Hollywood is buzzing about the possibility of the late-night talk-show host playing the masked superhero

By EW Staff
Updated May 03, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

Greg Kinnear’s career has sting. According to a source at Universal, NBC’s late-night talk-show host is being eyed for the title role in The Green Hornet, a feature film based on the popular 1930s radio serial. Jason Scott Lee has already signed to play sidekick Kato (a role made famous by Bruce Lee in the 1966 TV series).

For Universal, which is developing Hornet, casting Kinnear would fill the Batmobile-size hole left by George Clooney, who backed out in December, just before he signed to star in Warner Bros.’ Batman and Robin. That would also set up the possibility of a TV star-turned-superhero showdown next year between Clooney and Kinnear. For his part, the former Talk Soup cynic says he’s yet to be contacted. ”I don’t think he’s in talks to do anything at this moment,” says Kinnear’s spokesman Paul Bloch. ”Greg has another job to do.” (Kinnear is two years into his five-year Later With Greg Kinnear contract.)

The charmingly WASPy Kinnear has been in demand ever since his Sabrina debut. He’s currently shooting Garry Marshall’s Dear God, in which he plays a con man/postal worker. ”There’s a perception that Greg’s going to be bankable,” says God producer Steve Tisch. ”Whatever he does next, he’ll easily get seven figures for it.” No wonder he’s got such buzz.