As a huge fan of the original Karate Kid, I die a little bit inside anytime I see the three words “The Karate Kid” on my TV guide only to find it’s the 2010 remake with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. Apparently, though, I’m in the minority. The film was an absolute smash hit for Sony, grossing $176 million domestic and about $182 internationally. Of course, a sequel was immediately set into motion with screenwriters Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reif hired to craft a story. That was about a year and a half ago.

Zak Penn, the writer of X-Men: The Last Stand and The Incredible Hulk, has now been tapped to do a rewrite on The Karate Kid 2. Read more after the jump.

Variety broke the news of Penn’s hiring and state that the studio is still mum on plot details. Also not set in stone are stars Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, but both are obviously expected to return.

Penn sometimes gets a bad rap because several of his scripts have been turned into bad films. But The Incredible Hulk is pretty solid, he wrote PCU and helped with the stories of X2 and Last Action Hero. Most recently, he’s been working on the TV show Alphas and doing some other rewrites. He’s got talent.

What I’m more curious about is the quality of the script Voris and Reif handed in. Almost all screenplays are rewritten these days, even good ones, but to hire someone like Penn suggests Karate Kid 2 needs a little more action and popcorn to it. Unfortunately, what makes the original Karate Kid so good, and all its sequels decreasingly so, are the relationships between Mr. Miyagi, Daniel and the girls in his life. If the original script is full of that, maybe there’s hope after all.

No matter what, let’s just all pray they go to another country and bang some drums and stuff this time around. (My obvious guess – this one brings the story back to America.)

Are you a fan of Penn’s? Do you want to see Karate Kid 2?

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