October 21, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

“Karate Kid” sequel will be penned by “Kung Fu Panda” scribes

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The original “Karate Kid,” with Ralph Macchio as the bullied teen, spawned three sequels – including one that introduced an unknown Hilary Swank as the “Next” kid in the franchise.

Well, she wasn’t. That turned out to be Jaden Smith, son of mega-star Will Smith, who revived the high-kicking franchise with Jackie Chan as his martial arts mentor. And when that summer hit nabbed nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office, a sequel seemed inevitable. And now, it’s official.

Today, we are learning that “Kung Fu Panda” scribes Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff have been hired by Columbia Pictures to write a sequel for Smith and Chan, according to Heat Vision.

Details were unavailable. I speculated in my “Kid” review that a sequel could shift the action to the States, much like Macchio’s franchise moved from California to Japan in the second story. Of course, there’s a twist to Chan’s backstory in these new films (which I will not reveal here) that prevents Voris and Reiff from following the original’s blueprint too closely. But that’s probably a good thing for us, in the long run.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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