Seth Rogen, Call Stephen Chow!


Stephen Chow is one of the biggest filmmakers and action stars currently working in China. His 2006 action-comedy Kung Fu Hustle found a lot of American fans, one of them being actor-comedian Seth Rogen who had gone on record that he’d love to have Chow play Kato to his The Green Hornet based on the radio and pulp comic hero of the ’30s, but more famous for his television show in the ’60s, in which the sidekick role was played by none other than Bruce Lee. So Chow would be following in some lofty footsteps if he were to play the role.

Chow was in New York to talk about his new sci-fi comedy CJ7, so asked him if there were any further developments with Rogen’s interest. After explaining to Chow and his interpreter who Seth Rogen was—Chow may have been jetlagged or slightly confused, or just acting that way to avoid answering questions, but he knew who we were talking about when we said that Rogen played the police officer in Superbad. He seemed genuinely pleased that Rogen might think of him, though he hasn’t been approached, thinking that maybe Rogen doesn’t have his contact info. Chow then asked if we might have Rogen’s number, so he could get in touch, and offered to give us his number, so we could arrange a meeting. It was very flattering, but we’re not THAT well connected here at!

Even though it might not be considered Bruce Lee’s finest moment, Chow said that he thinks it would be a great role. “When I saw the program, I thought it was a great role and thought it was outstanding, because I’m Chinese and it’s Bruce Lee, but I’d be happy to play that role.” Presumably, Rogen is working on the script again following the end of the writers strike.

Most recently, Chow has been involved as a producer on director James Wong’s Dragonball, mainly supervising the script and offering advice and guidance on the bigger picture, but he said that the whole process of working on an American film has been very smooth, with the film being close to shooting. Although Chow’s involvement would make one think that it would be done in the style of Kung Fu Hustle, he said that Wong is a capable director who has his own ideas of how the film should look.

For a long time, a sequel to Kung Fu Hustle was rumored to be in the works with Mr. Chow planning to film it a few years ago–you can read that story here–but after making CJ7, he’s insistent that he doesn’t necessarily want to do Kung Fu Hustle 2 or sequels to any of his Chinese blockbusters, though he does have some similar martial arts ideas in development that won’t necessarily be a sequel.

Sadly, nothing has progressed with our suggestion during our last interview that Chow direct or star in a movie based on Marvel’s Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu. He told us that there’s a lot of material out there he’d consider as a director, but not something he’d want to do currently. (Incidentally, Chow’s collaborator Yuen Woo-Ping was attached to direct a movie based on Shang-Chi, but there has been no development or news on that in over a year.)

Right now, Mr. Chow is producing and developing a script for a Korean project called Surprise Party, which Universal is in negotiations to remake for United States audiences, partially in English and partially in Chinese, though he’s not sure if he’ll direct either film yet.

Mr. Chow’s current film CJ7 opens in the United States on March 7. Look for more with him and his young star Xu Jiao sometime between now and then.