Chow leaves The Green Hornet
Not only has Stephen Chow left The Green Hornet as director, but now it seems he's left it as an actor too, and the news from the production is that they are really dumbing down the requirements of the film.
Back in September 2008 we heard that Chow was set to direct the film and star as Kato, then we heard in December that he wasn't directing any more, then a few days later there was the rumour he was off the project, and in January there was a rumour that the project was stalled.
So now we're hearing that there is a casting call out for the role of Kato, and that means Stephen Chow is off The Green Hornet for good.
”[KATO] ALL ASIAN ETHNICITIES, Male, 20's - early 40's. Brit Reid's manservant/chauffeur by day and Green Hornet's martial arts-skilled sidekick by night sptv050769. Actor doesn't have to have Martial Arts experience”
Done and dusted. The word is that the scheduling conflicts were just too difficult to overcome, especially with the delays that the project was facing.
However I'm not so sure. Consider the words from Stephen Chow himself back when the announcement came about his joint directing and acting role:
“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.”
Now that sounds like he's holding the role and the film in high esteem, after all he would be playing the part that Bruce Lee did and that would be a huge moment for him. So imagine losing or leaving the directing role and finding out that Michael Gondry is taking it up, that's a huge change of feel on the film.
Then consider that latest casting call and the closing statement:
”...Actor doesn't have to have Martial Arts experience”
What? The role of the character that was the main martial arts expert of the show isn't expected to know martial arts? The role that was once played by Bruce Lee and was to be played by Stephen Chow doesn't need that aspect of performance?
Well you could argue that this requirement was dropped once Chow left the project, but you could also argue that the dumbing down of the role led Chow to believe that it wasn't such an honourable act for him to step into the character that Bruce Lee once did considering the way the film and the role were going. Perhaps he felt that it would be doing him, Lee and the joing fans a bit of a dishonour.
I'm not sure, but bear in mind Chow's comment when he got the dual jobs back in September of 2008, that's very positive and sounds like he's on the film, then it was slowly taken back and back until Seth Rogen was saying nothing was signed and things were up in the air.
I don't know, but it sounds like the more Hollywood-ised it became the further Chow backed away from it.