Mr. Chan may be the new Mr. Miyagi.
Jackie Chan is in talks with Columbia Pictures to star in a remake of “The Karate Kid,” a spokesman for the Hollywood studio said Thursday. Steve Elzer, senior vice-president for media relations at Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, confirmed the talks in an email but didn’t give further details.
The plot of the remake will mirror the original, with Chan being eyed to play a mentor who helps a youngster stand up to bullies – a role similar to Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi in the 1984 film, Hollywood trade publication Variety reported Wednesday.
The youth will be played by Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith, who starred alongside his father in “The Pursuit of Happyness” and appeared in the Keanu Reeves sci-fi movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” Variety reported.
The setting has been changed to Asia from California, with shooting due to start in Beijing this summer, Variety said.
The movie will be a co-production with state-run China Film Group, said Variety, which would allow Columbia to bypass China’s annual quota of 20 film imports on a revenue-sharing basis.
Chan, who juggles careers in Hollywood and Chinese-language film, has been shooting the American film “The Spy Next Door,” an action comedy about a Chinese spy working in the United States who loses his cover.