Back in February, there were rumors circulating that Jay Chou was potentially going to play Bruce Lee for Wong Kar Wai in a biopic called "The Grand Master." I don't remember any resolution to that buzz, but I'm guessing it did not come to pass, since Chou was just announced this morning as Michel Gondry's pick to step into the role of Kato, the sidekick to Seth Rogen's character in "The Green Hornet," due out next year.
Chou was very good in Zhang Yimou's "The Curse Of The Golden Flower" a few years back, and even though "Initial D" is sort of empty calories/"Fast & The Furious" nonsense, Chou had a teen pin-up movie star charisma in it that was apparent. According to the press release that went out about the film, it was putting Chou side-by-side with Rogen that finally convinced Gondry, which is as it should be. That seems to me to be the ultimate test... we have to like them as a pair, and not just as individual actors.
I'm glad to see the film continue to move towards production, which is slated for the fall, and I'm growing more curious every day about just what Gondry plans to bring to the film visually. I like that I have no investment whatsoever in the character or the iconography. I don't care what they do to it, how they bend or change it, or if they're remotely faithful. That's nice, since it means that I'll just react to the final film, and not my own personal fanboy baggage.
[more after the jump]
Here's Gondry at Comic-Con, talking about the film:
And here's Rogen, offering up his perspective:
The movie's set for release July 9, 2010.
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