Casting Kato For Leigh Whannell's The Green Hornet & Kato Reboot

The adventures of The Green Hornet will continue in the in-development reboot The Green Hornet and Kato and there are a few strong candidates for who could play Kato. When it comes to the legacy of Bruce Lee, the short-lived TV series The Green Hornet helped get his career as a martial arts movie star rolling in 1966. Based on the '40s radio serials, The Green Hornet followed the adventures of the wealthy Britt Reid (Van Williams), who donned a mask and took on the crime-fighting identity of the Green Hornet alongside his driver Kato.

Despite ostensibly being the sidekick, Bruce Lee was unquestionably the star as Kato, with his martial arts skills stunning American viewers who had never seen anything like his abilities before. The Green Hornet had a cross-over with the '60s Batman TV show, and the series was even re-titled The Kato Show in Lee's native Hong Kong. The life Bruce Lee gave The Green Hornet show as Kato cannot be overstated, with the franchise later being rebooted in 2011's The Green Hornet with Seth Rogen and Jay Chou.

RELATED: How Much Bruce Lee Was Paid For The Green Hornet Show

Leigh Whannell of the Saw and Insidious franchises is reportedly set to direct Universal's The Green Hornet and Kato reboot. Naturally, whenever a new version of The Green Hornet is announced, the question on virtually every fan's mind is who will portray Kato. While the world awaits the news of who will play the two crime fighters revving up their custom crime-fighting car, the Black Beauty, there are quite a few candidates who could do justice to the character of Kato and the lasting image he developed as part of Bruce Lee's history-making career. Here are several candidates who would make great choices from Kato in The Green Hornet and Kato.

Fans of Hong Kong action movies will recognize Philip Ng from such movies as Invisible Target and his break-out role in Once Upon A Time In Shanghai. Ng also stepped into the Hollywood spotlight with 2017's Birth of the Dragon, portraying Bruce Lee in the film's story based on his famous fight with Wong Jack-Man. Ng's likeability as a leading man and his true talent as a martial artist make him a strong contender for any action role. Add in his background in perfectly channeling the aura of Bruce Lee himself, and Philip Ng clearly makes a great potential Kato.

Lewis Tan became a rising star with his appearances in Deadpool 2, Into the Badlands, and Wu Assassins, and broke out in a larger big-screen role as Earthrealm defender and Scorpion descendent Cole Young in the 2021 Mortal Kombat reboot. Lewis Tan is very at home in an action role, and the Wu Assassins franchise let him show his talent for dry humor as Lu Xin Lee, the friend of Iko Uwais' Kai Jin, which was continued in the follow-up movie Fistful of Vengeance. Tan could similarly bring the cool charm and martial arts prowess he's channeled in his prior roles to the part of Kato in The Green Hornet and Kato for the upcoming reboot.

Twenty years after the passing of Bruce Lee, Jason Scott Lee gave an unforgettable performance playing the legend himself in the 1993 biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. Aside from his incredibly captivating acting ability, Lee's performance in the film's fight scenes was stunning, a show of ability that was made all the more impressive for Lee being new to martial arts at the time. Lee, in becoming an exponent of Bruce Lee's martial art Jeet Kune Do, has since brought the same energy to others roles such as Soldier and Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision. Lee even briefly portrayed the role of Kato himself during a part of Dragon: The Bruce Less Story that focused on The Green Hornet and demonstrated the the presence he'd bring to Kato in Whannell's The Green Hornet and Kato reboot.

RELATED: Bruce Lee Was So Fast That It Became A Problem For The Green Hornet

Tae Kwon Do tricking machine Mike Moh first appeared on the radar of martial arts fans with his portrayal of Ryu in the 2014 web series Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist and its 2016 follow-up Street Fighter: Resurrection. Moh later portrayed Bruce Lee in Quentin Tarantino's 2019 movie Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, though the movie gave a less-the-flattering portrayal of Bruce Lee, which Moh himself and others involved reportedly had on-set qualms about. Though Moh was as convincing as could be in his performance as Lee, it ended up being among the film's most controversial elements. Despite that, Moh as Kato in Whannell's reboot could see him bring the same skills and Lee-level charisma he's already demonstrated and help to right the wrongs of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood with a new depiction of Lee's old character.

Ludi Lin's been seen in roles like the Black Power Ranger Zack in 2017's Power Rangers, Commander Murk in Aquaman, and Kerwin Tan on the CW's Kung Fu. 2021's Mortal Kombat reboot also saw him take on the role of Liu Kang, with Lin strongly embodying the centered, stalwart Shaolin monk fans know from the games. With the erudite but always prepared warrior he portrayed in his rendition of Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat, such attributes suit Kato equally well and would make Lin a strong candidate in his own right for The Green Hornet and Kato.

Another rising star, Andrew Koji is best known for a role Bruce Lee originally intended to play himself on the show Warrior. Based upon a TV-series concept developed by Lee that went unrealized during his lifetime, Warrior is now headed into its third season (relocating to HBO Max from its original home of Cinemax), with Koji portraying the role of Ah Sahm. Koji's performance on Warrior proves that he could bring a rough edge that hasn to previously been associated with Kato but could work for a new rebootbrought a rough edge not often associated with Kato. With Koji gaining more attention with David Leitch's action movie Bullet Train, a take on Kato with the kind of grit Koji has displayed in Ah Sahm could add something different and compelling to the character in The Green Hornet and Kato.

Tiger Chen's frequent collaborations with Keanu Reeves began with Chen's stunt work on The Matrix franchise, and continued in Reeves' directorial debut and Chen's leading man outing in 2013's Man of Tai Chi, with Reeves and Chen later meeting again for John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. Chen was also the man behind the concept of the 2019 action hit Triple Threat, a martial arts ensemble that brought together Tiger Chen, Tony Jaa, and Iko Uwais into its titular dream team. Chen is a marvel to behold in his work in martial arts films, and that coupled with the understated persona he's grown into could also make him an outstanding Kato for the new reboot.

RELATED: How A Failed Show Led To Bruce Lee's Green Hornet Role

The rebooted version of Kato for The Green Hornet and Kato could also have an ideal performer with JuJu Chan Szeto in a more extensive reimagining of the original character. Chan Szeto is likely best known for her portrayal of the sinister assassin Zan on the Wu Assassins franchise. Chan Szeto's portrayal of Zan made her one of the breakout characters of the Wu Assassins and Fistful of Vengeance, and Zan's contained kinetic energy waiting to be unleashed fits Kato perfectly. Some comic book re-interpretations have already established a female version of Kato, furthering adding to the idea of JuJu Chan Szeto as another winning contender for the new take on the masked martial arts master in Leigh Whannell's The Green Hornet and Kato.

NEXT: How The Green Hornet Saved Bruce Lee's Movie Career



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