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August 9, 2009

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Chou in 'Hornet' role

TAIWANESE R&B sensation Jay Chou will make his Hollywood debut playing Kato in the film adaptation of "The Green Hornet," replacing Hong Kong comedian Stephen Chow, Columbia Pictures announced yesterday.

Chow had originally signed on to direct the film and play Kato -- the sidekick character portrayed by Bruce Lee in the 1960s TV series -- but dropped out, saying he wanted to focus on a superhero movie with Jack Black.

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" director Michel Gondry replaced Chow.

Gondry said Chou, 30, impressed him during auditions by getting along well with Canadian actor Seth Rogen, who will play the title character.

"Jay is incredibly unique and charming and fights like a wild dog! When I filmed him next to Seth, they had such great chemistry," the French director said.

Chou said he was intimidated by following in Bruce Lee's footsteps but said: "I won't try to be Bruce Lee's Kato. I will try to bring my own interpretation to the part."

The Green Hornet characters debuted in a radio series in 1936 on WXYZ Detroit and featured in several comic books. In 1966, they inspired an ABC-TV series starring Van Williams and Lee as Kato.

Chou started as a songwriter but became a pop sensation after a debut album in 2000.


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