Rogen to pen 'Hornet,' don hero's mask

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Seth Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg are in final negotiations to co-write and co-executive produce "The Green Hornet" for Columbia Pictures. Rogen also will be attached to star as the classic crime-fighting hero in the film being produced by Neal H. Moritz.

"Hornet" follows the adventures of Britt Reid, a bored playboy who inherits his father's crusading newspaper, the Daily Sentinel. By night he is a masked hero, fighting crime with his sidekick Kato, who has incredible martial-arts skills.

The characters might be best remembered for the 1966 ABC series that starred Van Williams as the Green Hornet and introduced American audiences to Bruce Lee, who played Kato. Moritz set up the project at Columbia this year.

Having the star of "Knocked Up" and his writing partner take the reins of the project seems to signal the studio is intent on taking the project into more comic territory, though those involved were mum on details, only saying cryptically it would be "in the tradition of the Green Hornet."

In August, Columbia is releasing "Superbad," which Rogen and Goldberg co-wrote and co-exec produced, and the comedy already is generating buzz. The studio clearly wants to stay in the Rogen-Goldberg business, though it will be costly. Sources say that Rogen's going rate in the wake of "Knocked Up's" success for projects in which he writes and stars is in the $8 million range.

Rogen is repped by UTA, Marsha McManus and attorney Fred Toczek. Goldberg is repped by UTA and Toczek.

Original Film's Ori Marmur will oversee on behalf of Moritz's production company. Columbia president of production Matt Tolmach is overseeing for the studio.
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