chow-black-hathaway

It’s a slow news day, and that means rumor time! You might remember that, over a year ago, Stephen Chow stepped away from the director’s chair for The Green Hornet, supposedly to work on his own big Hollywood movie. Shortly afterward, it was said to be a vehicle for Jack Black and Anne Hathaway, and that it would be a big action-packed spectacle, with the CGI and humor that characterizes Chow’s films, just made with a bigger budget.

Now there’s a report that the film might be called Tai Chi, and that it is really a remake of Bruce Lee‘s film Way of the Dragon, released in the US as Return of the Dragon.

Twitch noticed the report at Channel News Asia, which in turn cites unnamed “Hong Kong media reports”. I wonder about the collection of info in the piece, based in part on the fact that the synopsis of Tai Chi sounds only partially like that of Way of the Dragon. Here’s what CNA says:

It tells the story of a Chinese migrant in the US (played by Chow) who works as a dishwasher in Chinatown and hides his skills as a Tai Chi master. He is forced to stand up to gangsters who oppress his fellow migrants and later gets invited to start martial arts schools to share his knowledge.

In Lee’s film, the plot kicks off when he’s travels from Hong Kong to Rome, where he ends up helping a woman whose establishment is being targeted by the Mafia.

So did this report get a few facts mixed up? Maybe the ‘Hong Kong media’ sources mentioned Chow having once been cast in The Green Hornet, where he would have played Bruce Lee’s character Kato? Were the similarities to Way of the Dragon brought up, leading to the supposition that this is a remake?

And where the hell would Black and Hathaway fit in? She’d be the girl that the lead character (presumably Chow) would be protecting. Who would Black play? Since this is Chow the picture will have a comic aspect, so he could be one of the antagonists. Maybe the Chuck Norrris role? Given that the Norris/Lee fight is considered one of the best in martial arts film, that won’t be taken well by Bruce Lee fans.

Too many questions. Perhaps the report is correct, but take it with a grain of salt. I hope that Chow’s planned picture with the two actors is going forward, at least — I’m curious to see what he can do as his Shaolin Soccer style collides with US filmmaking.

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