During the Golden Age of American radio dramas the Mutual Broadcasting System was the largest syndication network, and it was home to classics such as The Adventures of Superman, The Shadow, and The Lone Ranger. On January 31st 1936 station WXYZ, an MBS affiliate in Detroit, introduced the Green Hornet. The radio program which ran until 1952 followed the exploits of Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher by day, a masked vigilante at night accompanied by his faithful sidekick Kato.
The Green Hornet was adapted into two movie serials in the 1940’s, a television show that broadcast from 1966 to 1967 starring Bruce Lee as Kato, and numerous comic books by various publishers from 1940 to present day. Some interpretations were serious, other were more campy. Over the years the look of the Green Hornet, Kato, and their sleek car known as the Black Beauty have remained fairly consistent, while their back-stories have varied greatly.
Coming January 14th, 2011 Columbia Pictures will release the Green Hornet’s first original theatrical film adaptation. However, it will not be the character’s first foray onto the big screen; several episodes of the 1960’s television series had been edited into two feature length movies for theaters, in order to capitalize on the popularity of Bruce Lee. The new film stars Seth Rogen as the Green Hornet, and Jay Chou as Kato.