Are you excited about Stephen Chow directing (and co-starring in) The Green Hornet? Bad news, bub – he’s off the project. Good news – he’ll still be playing Kato.

Chow signed on to direct the Seth Rogen vehicle this fall, and he came to LA to work on the script with Rogen. But now Variety is reporting ‘creative differences’ as the reason he’s leaving the director chair. A new director may be named by the end of the year; the movie is supposed to shoot early next year.

I’m curious what the creative differences were. When I interviewed Rogen for Zack & Miri Make a Porno, he made it sound like Chow was leading the creative direction on the film:

You talked about making it a really serious film, but Stephen Chow is in it now and I’m sure he brings his own take on things.

Rogen: Yeah, it’s true. Me and Evan [Goldberg], we talk a lot of shit. We have one rule when writing and that is to not get attached to anything. One day we might want to make a serious film and then Stephen Chow comes in with a good idea and we’re like, ‘Well, that’s funny. Should we not do it because we originally wanted to do a serious film?’ We go, ‘Nah, fuck it. That seems good.’ It’s definitely less serious than a serious film, that’s for sure. We want the action. I say now that we want the action to play serious, but Stephen could come in tomorrow and say, ‘You know what, I want to throw you four hundred feet into the air –’ and I’d be like, ‘Okay, that sounds cool.’ We’re very open right now. Literally now is when we’re in the process of deciding what this movie is really going to be on a practical level. The story is the same. We’ve always known the story that we wanted to tell and so it’s kind of easy within that to discuss the various sensibilities and reality levels and the humor levels and stuff like that. To us, we hoped the director would come in and give us a lot of ideas and a direction to work in and that’s exactly what he’s doing. We feel no obligation to live up to anything that I’ve said to any of you people that I said in the past. Whenever we’re writing we can’t be like, ‘Well, fuck, I told CHUD a while ago that we weren’t going to do that. Lets do it anyway.’

This is a movie that Goldberg and Rogen have been working to crack for some time; there’s probably a number of discarded visions for Green Hornet and a lot of possibilities that will never be realized. I’m always fascinated by the journeys movies take to the screen and all the detours along the way. And since long before Rogen and Goldberg The Green Hornet has had a particularly winding road.