The Jaden Smith-starring remake of The Karate Kid had a production budget of $40 million and grossed around $300 million in theaters this summer - naturally, The Karate Kid 2 is already on its way.
Columbia Pictures began the search for writers to develop the concept for a Karate Kid sequel right after the film opened big back in June. Their search is now officially over - screenwriters Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris have officially been hired to pen the script for The Karate Kid 2.
Reiff and Voris are both credited for concocting the screen story for Kung Fu Panda, Dreamwork's hit 2008 animated feature. The pair previously collaborated on a screenplay titled Nottingham, which was a revision of the Robin Hood legend and the basis for director Ridley Scott's Robin Hood as well.
Blockbuster star Will Smith will produce the Karate Kid sequel in collaboration with Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz. It goes without saying that the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's son, Jaden, will be the star of the film again - costars Jackie Chan and Taraji P. Henson are both likely to return as well.
The original 1984 Karate Kid movie shifted the action from the U.S. to Okinawa for its followup and delved deeper into the personal history of the stoic Mr. Miyagi (played by Noriyuki "Pat" Morita). While the new Karate Kid sequel is unlikely to further explore the history of its version of the Miyagi character, Mr. Han (Chan), it could feature a similar change in setting - possibly from China to the U.S.
Moviegoers were generally pleased with the Karate Kid remake, though a followup is still an iffy proposition. Nostalgia was certainly an important factor in encouraging older audience members to venture out and see if the updated take on the 1980s movie was actually decent - a number of individuals also took a pass on seeing the film for that same reason.
We will keep you updated on the development of The Karate Kid 2 as more news comes in.