[Update] Stephen Chow Out Of The Green Hornet

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 6:45 pm,

[UPDATE: Stephen Chow is now officially out of The Green Hornet. Bottom of the post for details.]

With Seth Rogen on-board to star, and Michel Gondry attached to direct, the only definite role (beyond an unnamed female role that Cameron Diaz is rumored for) that’s still to be filled in The Green Hornet is of his sidekick, Kato. Played in the original TV series by legendary martial artist, Bruce Lee, it had been assumed up until now that Kung Fu Hustle star Stephen Chow was going to be that guy.

This assumption was made because he was once attached to both star as Kato and direct the film – but before long it was announced that he walked away from the behind the camera role, resulting in Gondry coming on-board for directing duties. However, there was nothing to definitely indicate that Chow would not still be playing the sidekick in The Green Hornet.

However, with a recently released casting call for the role of Kato (courtesy of SpoilerTV), Chow’s involvement looks like it may be dubious:

“[KATO] ALL ASIAN ETHNICITIES, Male, 20′s – early 40′s. Brit Reid’s manservant/chauffeur by day and Green Hornet’s martial arts-skilled sidekick by night sptv050769. Actor doesn’t have to have Martial Arts experience.”

Out with the debate over just why the casting call is so vague and unspecific – the huge age gap, the indifference to whether the actor needs martial arts experience for a role that involves martial arts – the general question arises of why would they even put out a casting call if Chow was going to be playing Kato?

stephen chow1 [Update] Stephen Chow Out Of The Green Hornet

Stephen Chow in ‘Kung Fu Hustle’

With the direction they seem to be going with for The Green Hornet movie – that is, action mixed with comedy – I would say that Chow is the perfect candidate to portray Kato. He has martial arts experience (again, I really don’t know why the casting call doesn’t call for this specifically), he can do the action-comedy thing (just look at Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle), he’s got great charisma for what I imagine this modern take on the character is going to call for, and I also think he and Rogen would be a good fit. I really hope this casting call is just a precaution, and Chow eventually does play the role of Kato.

UPDATE: Well, no such luck. Stephen Chow is now OFFICIALLY off of The Green Hornet due to scheduling conflicts.

Here’s what Columbia Pictures had to say about Chow’s departure from the film:

There was a mutual and amicable decision by both sides to move on…We are out now to cast a new Kato and remain fully committed to Michel Gondry’s exciting vision for the film, which will begin production this September.”

Since Chow is no longer in the role, who else would you like to see play Green Hornet’s sidekick?

The Green Hornet is slated for a release on July 9th, 2010.

Sources: SpoilerTV via /Film

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  1. Be a shame to lose Chow as he does have the qualities to make this work.
    Then again, don’t think too much of this movie anyway so rather see him make his own stuff.

  2. Personally, I’m still hoping this one crashes and burns before it sees the light of day. I’m not a big Green Hornet fan or anything, but I hate the idea of any property like that not getting the justice it deserves. Needless to say, I don’t see any way that it would with the current lineup of those involved.

  3. If this comedy/action flick is what they’re going for, Chow is the man to do it–anyone else just doesn’t sit right.

    “Actor doesn’t have to have Martial Arts experience”–Is that a joke?

  4. Does this measn there wont be any Martial Arts in the film?.

  5. @Gary,

    I don’t think so. I think (well, HOPE) they have some serious martial arts training for anyone who doesn’t have martial arts experience.

  6. Personally won’t see this only because Seth Rogen. Can’t stand the dude.

    Run and don’t look back, Chow !!! Go!

  7. I think they put the wide age range in there to try and get Jackie Chan to audition. LOL.

    This movie does nothing for me. Seth Rogen = Not seeing.

  8. I’m betting Chow had a big WTF moment during a script read with Rogen. It probably sounded something like this,,,,,
    “Wtf?!, I going to ruin my career, ok I leave now !!! I use fist on contract, tear it in half! Don’t make any harder on self Rogen!!!”
    As he then walked out of the room, slams door… (Celebrity voice horribly impersonated) ;-)

  9. Not sure if his movies are good examples of the type of action-comedy Green Hornet is supposed to be. His movies are more comedy-action, lol. Some of his other movies are just straight up comedies with no action. But those have not been released in USA, so most likely you guys haven’t seen them. But I think he would be good for this movie though, just saying…

  10. @790

    I don’t know how bad his English is since I’ve only watched him speak Chinese in his movies, but I’ll try to see if there are any clips that would confirm this stereotype for him…

    But I guess however bad his English is it can’t be as bad as me speaking Chinese, damn that is some embarrassing stuff… Stupid America and them Americanizing me… :-D

  11. Wow i must have never really cared or noticed it but alot of people dislike seth rogen alot… (actually asking this and not being sarcastic) but why…?

  12. No question Chow is into comedy more than action. I think he has had some kind of training, but not a martial arts expert. He can get his leg up high though!

    I believe its the same with Zang Ziyi. Not a martial artist but did dance so helped her flexibility.

  13. Well, Jackie Chan kind of started in opears, which required the flexibility, the fighting stuff came after that.

    They should get Donnie Yen, lol.

  14. Ack, operas*

  15. just get ryan reynolds.

  16. Might as well right? lol

  17. i’m gonna pass on this one.

    i’ll watch all Stephen Chow’s movies, except this one.
    really, i have a bad feeling about this movie :(

    btw, @ steven the git, Stephen Chow is a martial art expertise, believe it. :)

  18. Yeah Jackie went to the Peking Opera House, same as Sammo Hung. If you ever seen a Buster Keaton movie then you see Chan has more in common with him than Bruce Lee.

    I’m sure on the Kung Fu Hustle commentary or interview that he says he isn’t an expert but has had some kind of training.
    He has enough to act it was his answer.

  19. @steven, I didn’t say that to downplay his martial arts experience. Jackie Chan is very skilled in martial arts, so is Samo Hung. Jet Li has been formally trained in wu shu since he was a young child, so he’s very knowledgable as well. And Donnie Yen seems to just learn anything you throw at him. Very talented martial artist. I would like to see him involved in a real fight, Donnie Yen would whoop him so bad he won’t remember a thing when he wakes up, lol.

  20. When I first heard Rogen was in it, I said it would bomb. His brand of humor just does not work for me, and The Green Hornet should not be a comedy, IMHO. They should make this a more serious movie with a better leading man and keep Chow. Otherwise, this is a NO for me.

  21. Rogen is a hack. He’s not funny and all does is stoner comedy. Sorry, he just not funny, and IMO, is the kiss of death to any movie he touches.

  22. Agreed, Ken. Peking Opera House might not sound like much but apparently a very tough school and certainly helped them all. There’s no doubt they kick arse. ;)
    You know I really liked Martial Law with Sammo. Maybe I’m one of the few.

    But yeah, Donnie Yen is the one to watch. Really liked him in Seven Swords, and his fight with Li in Hero was the best one by some way for me.

  23. Just looking at my previous comment, I forgot to make clear it was Chow I meant with the Kung Fu Hustle commentary. Oops.

  24. @steven

    You’ve not seen Donnie Yen until you watch Ip Man…

  25. Ip man was awesome… i still feel bad for the 10 dudes he called to fight in that one scene but at the same time it reminds me too much of that one jet li movie…”Fearless”. Not the fighting exactly but just how the story kind of plays out. The first couple of times i saw it… no dubs and/or subtitles i was just merely guessing what was happening becuase of what was happening and i was pretty close to it…

  26. Well, it’s official: Green Hornet will suck. :-)

    With Stephen Chow bowing out, I can’t see how this will be anything but bad.

  27. Andy S! Your my Hero! Bravo! Could have not said it better myself!!!!!

  28. @jago

    The two stories took place in the same town, lol. And both INSPIRED by true stories, and neither REALLY what really happened, lol. I know, very similar, but Ip Man was better than Fearless in my opinion. The fighting choreography was DEFINITELY much better in Ip Man, not that it wasn’t good in Fearless, but Ip Man’s fight scenes were incredible, especially the fight scenes with the northerners that came into town to open their own martial arts school. They were whooping everyone up, but then they met Ip Man, lol.