Actor will still play Kato in Columbia film

There’s been another change in the “Hornet” nest: Stephen Chow has dropped out as director of “The Green Hornet” but will still play Kato in Columbia Pictures’ latest bid to get the crimefighter to the bigscreen.

The studio and producer Neal Moritz are in the process of setting a new director to keep the picture on track to begin production by spring.

The character began on radio in the 1930s and is best known from the ’60s TV version. But a bigscreen translation is having a long gestation, going through many incarnations, including as a proposed George Clooney vehicle.

Chow, who directed and starred in “Kung Fu Hustle” and “Shaolin Soccer,” signed in September to direct the film and play the role originated in the TV series by Bruce Lee. He stepped out as director over creative differences.

The film was scripted by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and Rogen is starring as the masked crime fighter. The script will likely be polished, and a director could be in place by year’s end.

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