Jackie Chan may ditch kung fu for karate in film remake

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 January, 2009, 12:00am

Picture Jackie Chan saying, 'Wax on! Wax off!' That could be the new version of The Karate Kid in a nutshell. It seems the Hong Kong action star is in final negotiations with Columbia Pictures to star in a remake of the 1984 hit about an old martial arts teacher who turns a bullied kid into a karate champ.

The original film gave Japanese-American actor Pat Morita (right in picture) a taste of box office success and made Ralph Macchio (left) a household name for about two weeks.

Chan will tentatively play the Mr Miyagi character, a role that co-producer Will Smith discussed with Stephen Chow Sing-chi when he was here last year promoting I Am Legend. His son, Jaden Smith, seen recently in The Day The Earth Stood Still, will be the kid. Harald Zwart is the assigned director and apparently this will be a co-production with China Film Group. The Entertainment Weekly website said the setting would be switched from the US to China with Beijing as the likely location for the shoot this summer.

If so, Chan's character won't likely be surnamed Miyagi. Could this mean the title will change too, from The Karate Kid to something like The Kung Fu Kid?