LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It’s a role that introduced U.S. audiences to Bruce Lee, and now Taiwanese singer and actor Jay Chou will play martial arts master Kato in an upcoming movie version of “The Green Hornet,” a studio said on Friday.
Kato is the sidekick to the Green Hornet, a vigilante crime fighter played by comedian Seth Rogen in the upcoming movie from Columbia Pictures, slated for a summer 2010 release.
“It’s an overwhelming experience to take on a role made famous by Bruce Lee,” Chou said in a statement.
“I won’t try to be Bruce Lee’s Kato — I will try to bring my own interpretation to the part,” he said.
Born in Taiwan, Chou is a popular singer in Asia who shot to fame with his 2000 album “Jay.” He plays piano and cello, and blends American and Asian music styles.
He has also starred in a number Chinese films, including last year’s “Kung Fu Dunk” about a martial arts expert who takes to basketball and flies to the hoop.
Rogen, star of “Pineapple Express” and “Funny People,” has co-written the script for “The Green Hornet” and he has said the movie stays true to the 1966-67 television series, in which the title character masked his crime fighting behind a public identity as a newspaper publisher.
The late Bruce Lee played the Green Hornet’s sidekick Kato in the TV series, helping to popularize martial arts in the U.S. and launching his legendary movie career.
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte