Stephen Chow to direct and star in Columbia Pictures’ The Green Hornet

Mumbai: Stephen Chow will direct Seth Rogen and star opposite him as Kato in Columbia Pictures’ The Green Hornet, set for release June 25, 2010; it was announced by Columbia Pictures presidents Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach. The screenplay is by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, who will also executive produce. Neal H. Moritz is the producer through his Original Film production company.

In tapping Chow to helm The Green Hornet, Sony Pictures Entertainment continues a long association with the star and director. Under its local language initiative, Sony co-produced and released Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle, which went on to gross over $100 million worldwide.

Commenting on the announcement, Tolmach said, "Stephen’s been a very important part of the Sony family for many years, so it’s truly serendipitous for us to be moving forward with him directing the movie and starring as Kato."

Chow added, "I’m excited to be taking on The Green Hornet — obviously, I’ve been a huge fan of the show since I was a kid. 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. I’m looking forward to working with the team at Sony, and I’m eager to get started."

Rogen said, " Chow 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."

His previous feature Kung Fu Hustle was the third highest grossing film in Hong Kong history after Titanic and Jurassic Park. Chow made his directorial debut with God of Cookery in 1996, followed by King of Comedy in 1999, both of which he also wrote and starred in. In 2001 Chow directed, wrote, and starred in Shaolin Soccer, the fourth-highest grossing film of all time at the Hong Kong box office, which also broke box office records across Asia. Shaolin Soccer went on to win seven major awards at the Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Actor, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound Design and Best Visual Effects.

Chow’s Star Overseas recently formed a new multi-feature collaboration with Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, under which Sony Pictures Releasing International will distribute the features produced by Star Overseas worldwide.