Stephen Chow Drops Out Of ‘The Green Hornet’

Seth Rogen’s “The Green Hornet” has seen its share of setbacks, almost all involving Stephen Chow. Now, it appears that “Hornet” has hit yet another delay, and will be in need of a new Kato, the role Chow was set to play.

SpoilerTV has discovered an open casting call for the part of Kato. However, they are looking for a non-specific Asian, and no longer require any martial arts experience — a description that could shed some light on Rogen’s take on the classic character.

In the serials, Kato was a skilled fighter, driver, and mechanic, but not necessarily a master of any martial arts. But after Bruce Lee made the part his own, the tradition has been to have a Kato who was an expert in martial arts. It’s now an iconic part of the character, especially after Quentin Tarantino ran with the imagery with the Crazy 88s in “Kill Bill.”

Originally, Chow was set to do double duty as director and as the Hornet’s sidekick, Kato, but left the director’s chair late last year. He was still set to play Kato, which cheered everyone up, and when Michel Gondry became the unlikely new director, the project finally seemed secure.

Could Gondry and Rogen be dispensing with a Bruce Lee-inspired Kato? Rogen has already promised that the film will be a departure from the “Hornet” people expect, and that the film will be an origin story for the masked man. Could that origin story include a revised Kato? Or do they plan on giving their Kato a crash course in the ways of Lee?

What do you think about Stephen Chow leaving “The Green Hornet”? Who should replace him? Should he keep his martial arts abilities, or should they surprise audiences with something new?