Universal and Amasia Entertainment Partner on ‘The Green Hornet and Kato’

Universal optioned film rights from Amasia co-founders after bidding war in January

Van Williams Green Hornet Kato
Van Williams in 'The Green Hornet'

Universal Pictures and Amasia Entertainment have partnered on “The Green Hornet and Kato” and are currently in development on a film based on the iconic characters, the companies announced on Thursday.

Universal optioned the rights to “The Green Hornet” from Amasia after co-founders Michael Helfant and Bradley Gallo acquired control of the motion picture franchise rights in a bidding war this past January.

Helfant, the former president of Marvel Studios, and Gallo will produce the film for Amasia.

“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,” said Peter Cramer, president of Universal Pictures, in a statement to TheWrap. “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.”

“The Green Hornet” was one of early radio’s most popular adventure shows (predating Superman), before becoming the 1940s movie serials and the 1966 TV series, which introduced Bruce Lee (Kato) to the United States. The classic story focuses on Britt Reid, owner and publisher of The Daily Sentinel. Armed with knowledge from his sources, cool weapons and a supercar known as The Black Beauty, and teamed with his trusty aide Kato, Reid became The Green Hornet, a vigilante crime fighter wanted by the police and feared by the criminal world.

Amasia Entertainment is currently in post-production on John Patrick Shanley’s “Wild Mountain Thyme” starring Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Christoper Walken and Jon Hamm. Last year, the company premiered “Them That Follow,” which stars Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Olivia Colman, Kaitlyn Dever, Alice Englert, Jim Gaffigan, Walton Goggins, Thomas Mann and Lewis Pullman, in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Amasia’s “Mr. Right,” starring Sam Rockwell, Anna Kendrick and RZA, is playing on Netflix.