NEW YORK, NEW YORK (February XX, 2004) -- Gearing up for one of its most ambitious film franchises to date, Miramax Films co-chairman Harvey Weinstein announced today that renowned filmmaker and comic book author, collector and self described "comic fan-boy" Kevin Smith will write and direct the film version of the classic action-adventure persona, The Green Hornet. The film represents Miramax's expansion of its development and production slate to include motion pictures that can compete in the "tent pole" marketplace. George Trendle, the son of Green Hornet creator George Trendle, will executive produce the film along with Harold Berkowitz.
Smith is keeping the plot a closely guarded secret, and will only go as far to say that it would remain very true to Trendle's characters with a few new twists.
"Kevin's tremendous work on our upcoming Jersey Girl, has demonstrated his continued growth as a filmmaker and we have no doubt that he will tackle this franchise for us in a compelling and entertaining way. In addition to being a great writer and director, Kevin knows more about comic characters, books and the creative process than anyone else I have ever met," said Weinstein. "The character of The Green Hornet offers a myriad of possible film ideas and numerous merchandise and branded integration opportunities with our corporate partners, giving us a platform for a very viable and long standing franchise."
"Long-time comics geek gets to make comic book movie? This is a dream come true. I'm still reeling! You don't know how in love with Harvey Weinstein I am right now. I couldn't have asked for a better vote of confidence in me as a filmmaker than being afforded the opportunity with 'Hornet' to push beyond the boundaries of what I've done in film thus far, said Smith. Adding "And making this movie with Miramax means that not only will we deliver an exciting, chop-socky-filled action flick, but it's gonna have a compelling story, believable characters, and great dialogue to boot! Let's roll, Kato!"
Beginning with his seminal film Clerks, Smith has woven comic book references and iconology into the dialogue and characters in many of his films. In 1997's Chasing Amy, Smith's two main characters, who are comic-book writers/artists, create a comic duo known as Bluntman and Chronic; a duo which also appears in Smith's 2001 film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. In Mallrats, Smith also features comic-book legend Stan Lee in a supporting role.
Smith is well known for writing award-winning, best-selling runs of "Daredevil" for Marvel Comics and "Green Arrow" for DC Comics, as well as comics based on his films Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Smith is also credited with rekindling the mainstream public's interest in comics through his 1998 Daredevil comic book story arc, entitled Guardian Devil.
Serving as Hollywood's comic-book connoisseur, Smith is no stranger to The Green Hornet. In 1993 Smith sold his comic book collection to help finance the $27,000 budget of his 1994 debut film, "Clerks;" a collection which included several 'Green Hornet' titles.
Smith is the proud owner of his own comic book store, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, which opened in 1997 in Red Bank, NJ and is scheduled to open a west coast branch in Westwood this May.
Jon Gordon, executive vice president of production, and Hannah Minghella, creative executive, will oversee the project on behalf of Miramax.
Charles Layton, executive vice president, office of the co-chairman, and Steve Hutensky, executive vice president of business affairs, negotiated on behalf of Miramax. Attorney John Sloss and the Endeavor Agency represented Smith.
Miramax and Smith's most recent collaboration Jersey Girl, starring Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler, will open in theaters nationwide on March 26, 2004.