Green Hornet gets a director
The Hollywood Reporter is, um, reporting that Stephen Chow has signed on to direct the long-rumoured Green Hornet film. It's been known for a while now that Seth Rogen will write the screenplay and star in the title role, and everyone involved has been saying for months that Chow was their ideal choice to play the masked crimefighter's sidekick, Kato (a role made famous by Bruce Lee in the original TV series). Chow’s a massively successful filmmaker in Hong Kong with a long string of box office hits, mostly action-comedies, under his belt there.
I'm very excited by this news. Chow's a great director and the more involved he is in this project the better. His Shaolin Soccer is one of my favourite sports movies ever (the Hong Kong version, not the hacked-down American version; thankfully both are included on the North American DVD), and Kung Fu Hustle is the closest thing I’ve seen to a live-action Bugs Bunny cartoon, and I mean that as the highest possible compliment. I haven’t yet seen his latest, the E.T. riff CJ7, largely because I haven’t heard too many good things about it.
I assume that between Rogen’s script and Chow’s direction, The Green Hornet will blend action and comedy like both guys’ best films do (read all about my love for Rogen’s genre-bending Pineapple Express here), and I think at this point in the evolution of superhero movies it’s a good time to start having some fun with the conventions of the genre, something Hancock proved this summer can be quite lucrative. If The Green Hornet was just another straight-ahead action flick about a guy in a mask beating up thugs without bringing much new to the table, I think audiences have seen plenty of that. But with two talented and funny guys like this behind it, I think the chances of The Green Hornet being something special just increased about tenfold.
The news that Chow will make his American directorial debut with The Green Hornet has put the movie on the fast-track for a June 25, 2010 release. (Also, purely for Stephen Chow fans, the Hollywood Reporter article mentions that Chow is currently in the midst of production on Kung Fu Hustle 2. I. Can’t. Wait.)
Labels: Asian cinema, Movie news, Random thoughts