As Screen Rant reported earlier, The Green Hornet ‘s release date has been delayed by five months, from next summer to a pre-Christmas date of December 17th. However, principal photography has begun right on schedule and with a cast firmly in place (after much speculation, particularly around who would replace Stephen Chow as Kato), The Green Hornet is finally and firmly on track.

For us, this means we’ll start seeing plenty of updates rolling out and today we have some of the first set photos from the production of The Green Hornet. Included in these is our very first look at Jay Chou as The Green Hornet’s sidekick, Kato. His outfit and mask aren’t a shocker by any means, but that’s a good thing – they’re keeping him the way he’s supposed to look. On top of that, we also get a look at Seth Rogen in action as the titular character, as well as Cameron Diaz (who’s playing Lenore Case – some sort of reporter) and even Chou’s stunt double in costume as Kato.

Thanks to Splash News, SuperHero Hype and Just Jared, take a look at a selection of the photos below (click any for larger size):

Jay Chou as Kato

Jay Chou with Cameron Diaz

Seth Rogen as Britt Reid a.k.a. The Green Hornet

Jay Chou's Kato stunt double

For the rest of the set photos you can head over to SuperHero Hype, Just Jared and Splash News.

Since production has already started on The Green Hornet, more than 15 months away from the release date that’s been set for the movie, I’m going to guess it’ll be a longer-than-usual shoot, and then onto a heck of a lot of post-production work. Michael Gondry has described in the past some pretty wild ideas for ways to do some of The Green Hornet‘s fight sequences, for example, talking about such things as the camera moving at different speeds for the different characters – “…one will go fast and the other will go slow, and then they’ll meet… It’s as if they’re in different dimensions, but when they touch they each other they come into the same dimension…”

Whoah, okay…

I know there’s a lot of doubt and skepticism from fans about this particular incarnation of The Green Hornet. The way it’s being described by Rogen, Gondry and Co. is as an action/comedy – that, plus the fact that it has Rogen (for some reason people are hating on him – I quite like him) toplining a strange and diverse cast, means that most people aren’t exactly 100% confident about the project.

However, I personally remain optimistic about the whole thing. Even if the cast is a little strange (Nicolas Cage as the film’s gangster villain – I can’t wait to check that out!), the names alone are impressive, and at least from these pics they’ve got the look of the characters (at least Kato, anyway) right. But most of all, it’s the inclusion of Gondry as the director which has me most anticipating the project: He directed what I believe to be one of the best movies of the last 10 years, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and overall is one of modern day filmmaking’s most creative minds IMO.

Color me interested.

What do you think of the first batch of Green Hornet set pics? Do they make you look forward to the film any more/less than you already were?

The Green Hornet is now scheduled to be released on December 17th, 2010.

Sources: SplashNews, SuperHeroHype and JustJared