Stephen Chow directing and playing Kato in Green Hornet update

Variety reports that Stephen Chow, who directed and starred in Kung Fu Hustle, is going to helm and co-star in the upcoming The Green Hornet movie for Columbia Pictures.

He’ll be joining Seth Rogen, who’s already on board the long-in-development project, as the title character. Chow, whose work also includes the sci-fi fantasy Cheung Gong 7 hou (CJ7) and the comedy Shaolin Soccer, will be stepping into some major shoes, portraying the Green Hornet’s sidekick Kato. A role, of course, originally played by the legendary Bruce Lee, who Chow grow up admiring and imitating as a child. Chow has also said he’s been a huge fan of the 1960’s TV show since he was a kid.

Sony, which owns Columbia, co-produced and released Kung Fu Hustle, and released Stephen Chow’s CJ7 also. The Green Hornet will be in theaters on June 25, 2010.

The Green Hornet was originally created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker for a 1930s radio show, and has appeared in film serials during the 1940s, the Van Williams and Bruce Lee TV show from in 1967 and numerous comic incarnations.

Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote the current screenplay, but this project has been kicking around Hollywood for years. I remember Kevin Smith submitted a script for a Green Hornet film to Harvey Weinstein at one point a few years back.

I’m a huge fan of Stephen Chow, and I’m glad this will be his English-language debut film, but I still have mixed feelings about The Green Hornet being made as a straight comedy, assuming it will be. But if it’s funny as hell, that’s cool, too, I guess. Seth Rogen is a genius. These two talents in the same pool, with Chow calling the shots…ok, I’m sold.

Film Fetish Trivia: In the 1993 biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, in the scene featuring The Green Hornet TV show filming, while actor Forry Smith played The Green Hornet character, Van Williams, who played the masked crime fighter in the actual 1967 show, played the show’s director, at one point asking star Jason Scott Lee ‘if he could take (descend) an entire flight of stairs at one time’ for a shot.

Below is the trailer for Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer.