Jackie Chan circles "Karate Kid" remake

Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:38pm EST
 
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By Steven Zeitchik and Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Jackie Chan soon could be mentoring a karate kid.

The action hero is in negotiations to star in Columbia's remake of "The Karate Kid." He would take on the role of mentor Mr. Miyagi, made famous by Pat Morita in the original franchise.

Jaden Smith, son of actor Will Smith, would play Miyagi's young protege, a role originally played by Ralph Macchio. The studio also has signed Harald Zwart ("Agent Cody Banks") to direct the picture, which possibly will begin shooting this year in Beijing.

Like the original, the movie will examine the relationship between a martial arts expert and a boy who is picked on by bullies.

Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment is producing along with the original film's producer Jerry Weintraub. The setting will be relocated from the United States to China.

Chan, who next appears in the action-comedy "The Spy Next Door," has massive appeal overseas, which undoubtedly appealed to Columbia. His "Rush Hour" franchise with Chris Tucker has earned about $750 million worldwide.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

 
<p>Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan poses during a news conference for his movie "The Forbidden Kingdom" in Tokyo, July 10, 2008. REUTERS/Toru Hanai</p>