reporters who also admired the Hornet; and "Clicker" Binny, a female photographer for The Sentinel who usually teamed up with Lowery on news assignments and filled in as Britt Reid's secretary on those occasions when Lenore Case was away. When "Clicker"'s character was written out of the series (in the episode "The Corpse That Wasn't There", broadcast on February 28, 1943, a letter from "Clicker" states that she has become a Second Officer in the WACS stationed in North Africa), her place was filled in 1942 by Gale Manning, whose southern drawl and "dumb southern belle" manner (which didn't fool Britt Reid but which totally irritated both Lowery and Axford, especially when she managed to get information or stories that neither man could) hid both her intelligence and her ability as a top-notch reporter. After Gale's character left the series, Lenore Case herself sometimes joined either Lowery or Axford on assignments.

Two major foes for The Green Hornet were the mysterious "Mr. X", a criminal mastermind introduced in the episode "Walkout for Profit" (broadcast June 21, 1941) who became part of a storyline in 1941 pitting the Hornet against him in an ongoing battle, and Oliver Perry (1945-49), a famous but unscrupulous private detective who repeatedly returned to try and unmask The Green Hornet. Perry suspected Britt Reid of being the Hornet but was never able to prove it, and episodes featuring him always ended with the Hornet either outwitting him or humiliating him to the point where he was forced to leave town, if not both.

In the original introduction of the radio show, the announcer (famed newsman Mike Wallace held the position at some point during the run) proclaimed that the Green Hornet "hunts the biggest of all game ... public enemies that even the G-Men cannot reach," referring to FBI agents. FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover objected to the line's implication that some crime fighting was beyond the abilities of the FBI, and it was changed to "public enemies who try to destroy our America."[2]


In other media

Film serials

The Green Hornet was adapted into two movie serials. Disliking the treatment Republic gave The Lone Ranger in two serials, George W. Trendle took his Number 2 property to Universal Pictures, and he was much happier with the results. The first serial, titled simply The Green Hornet and released in 1940, starred Gordon Jones in the title role, albeit dubbed by original radio Hornet Al Hodge whenever the hero's mask was in place, while The Green Hornet Strikes Again of 1941 starred Warren Hull. Keye Luke, the famous #1 son of the Charlie Chan films, played Kato in both; also starring in both serials were Anne Nagel as "Lenore Case" and Wade Boteler as "Mike Axford". Even though America wasn't in the war yet, Kato's nationality is changed to Korean. Ford Beebe directed both serials, partnered by Ray Taylor on The Green Hornet and John Rawlins on The Green Hornet Strikes Again, with George H. Plympton and Basil Dickey providing the screenplays for both serials. The Green Hornet ran for 13 chapters while The Green Hornet Strikes Again had 15 installments, and in both serials the plotlines followed the radio series style, with the Hornet and Kato smashing a different racket in each chapter. In each serial they were all linked to a single major crime syndicate, which was itself put out of business in the finale, while the radio program had the various rackets completely independent of each other.


Television

Inspired by the success of the Batman series, ABC brought The Green Hornet to television in 1966-67, an adaptation which introduced martial arts master Bruce Lee to American audiences and starred Van Williams as the Green Hornet. Unlike Batman, the TV version of The Green Hornet was played straight, but in spite of the considerable interest in Lee, it was cancelled after only one season. However, the rise of Lee as a major cult movie star ensured continued interest in the property to the point where proposed Green Hornet productions typically have the casting of some major martial arts film star as Kato as the first order of business. Lee's popularity in Hong Kong, where he was raised, was such that the show was marketed there as The Kato Show.

As with the later years of the radio version, secretary Lenore "Casey" Case is again aware of Reid's secret, and the Hornet also has a confidante within the law enforcement community, but now he is District Attorney Frank P. Scanlon. This character was changed from the original's police commissioner because the same company's Batman TV series was already using a man in that post as the official contact of its hero. William Dozier, executive producer of both programs, wanted no more comparisons between the two than were unavoidable. Michael Axford, the bodyguard turned reporter of the radio series, is now simply the police reporter for The Daily Sentinel, with no history of having been on the force.

The music of "Flight of the Bumblebee" was so strongly identified with The Green Hornet that it was retained as the theme, orchestrated by Billy May (who also composed the new background scores) and conducted by Lionel Newman, with trumpet solo by Al Hirt. Years later, this music was featured during a key scene in the 2003 film, Kill Bill, Vol. 1, which paid tribute to Kato by featuring dozens of swordfighters wearing Kato masks during the film's key fight sequence.

The TV series displayed the Hornet's car, Black Beauty, a 1966 Chrysler Crown Imperial sedan customized by Dean Jeffries.[3] The Beauty's regular headlight cluster supposedly could be flipped over to reveal what studio publicity described as "infra-green" headlights, but this could not be done on the actual vehicle, and the green filters were always seen deployed. It was revealed in the related comic book spun off from the show that the green headlights used polarized light which in combination with the appropriately polarized vision filter (translucent green sun visor-like panels) could provide almost as much illumination as conventional headlights while being extremely dim -- almost invisibly dark -- to someone without the filter (in some early episodes in two-shots with both Van Williams and Bruce Lee inside the Black Beauty as seen through the windshield, Lee's face was tinted green, implying the use of the "polarized" filter, while Williams was seen in normal flesh tone, although this is not the case in close-ups of Lee alone; since specification of what this lighting was supposed to indicate never made it into any finished episode, the effect was soon discontinued). However, most night shots were actually filmed during the daytime by the day for night technique, giving the illusion of night-time as the actual car headlights were not polarized but just had green lenses, which would render the headlights useless for real night-driving. As the series progressed, the process was executed less effectively, reaching the point where the viewer would need context to understand that some scenes were supposed to be taking place at night, as can be observed in screening the episodes in either original network airing or syndication (production) order.

The Black Beauty could fire explosive charges from tubes at its bumpers, which were said to be rockets with explosive warheads, had a concealed-when-not-in-use, drop-down knock-out gas nozzle in the center of the front grille, and could launch a small flying video/audio surveillance device through the trunk lid. Jeffries built two vehicles for the series. One is now in the Petersen Automotive collection in California, and the other is in a private collection in South Carolina. George Barris subsequently made a copy, which has led to some sources incorrectly crediting him with creating the car in the first place.

The TV series also employed an audio device from the radio show. In its era, the engines of cheaper cars made a lot of noise; the expensive Pierce-Arrow was reputed to be extremely quiet. So, when the Green Hornet said, "rig for silent running," the hornet-like buzz on the radio show was turned off and the listener was left to imagine that the car really was silent. On TV, the car sounded like a modern car, but the noise was removed from the soundtrack after this command.

(An article in TV Guide published during the show's network run made reference to disparaging comments made within the industry about ABC being "the two-car network" because of the Black Beauty and the Batmobile.)

Comic books

Green Hornet comic books began in December 1940. These, initially titled Green Hornet Comics, were originally published by Helnit, with the writing attributed to Fran Striker. This series ended after six issues. Several months later, Harvey Comics launched their own version, beginning with issue #7. This series ended in 1949, having run to 47 issues. (The title was changed to Green Hornet Fights Crime as of issue #34 and Green Hornet, Racket Buster with issue #44). Harvey additionally used the character in the public-service one-shot, War Victory Comics in 1942[4], and gave him one adventure in each of two issues of All-New Comics, #13, where he was also featured on the cover[5], and #14[6], in 1946. Dell Comics published a one-shot with the character, officially entitled Four Color #496, in 1953, inexplicably several months after the radio series ceased production[7]. Both stories therein share titles with late-era radio episodes ("The Freightyard Robberies," June 23, 1949, and "[The] Proof of Treason," October 17, 1952) and might well be adaptations. In 1967 Gold Key Comics produced a series based on the TV show, which reflected that program's short life with a brief three-issue run.

Beginning in 1989, NOW Comics produced a line of Green Hornet comics, initially written by Ron Fortier and illustrated by Jeff Butler. Inspired by the aforementioned Lone Ranger connection of radio days, they attempted to reconcile the different versions of the character into a multi-generational epic. There was even a portrait of the Ranger in the Reid family's mansion, though due to the legal separation of the two properties, his mask covered his entire face, and he could not be called by name. In this interpretation, the Britt of the radio series had fought crime as the Hornet in the 1930s and 1940s before retiring. In NOW's first story in the line, back-dated to 1945 (in Vol. 1, #1, November 1989), the original Kato (named in the comic series Ikano Kato)'s nationality is revealed to be Japanese, but that because of the political/popular feeling of that time against the Japanese and through Britt Reid's efforts, this had been hidden and officially Kato was "Filipino", thus preventing him from being sent to an American internment camp. A shocking twist to the comic series' modern-day storyline is that Britt Reid is murdered in Vol. 1, #5, March 1990, on the orders of mob-heiress Angela DeVane and at that very moment back in Japan, Ikano Kato suddenly awakens from a deep sleep, telling his wife sorrowfully, "My friend is dead."

The television character was revealed to be the namesake nephew of the original Britt Reid, referred to as "Britt Reid II" in the genealogy, who took up his uncle's mantle after his friend, an up-and-coming political reformer, is assassinated. In the comic, his nephew, Paul Reid, a concert pianist, takes on the role of the Hornet after his older brother Alan is killed on his very first mission and is assisted by a new, female Kato trained by Ikano Kato.

The addition of the female character, Mishi Kato (the much younger half-sister of the 60s version), caused problems between the publishers and the property's owners, who withdrew approval of that character and mandated the return of "the Bruce Lee Kato"[8], named in the comic series Hayashi Kato (Fortier took this from the surname of the first actor to play the role on radio[9]) and revealed to be Ikano Kato's son. Hayashi Kato had become a famous star in ninja movies after Britt Reid II's Green Hornet retired due to a heart attack, and returned to become "Kato" to Britt II's nephew Alan when he became the Green Hornet. When the neophyte vigilante was killed in an explosion on his very first mission, Hayashi blamed himself and fell into a period of alcoholism from which he finally emerged to see Paul Reid and Mishi don the masks. After Mishi's departure he again became "Kato" to Paul's Green Hornet in Vol. 1, #11, September 1991.

Mishi Kato's sudden departure in Vol. 1, #10, August 1991, was explained as orders from her father to travel to Zurich, Switzerland, to replace an injured automobile designer at a facility of the Kato family corporation, Nippon Today. However, Mishi Kato returned in the second series (begun in September 1991) as "The Crimson Wasp" on a mission of bloody vengeance against the criminal leader calling himself Johnny Dollar, who had had her fiancé (a Swiss police officer) and his daughter (from a previous marriage) murdered, an attack which also caused the unknowingly pregnant Mishi to miscarry. Her resultant vendetta brought her into conflict with Paul Reid's Green Hornet who tried to prevent her from committing murder but seemingly failed to stop her killing Johnny Dollar in Vol. 2, #14, October 1992 (however, Johnny Dollar was revealed to have survived in Vol. 2, #29, January 1994). Mishi did return to her "Kato" persona one more time alongside Paul and Hayashi in Vol. 2, #34, June 1994, when the Hornet attended a gangland meeting with both Katos flanking him as guards/enforcers—the rules stated that each "boss" was allowed two "boys." In NOW's final two issues (Vol. 2, #39 & 40), a fourth Kato, Kono Kato (the grandson of Ikano Kato and nephew to Hayashi and Mishi) took over as Paul's fellow masked vigilante.

Another major character was Diana Reid, the original Britt Reid's daughter, who had become District Attorney some time after the TV series' Frank Scanlon had retired, and used her position to provide information and assistance to the Green Hornet exactly as Scanlon had. As the comic series progressed, a romantic relationship formed between Diana and Hayashi (at one point Diana thought she was pregnant with Hayashi's child, and in the very last issue is discussing wedding plans with his sister) and a possible bond between Mishi and Paul was hinted at.

There were two main Green Hornet series from NOW, as well as various annuals, mini-series, and spin-offs. The first series, referred to as Volume One, began in 1989 and had reached 14 issues when the company suspended operations for several months. Volume Two began in 1991 and lasted 40 issues, ending in 1995 because the publishers went out of business. Like Tonto before him, Kato (specifically, the Bruce Lee-based one) got his spin-off solo adventures: a four-issue miniseries in 1991, and a two-issue follow-up in 1992, both written by Mike Baron. He also wrote a third, first announced as a two-issue mini, then as a graphic novel, but it was never released due to the company's collapse. Tales of the Green Hornet, consisting of nine issues spread out over three volumes (two, four, and three issues, respectively), presented stories of the two previous Hornets, with Volume One having a plotline, starring Green Hornet II, provided by Van Williams, the actor who played that character's basis on TV. The follow-ups, beginning with the most detailed version of the Green Hornet's origin in any professional medium, were written by James Van Hise. Other mini-series included The Green Hornet: Solitary Sentinel (a three-issue story retroactively set between Volumes 1 and 2, with a major role for Britt II) and Sting of the Green Hornet (a four-issue series starring the original Green Hornet and set during World War II, involving Nazi espionage and in which the Hornet and Kato encounter unnamed versions of The Shadow and the future Captain America. They also barely miss running into reporters who look like Clark Kent and Lois Lane).

Another three-issue series (June - August, 1993), entitled Dark Tomorrow, focused on a Green Hornet in the future of 2080 who had actually turned into the criminal he was pretending to be and who was fought by the Kato of that era in an effort to set him back on the right path. This series featured a hallucinatory episode in which the future Green Hornet was attacked and beaten by each of his Green Hornet ancestors (in attacking order: Britt Reid I using his gas gun, Britt Reid II with his Hornet's Sting, Paul Reid with his fists and the future Hornet's own father) and the unnamed Lone Ranger as well. An interesting twist is that the Green Hornet of Dark Tomorrow has dark hair and Asian features beneath his hologram mask, while the future Kato has blond hair and Caucasian features. This Kato even said that they were blood related. Furthermore, the art indicated that the Dark Tomorrow Hornet was the grandson of Paul Reid and Mishi Kato. The main Hornet of this comic is named Clayton "Clay" Reid, and a family tree feature in The Green Hornet, Vol. 2, #26, October 1993, gives his father the first name Gordon and the only depicted future Kato the given name Luke (these are references to actors Clayton Moore (the Lone Ranger), Gordon Jones {the Hornet in the first Saturday matinee serial} and Keye Luke {Kato in both serials}).

Discounting depictions of the cars utilized by the 1940s and 1960s Hornets, there were two different versions of the Black Beauty used in the NOW comic series.. The first was loosely based on the Pontiac Banshee. Painted black and green, as a sports/exotic car, it was a big change from the two Black Beauty limousines used by previous Green Hornets. With the realization that such a distinctive vehicle was inappropriate to the nature of the Hornet operation, the series writers created a storyline in which the Black Beauty was destroyed and replaced by a 4 door sedan, this time based on the 91-96 Oldsmobile 98 Touring Sedan.


Prose fiction

Western Publishing subsidiary Whitman Books released four works of text fiction based on the character, targeting younger readers. There were three entries in the children's line of profusely illustrated Big Little Books, The Green Hornet Strikes!, The Green Hornet Returns, and The Green Hornet Cracks Down, in 1940, 1941 and 1942, respectively, all attributed to Fran Striker. In 1966, their line for older juveniles included Green Hornet: Case of the Disappearing Doctor, by Brandon Keith, a tie-in to the television series. At about the same time, Dell Publishing released a mass-market paperback, The Green Hornet in The Infernal Light by Ed Friend, not only derived from the small-screen production as well, but, "allegedly based on one of the TV episodes".


Feature films

One feature-length movie was edited from the last six chapters of the first serial and bore the same title. Two others were cut from the television series, to cash in on the subsequent popularity of Bruce Lee. The first, carrying the program's name, was seen in US theaters and in the mid 1990s briefly released on the Video Treasures label in VHS. The other, Fury of the Dragon has been available in America only via the bootleg recording market. Finally, there was an unauthorized feature made in Hong Kong in 1994 [13]. Titled Qing feng xia, it starred Kar Lok Chin as a masked hero called Green Hornet (in English subtitles), but dressed like Kato, as seen in the 1960s television version. In fact, one scene had this man being reminded of those who had come before him, and he was shown a standee of Bruce Lee in his Kato costume and mask as one predecessor.


Recent developments

A new film version of the character has been in the works for decades. In the 1990s, the magazine Comics Scene reported that George Clooney and Jason Scott Lee were lined up to play the leads. Late in the 90s, music video director Michel Gondry worked with RoboCop screenwriter Edward Neumeier on a possible Green Hornet adaptation. Subsequently, screenwriter John Fusco created a screenplay for the film around 2002.

As of the summer of 2004, Kevin Smith was writing a screenplay for a new rendition of The Green Hornet which was originally scheduled for release in 2005. It was rumored that Jet Li would portray Kato and Jake Gyllenhaal would play the Green Hornet. In 2004 Kevin Smith put the film on the back burner. After a long downtime in which his status with the project was unknown, Smith announced at the 2006 Wondercon that he officially no longer has anything to do with The Green Hornet.

A ten-minute The Green Hornet fan film was released in 2006. The short film was produced by Aurélien Poitrimoult and is distributed free on the Internet along with a "making of" featurette.

An episode from the radio series of The Green Hornet was played for those in attendance at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in September 2006. Terry Salomonson, a radio historian, presented a brief history of the radio program and then shared the recording, which until that day, had been unheard since its initial broadcast back in the 1930s.

On March 20, 2007, Columbia Pictures confirmed they had bought the film rights to the character with a possible release slated for summer 2009 which Variety reported on July 20, 2007 that Seth Rogen had been hired to write, produce and star as the Green Hornet himself. On July 21, 2007, it was stated that Rogen would like Stephen Chow to play Kato. However, a spokesman for Stephen Chow regarding the film has said, "We haven't got any information at this time. We don't know who the director is and what the screenplay is like."


Trivia

Trivia sections are discouraged under Wikipedia guidelines. The article could be improved by integrating relevant items and removing inappropriate ones.

  • During World War II, the radio show's title was used as a codename for SIGSALY, secret encryption equipment used in the war. "The Green Hornet" also became a popular nickname for General George S. Patton, possibly because of the speed with which he re-routed the Third Army to relieve the 101st Airborne Division at the Battle of the Bulge[citation needed], or possibly due to the unique and attention-getting uniform that he proposed for tank crews, which featured a gold-painted football helmet. Supposedly, while Patton was testing it after development (which he funded out of his own pocket), one Army trooper said "Look! It's the Green Hornet!" and the name followed Patton for years[citation needed].
  • Andy Reid, the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL football team was such a big fan of The Green Hornet that he named one of his sons "Brit" to honor his hero. The son currently has a criminal record.
  • The Green Hornet was parodied somewhat by Bill Cosby in his c. 1970 syndicated five-minutes-a-day radio program, "The Brown Hornet," which he revived in the late 1970's for his Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids cartoon show.
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