September 25, 2010

More on the Black Beauty, the Green Hornet's Car

Hatched by Dafydd

I'm pretty sure the Black Beauty from the 2011 Green Hornet movie (which I confess I hadn't even heard about until just now, when I went to IMDB) is the same car as in the 1966 TV series; that is, not the same literal car but the same make, model, and color (black Chrysler Imperial 1965-1966-1967 -- they used many cars).

Here's a shot of Seth Rogen -- as the "loveable goofball" version of the Green Hornet, I gather -- in front of the Black Beauty used in the 2011 movie:

Black Beauty with Seth Rogen posing

Black Beauty with Seth Rogen posing, 2010

Compare that with this production still from the 1966 TV series (Bruce Lee as Kato in front):

Green Hornet Black Beauty 1966 series

Black Beauty from 1966 series

It's clearly the same car, same year, except the new one has too much chrome. In fact, I found this snippet from the Wall Street Journal, of all places:

If you’re going to be a superhero, driving old Detroit steel is a must.

There are no crumple zones or airbags, but the heavy gauge steel body on frame is better suited to ramming enemies or brick walls.

Such is the case with Black Beauty, the Green Hornet’s Chrysler Imperial in the coming feature of the same name that’s due out in January 2011.

Twelve Chrysler Imperials were used for the movie that range from 65 to 67, because they’re hard to get in good shape says Nancy Meyer, a spokesperson for the movie. “Most people can’t tell the difference,” she says.

So it does appear that the movie uses the same car as in the TV series, with maybe a couple of additions; I don't recall whether or not the 1966 version had Gatling guns that rose from the hood, for example.

(Is the movie set in the mid-60s? The IMDB faq says it takes place in contemporary times... so why the ancient auto? Even a modern minivan could probably outrun -- and certainly outhandle! -- a 1966 Imperial.)

As an aside, another compare and contrast; here's the new Britt Reid (the Green Hornet's secret identity), played by Seth Rogen, side by side with the 1966 version played by Van Williams:

Seth Rogen as Britt Reid, 2011    Van Williams as Britt Reid, 1966

A Tale of Two Hornets: Seth Rogen (L) and Van Williams (R)

Which guy looks more like a serious, crime-fighting vigilante -- Rogen (2011) or Williams (1966)? Yeah, me too. Here's what Van Williams looked like decked out as the Green Hornet:

Van Williams as the Green Hornet

Van Williams as the Green Hornet

If that guy loomed up in front of me, I would throw my hands in the air and give him any information he demanded. If a similarly masked Seth Rogen loomed up, I'd be tempted to give him some candy and ask, "Who are you supposed to be, little boy?"

I don't have a good feeling about this movie at all, at all. Maybe they should rename it the Green Bumblebee.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 25, 2010, at the time of 5:53 PM

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The following hissed in response by: brotio

I agree that just based on looks, Seth Rogen is probably miscast. It might have been a good role for Heath Ledger, if they insist that Hornet be a younger man, and he were alive. I can't think of any others of Rogen's generation that would look right. Rogen's a talented actor, though, so hopefully he can carry the weight. (I really hope this production doesn't end up being a farce.)

As for the car? Well, it's just plain cool. That big, old land yacht probably has a 440 under the hood, and even with the weight, it'll smoke the tires down to the cords. A minivan would have trouble out-running that monster, but you're right about out-handling. Unfortunately, it looks like they're trying to make it a three-ton James Bond-mobile.

The above hissed in response by: brotio [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 26, 2010 1:19 AM

The following hissed in response by: LarryD

Well, in the '60's series, BB was something of a three ton James Bond-mobile, I recall it had rockets and a mortar. I don't remember if it had machine guns or not.

Heavy? Yes. High-powered engine? Oh, yes. Armored? You betcha.

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 27, 2010 8:28 AM

The following hissed in response by: MikeR

Dafydd, Google Chrome has for several days not let me go to your site. It gives me the message:
:The website at contains elements from the site, which appears to host malware – software that can hurt your computer or otherwise operate without your consent. Just visiting a site that contains malware can infect your computer."

The above hissed in response by: MikeR [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 27, 2010 10:08 AM

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