Hong Kong actor Stephen Chow was out from "The Green Hornet", but there will be another Asian actor filling in his shoes as Jay Chou is being recruited to star. On Friday, August 7, Sony Pictures made the announcement that the Taiwanese singer-actor has joined the cast as martial arts master Kato, the role originally made famous by Bruce Lee in its TV series version.
"THE GREEN HORNET gets his Kato in Taiwanese Superstar Jay Chou," the studio tweeted on the casting confirmation before issuing the official statement completed with commentary from both the actor and director Michel Gondry. "It's an overwhelming experience to take on a role made famous by Bruce Lee," so claimed Jay in Sony's press release.
Calling the part of Kato a "dream role", he promised, "I won't try to be Bruce Lee's Kato - I will try to bring my own interpretation to the part." Gondry chimed in, "Jay is incredibly unique and charming and fights like a wild dog. When I filmed him next to Seth [Rogen], they had such great chemistry, and I knew the movie will be great."
In 2005, Jay Chou broke into the movie industry with his first leading role, playing a gifted touge racer Takumi Fujiwara, in "Initial D". He followed it up with "Curse of the Golden Flower", in which he starred opposite Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li, and "Kung Fu Dunk". He made his directing debut with "Secret".
As for Stephen Chow, he was originally set to direct and act in this movie adaptation project. But, he walked away from the directing role, passing the job to director Michel Gondry. Although he dropped the part at the time, scriptwriter and leading star Seth Rogen insisted that Chow would still portray Kato. Weeks following that, however, reports came in that Sony was announcing a casting call for Kato.
"The Green Hornet" itself is an adaptation of WXYZ's radio show created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker. It centers on Britt Reid, a newspaper publisher by day and masked vigilante "Green Hornet" by night, and his adventures in fighting crimes. Produced by Neal H. Moritz, it is penned by Rogen and his writing partner in "Knocked Up", "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express", Evan Goldberg. Shooting commences shortly since the movie is expected to be released in the U.S. July 9, 2010.