Posted on Monday, April 7th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
When The Karate Kid was released in theaters in May 2010, the box office surpassed all expectations (grossing $176 million domestic and about $182 internationally). Columbia Pictures was quick to announce that the company would begin development on a sequel. Kung Fu Panda screenwriters Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reif were tapped to pen the follow-up, but development of the Karate Kid sequel has not been as quick. In 2012, Zak Penn, the writer of X-Men: The Last Stand and The Incredible Hulk, was brought on to rewrite the sequel screenplay. Two years later and Sony has hired Breck Eisner to be the Karate Kid sequel director.
Eisner’s credits include Sahara and 2010′s The Crazies. He’s also attached to Summit Entertainment’s fantasy action film The Last Witch Hunter which has Vin Diesel attached to star. The Karate Kid stars Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan are both obviously expected to return. The news comes from Deadline, who broke the story.
No plot details have been revealed for the follow-up so far. The remake followed much of the original storyline of the original beat by beat. So where will the second film take Dre Parker? 1986′s The Karate Kid Part II took the Karate Kid and his teacher to Asia… oh wait… they already did that?
The sequel could reverse mirror the original by taking the story back to the United States. To me that doesn’t present many story possibilities, aside from comic relief moments of a fish out of water Chan in America. Ugh… Harald Zwart, who directed the 2010 remake abd was developing the sequel had said that he would prefer to do an all-new story rather than remake one of the existing Karate Kid sequels. Of course, Zwart isn’t directing the sequel, so that may have changed.
I wasn’t a fan of the 2010 Karate Kid remake, although even I’ll admit that it was much better than I thought it would be. I thought there was little chemistry between Jaden and the film’s young Asian love interest. The bad guys were boring and lacked the character of the villains from the original movie (sense John Kreese and his student Johnny “sweep the leg” Lawrence). Pat Morita was nominated for a best supporting actor Academy Award for his performance in the first film (seriously) where as Jackie Chan’s dark and brooding performance was laughable in comparison.