Why Did Chow Hustle From ‘The Green Hornet’?

12.22.08 9 years ago

I’m puzzled by what’s going on behind the scenes on “The Green Hornet” right now.  I can pass along what I have heard over the development of the project thus far, and then I guess we can try to make sense of how we’re suddenly hearing that Stephen Chow is not going to direct the film after all, but he may still be playing Kato.

Really?  Why would he want to do that?

I mean, I understand why he wants to play Kato.  He told me when we sat down for the theatrical release of “CJ7” earlier this year that Kato is an iconic character for him because Bruce Lee played it.  He wants to take his shot at defining a role that was played by pretty much the supreme kung-fu icon of all time.  There aren’t many roles that Bruce played that offer themselves up for reinterpretation, but Kato certainly works.

But to go from maybe co-starring to directing and co-starring to maybe co-starring… that’s got to take some of the wind out of your sails regarding enthusiasm for the project overall, and I don’t understand hanging around after “creative differences” forced you to step away from the film.  Chow’s a brilliant end-result guy, but I have no idea how he’d be working in the U.S. studio system.  The skill set doesn’t always translate from one film industry to another.  Maybe he had legitimate creative differences with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and Neal Moritz, who are producing the project together, with Seth and Evan writing it.

All I know for sure is that Seth’s been genuinely passionate about putting together something different with this one since the first time I spoke to him about it over a year ago.  A lot of guys have taken a shot at figuring out a way to bring “The Green Hornet” back into pop culture relevance over the years, and so far, no one’s even really come close to getting the thing in front of the camera.  If Seth and Evan solve the script, it’ll be exciting to see it finally happen, but this latest set-back has got to leave the project at least a little less certain than it was last week.

Michael Fleming broke the story in Variety.

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