Loved "Kung Fu Hustle," and "Shaolin Soccer" was an epic romp of martial arts fun, but now comes word that actor/director Stephen Chow will direct Seth Rogen and star opposite him as Kato in Columbia Pictures’ "The Green Hornet."
Quick legendary recap: From a radio program in the 1930s to film serials in the 1940s to a television program in the 1960s and multiple comic book series from the 1940s to the 1990s, the Hornet’s been around for a while. Newspaper publisher Britt Reid would go out at night in his mask and with his Asian sidekick Kato, fighting crime with a gas gun and a cool car called ‘Black Beauty.’
The news of the movie has also been around for a while, with Rogen attached. Getting Chow has always been a priority for the writer/actor, who will play the title character. Chow’s comic sensibilities could bring a lightness to the movie, which to the uninitiated, may sound a bit like its more famous Batman and Robin counterparts. Kato, though, is no Robin — who has gone on to great things sometimes — and his casting was always in question because of the iconic status of Bruce Lee.
Yep, Chow is following in some big footsteps. Van Williams, who played the Green Hornet in the 1960s TV series, may be little-remembered, but Lee went on to become a film icon. That’s not lost on Chow.
"I’m excited to be taking on The Green Hornet – obviously, I’ve been a huge fan of the show since I was a kid. The idea of stepping into Bruce Lee’s shoes as Kato is both humbling and thrilling, and to get the chance to direct the project as my American movie debut is simply a dream come true," Chow told the Associated Press.
If the timing had worked, a younger Jet Li might’ve been the best Kato, but Hong Kong native Chow (who only had six weeks of martial arts training when he was a kid and is actually older than Li) has proven hismelf to be pretty adept at fight scenes. Now someone just needs to get Rogen in Slim-Fast shape…
– Jevon Phillips
Photo: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times (Stephen Chow)