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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘Kato’ Category

Why did Stephen Chow leave THE GREEN HORNET?

Stephen Chow Director

“Creative differences” — that’s the diplomatic way in which most filmmaking break-ups are explained to the public, and that’s exactly what was said when Stephen Chow left Sony’s The Green Hornet several months after he had been tapped to not only direct the film, but co-star as the Green Hornet’s sidekick, Kato, most famously played by his idol, Bruce Lee in the 1960s TV show. Chow had been quoted as saying,”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.” As many people probably wondered, why did Chow walk away from his “dream come true”? Well, now we have a possible answer, although whether or not the source is being facetious or not remains to be seen.

In the January 14th issue of Entertainment Weekly, director Michel Gondry, the man who eventually nabbed the directing gig after Chow parted ways with the Seth Rogen-led project, explains just what those creative differences were. According to a piece written by Benjamin Svetkey, Gondry says Chow had “really, really crazy ideas that you would not dare bring to a studio […] AIDS was involved. Plastic boobs were involved, too.”‘


The Green Hornet and Kato Strike Back!


Seth Rogen as Britt Reid and Jay Chou as Kato in The Green Hornet (2011)

I’m honestly surprised that The Green Hornet has finally been made. For a while there, it looked like it’d never see the light of day. The film has had a long, tortuous production history. In the 1990s, there were vague rumors of an impending film involving George Clooney, but the most concrete development came when Kevin Smith (Clerks) wrote a screenplay in 2004. However, Smith got cold feet about helming the film himself and backed out of the director’s chair (although he did later adapt the script into a comic for Dynamite Entertainment).

Without Smith’s involvement, the project then languished in development hell until we got the surprising news  that Stephen Chow would both direct and star in the new film, alongside Seth Rogen, who would play against type as Britt Reid, the titular Green Hornet. But soon enough, Chow was off the project as both actor and director due to “creative differences” and announced he would be instead pursuing a different superhero film with Jack Black (!). More delays ensued.

And then, Michel Gondry, director of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, came aboard as director and Taiwanese actor-singer Jay Chou was cast in the role of Kato. Still more delays ensued when Sony decided to post-convert the film to 3-D, which isn’t a good sign if it’s true what people have been saying about post-converted 3-D films like Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender (i.e. the 3-D sucked).

(more…) Copyright © 2002-2023 Ross Chen