By Arturo R. García
With the Green Hornet trailer attached to various showings of the latest Harry Potter movie, more of America got introduced to Jay Chou, the newest Kato. Sort of.
See, if all you had to go by was the preview, you’d guess Chou’s Kato was there solely to help Seth Rogen discover his inner Jack Burton, or something. But according to Asian Angry Man, who got to read some of the script, the Kato role represented a golden opportunity – for an Asian-American actor:
There are plenty of Asian stars with international appeal and all that, but I get the feeling it would work out best for everyone if English-language proficiency wasn’t a major hurdle for whoever gets this role. Of course, I’m not the guy making decisions at Sony.
One theory suggests that the guy making said decisions cast Chou – and before him, of Stephen Chow, who was also slated to direct Hornet before dropping out – because of the hope to tap into the markets where he’s a multi-platform star:
By this reasoning, the film’s dynamic would be flipped in promoting the film in Asia: Kato would be highlighted as the heroic half of the team, with Rogen’s Britt Reid getting tagged as the sidekick. But I’m curious to get our reader’s takes not just on seeing Chou get what could be a breakout role for him in the U.S. market, but arguments like AAM’s.