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If you’re surprised by this latest casting update, you must not have been following the Green Hornet adaptation that closely. The film originally had Chinese star Stephen Chow set to direct and co-star as the title character’s famous sidekick, Kato. He then decided to opt out of the directors chair due to “creative differences,” and the position was passed on to Michel Gondry. At this point he was still loosely attached to star as Kato, but over at First Showing, they’re confirming that Chow has officially dropped out of the film all together.

Sources are reporting that Chow decided to leave the Green Hornet project due to scheduling conflicts. This past year has been a bumpy ride for the film that initially began as a pet project for screenwriters Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It’s release has been shuffled several times, and there’s not a set date for when production will actually begin. The actor could no longer wait for Hornet to get it’s act together so he decided to move on.

I’m not surprised that Chow opted to leave the film. He didn’t sound like he was 100 percent invested in the first place. Sure he would have been a great Kato, but obviously it wasn’t meant to be. There’s nothing wrong with casting an unknown actor in a major film. It’s less expensive, and it gives audiences exposure to someone new. Chow isn’t the only Asian actor in the world, perhaps producers need to expand their options. When was the last time a completely unknown Asian actor got a big break in an American film? Was it Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4? That was 11 years ago, give someone else a chance!

What do you think about Stephen Chow leaving the Green Hornet adaptation? Who could replace him as Kato?