According to information from Discussing Film, it has been reported that Jackie Chan is currently in discussions to reprise his role as Mr. Miyagi, originally played by Pat Morita, in the upcoming Karate Kid reboot. The reboot, recently announced by Sony, will be directed by Jonathan Entwistle, known for his work as the creator of the Netflix series The End of the F***ing World. While Sony has not made an official confirmation regarding Chan’s involvement in the reboot, it remains uncertain whether Jaden Smith will return to portray Chan’s student once again.
The Karate Kid, released in 2010 and directed by Harald Zwart, served as a reimagination of the original 1984 film featuring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. The storyline revolved around Dre Parker (portrayed by Jaden Smith), a 12-year-old who relocates from Detroit to Beijing with his mother, who works at a car factory. Dre becomes a target of bullying by a group of Kung Fu students in his new surroundings. He finds support and mentorship from Mr. Han (played by Jackie Chan), a maintenance man who teaches him an unconventional form of martial arts that extends beyond physical combat. Although the film received mixed reviews, and there were complaints from Macchio regarding the title, The Karate Kid proved to be a significant financial success for Sony, earning a worldwide gross of $359 million.
The Sequel to the Karate Kid Reboot
Following the release of 2010’s The Karate Kid, discussions regarding a sequel took place for several years. The plan was to bring back stars Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, and Taraji P. Henson, with Breck Eisner set to direct. However, the project faced challenges with the script, leading to a halt in its development. The franchise remained dormant until the emergence of Cobra Kai, a series that premiered on YouTube Red in 2018. Cobra Kai served as a continuation of the Miyagi-verse established in the original Karate Kid movies featuring Pat Morita, but it was made clear by the showrunners that the 2010 remake would not be integrated into their storyline.
Last September, Sony made an announcement about their Karate Kid reboot following the release of Cobra Kai Season 5 on Netflix. Fans initially speculated that the new movie would be connected to the series. However, co-showrunner Jon Hurwitz clarified that the upcoming Karate Kid movie would not involve the cast of Cobra Kai. Furthermore, Ralph Macchio, who portrayed the original Karate Kid, has no information about the premise of the reboot.
“It’s too early to tell what that story is [with the movie],” Macchio said of the Karate Kid reboot. “This is all, like, happening in real-time as you’re asking me this question. I think that [will be figured out] in the near future, or I may have nothing to do with it. We’ll talk when I know what’s going on.”
Sony’s Karate Kid reboot is currently scheduled for release on June 7, 2024.