Sony Pictures tweeted that Taiwan musician-actor-filmmaker Jay Chou has been hired to replace Stephen Chow as Kato in Seth Rogen's upcoming The Green Hornet. Chow was initially signed to direct the movie and to play Kato, but dropped out.
Chou, a 30-year-old pop star, recently made the transition to movies and is reportedly a fan of Bruce Lee, who played the role in the 1960s TV show. Chou has appeared in three Chinese-language movies.
Chou joins Nicolas Cage, Rogen and Cameron Diaz in the movie, which is to be directed by Michel Gondry, with a reported fall start date.
"Jay is incredibly unique and charming and fights like a wild dog!" Gondry said in a statement. "When I filmed him next to Seth, they had such great chemistry, and I knew the movie will be great."
"It's an overwhelming experience to take on a role made famous by Bruce Lee," Chou said in his own statement. "I won't try to be Bruce Lee's Kato—I will try to bring my own interpretation to the part. Of course, it's a dream role, and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Rogen and Evan Goldberg wrote the script, and Neal Moritz is producing through his Original Films. The movie is eyeing a July 9, 2010, release.
The Green Hornet is based upon the 1960s television serial—which was itself based on 1940s radio serials—about a masked hero who fights crime.