Jackie Chan is in negotiations to star in Columbia Picture’s remake of 80’s hit The Karate Kid. Chan would play the role of Mr. Miyagi, originally played by the late Pat Morita. These developments are according to a posting by The Hollywood Reporter. Columbia also just signed Harald Zwart (Agent Cody Banks, upcoming The Pink Panther 2) to direct the film, which may begin shooting later this year in Beijing, China.
Jaden Smith, whose dad Will Smith is producing the new movie, is already on board to star as the young boy to be mentored by Chan’s character. No word on how the training of Jaden Smith will differ from Ralph Macchio’s character, who developed a strong bond with his master, as he was put through grueling tasks, in order to develop strength and speed. I would imagine since the style of martial arts taught will undoubtedly change (Morita talk Macchio a form of Japanese karate-jutsu, while Chan is a master of Chinese kung fu), and because of the age difference between Macchio and Smith, the training will be completely different. The setting will be relocated from the U.S. to China, as well, so that will also alter the storyline, and character elements.
Chris Murphy has been attached to pen the screenplay.
The new Karate Kid is due in theaters in 2010.