May 25, 2017

“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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