20/09/2008. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Stephen Chow, of the excellent Kung Fu Hustle, CJ7, and Shaolin Soccer movies fame, is set to direct Seth Rogen and star opposite him as Kato in Columbia Pictures' new Green Hornet film. Set for release late June 2010, you can expect a blend of Batman and Enter the Dragon, as the superhero genre collides with the current king of kung fu.
In tapping Chow to helm The Green Hornet, Sony Pictures Entertainment continues their association with the director (Sony co-produced and released Chow's Kung Fu Hustle and also released CJ7).
Stephen Chow told SFcrowsnest.com, "I'm excited to be taking on The Green Hornet - obviously, I've been a huge fan of the show since I was a kid. 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. I'm grateful to my friends at Sony, who have shown so much faith in me for so many years. I'm looking forward to working with Seth, Evan, Neal, and the team at Sony, and I'm eager to get started."
Moritz added, "The Green Hornet is a dream project and it's come together in a dream way. Seth will be fantastic in the lead role, and Stephen was the only name on the list for Kato. The material is a perfect match for his sensibilities - Stephen in the director's chair is the best thing for the film."
Tolmach over at Columbia said, "When Seth, Evan, and Neal said they wanted Stephen Chow to be part of The Green Hornet, it was a fantasy. Now that it's happening, it's almost too good to be true. Stephen's been a very important part of the Sony family for many years, so it's truly serendipitous for us to be moving forward with him directing the movie and starring as Kato."
Stephen Chow's previous feature Kung Fu Hustle was the third highest grossing film in Hong Kong history after Titanic and Jurassic Park. Chow made his directorial debut with God of Cookery in 1996, followed by King of Comedy in 1999, both of which he also wrote and starred in. In 2001 Chow directed, wrote, and starred in Shaolin Soccer.
A native of Hong Kong, Stephen Chow was one of three children in what he describes as a "very poor family." He grew up as a Bruce Lee fan and a martial arts fanatic, but he remembers that as a child his own kung fu training had to stop after six weeks when his family could no longer afford lessons. Chow started his entertainment career as the host of a TV children's show, "430 Space Shuttle." It was not until 1988 that he began acting in films.
In 1989, in the movie Final Justice, he played a supporting role. The key turning point in his career came a year later, when he had his first starring role in the 1990 Chow Yun-Fat spoof movie All for the Winner. In this movie Chow established his onscreen persona - playing the first in a long series of lovable underdogs.
The screenplay is by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, who will also executive produce. Neal H. Moritz is the producer through his Original Film production company. Ori Marmur is to serve as the main executive producer of the movie.
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