Director signs on to Seth Rogen starrer

Columbia has set Michel Gondry to direct “The Green Hornet,” and the studio has set a June 25, 2010, release date for the film.

Seth Rogen plays the title character, and Stephen Chow will play his sidekick, Kato.

Rogen wrote the script with Evan Goldberg. Neal Moritz is producing through is Original Film banner.

Gondry, best known for far-out fare like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Science of Sleep” and “Human Nature,” brings an unusual sensibility to what will be the most overtly commercial film of his career.

He got the job after presenting a vision that wowed production presidents Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach. They had been looking for a director since late last year, when Chow (“Kung Fu Hustle”) bowed out over creative differences (Daily Variety, Dec. 19).

Chow decided at that time to remain in the picture playing the Kato role (made famous by Bruce Lee), and that remains the case despite rampant Internet speculation that he ankled completely.

The Green Hornet,” which began on the radio in the 1930s and is best remembered for an incarnation as a ’60s TV show, has had a long, tortured track to the bigscreen.

At one time, George Clooney was pay or play at Universal to star as the masked hero, only to have Steven Spielberg pry him loose so that Clooney could star in DreamWorks’ first live-action feature, the 1997 drama “The Peacemaker.”

Rogen and Goldberg are executive producers.

Gondry most recently helmed “Be Kind Rewind” and his next film, “Tokyo!” will be released March 6.

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