HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong comedian Stephen Chow said he will no longer direct the Hollywood adaptation of "The Green Hornet" and may not star as Kato, a character made famous by Bruce Lee in the short-lived TV series.

Chow, whose credits include "Shaolin Soccer" and "Kung Fu Hustle," said over the weekend that he wants to free up time to work with Jack Black on a comedy about a superhero.

"If I direct 'The Green Hornet,' the superhero comedy will have to be delayed for two years," Chow said. "The timing might not be right for a superhero comedy in two years. And I want to make a movie based on an original idea."

Details about that movie weren't immediately available.

Columbia Pictures announced Chow's involvement in "The Green Hornet" in September. A publicist for Columbia Pictures didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Chow said whether he stays on to play Kato in "The Green Hornet" depends on his schedule.

The original series, which debuted on the radio in Detroit in 1936, is about a debonair newspaper publisher who moonlights as a masked crime-fighter along with his martial arts-expert sidekick.

In 1966, it was turned into an ABC television series starring Van Williams as the title character and Bruce Lee as Kato. It ran for one season.

Chow has worked with Sony Pictures Entertainment, which runs Columbia Pictures, for several years.

Sony co-produced and released "Kung Fu Hustle" in 2004 and distributed his latest film, "CJ7," earlier this year.

Columbia Pictures said in September that its version of "The Green Hornet" will premiere on June 25, 2010.

Copyright (2008) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.