Seth Rogen’s Green Hornet Gets Stung

This could get awkward. Stephen Chow, the man behind such chopsocky comedies as Kung-Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer, is leaving his position as director on the Columbia Pictures upcoming reboot of The Green Hornet because of the dreaded “creative differences”. However! In a crazy twist, the actor/director is staying onboard to play the famous “Kato” opposite Seth Rogen’s titular hero. No director has been named to replace Mr. Chow, but the studio hopes to have a new person in charge before the end of the year. (It looks like somebody isn’t getting off next week for Christmas.)

The Green Hornet isn’t due in theaters until June 25th, 2010, but our Spidey senses are already picking up a hint of disaster. Clearly a comic book movie like The Green Hornet, as written by Mr. Rogen and his partner Evan Goldberg, is going to be different from something like The Dark Knight or even Spider-man. That’s expected and fairly exciting, especially in the wake of the genre destroying excellence that Christopher Nolan created. With that in mind, Mr. Chow seemed like the perfect choice to direct this bizarre hodgepodge, proving in his previous outings that he can deftly handle action and comedy with equal aplomb. When he was first announced in September, everyone involved with the project was simply tickled to death. As Mr. Rogen himself said, “Stephen was always my and Evan’s first choice for director and to play Kato. We just hope that he never finds out we’re not the Wachowski Brothers.” Now almost three months to the day later, Mr. Chow can’t agree with everyone on where to take the movie? That doesn’t sound promising.

Think of it this way: If Mr. Chow decided to leave The Green Hornet–a film that everyone thinks he’s perfect for–because he was unhappy with the direction it was taking, that spells trouble. And if Columbia decided Mr. Chow’s vision for the film wasn’t what they wanted… well, that’s not good either. Since Mr. Chow is staying on to play a key role in the film, we assume he’s not totally soured on The Green Hornet, but who knows. Maybe he’ll have some more “creative differences” with the new director when he or she is hired. Stay tuned…