We have learned that Jackie Chan is in talks to return for the new upcoming Karate Kid film from Sony Pictures, which will be directed by Jonathan Entwistle.
Jonathan Entwistle has served as a director and executive producer on two popular Netflix original series including I Am Not Okay With This and The End of the F**ing World. He has since been attached to work with Netflix on a new Power Rangers franchise that would span over both film and television.
Entwistle has also been developing Fred & Ginger, a biopic starring Margaret Qualley and Jamie Bell that follows the Hollywood icons Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, looking to examine what drove their careers while celebrating the magical chemistry between both of them. More recently, though, Entwistle has directed a handful of episodes of the original series Hello Tomorrow! for AppleTV+.
Jackie Chan is expected to reprise the role of Mr. Han, previously seen in 2010’s The Karate Kid led by Jaden Smith and directed by Harald Zwart. The remake followed 12-year-old Dre Parker (Smith) who moves to China and finds himself like a fish out of water. When he begins to be bullied by the local kids, Mr. Han steps in to teach Dre in the art of Kung Fu. While it is unknown if Jaden Smith will return in any capacity for Jonathan Entwistle’s new film, his screen partnership with Jackie Chan was seen as highly popular, receiving a collective Favorite On-Screen Team nomination at the People’s Choice Awards. Chan won Favorite Butt Kicker at the Kids’ Choice Awards for the film as well.
The Karate Kid (2010) was highly successful and grossed $359 million worldwide on a mere $40 million budget. Fast forward to the present and the original Karate Kid franchise has seen a resurgence in the form of Cobra Kai on Netflix. Created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, Cobra Kai reunites Ralph Macchio and William Zabka in their respective staple roles of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence in a legacy sequel series that passes the baton to a fresh group of kids within the modern All Valley Karate Tournament bouts.
Cobra Kai was originally one of YouTube’s only scripted originals on their Premium Red streaming service platform. Even though successful, the show was facing a doomed ending when YouTube announced an end to their original content pipeline. That was until Netflix picked up the series and Cobra Kai has since received even higher viewership and acclaim. The Netflix original has been renewed for a sixth and final season which has also been delayed due to the ongoing WGA strike. It is expected that the production will be given a new start date once the WGA strike ends with a strong deal for writers including fair pay and conditions.
Sony officially announced the new Karate Kid movie a few months ago with a release date of June 7, 2024. That release date will be pending any production delays caused by the ongoing WGA strike as well as availability of talent if the film does have its production delayed. While it is expected that Jackie Chan would reprise his role as Mr. Han, Sony officially stated in their announcement of the film that this next entry would be a return to “the original Karate Kid franchise” rather than continuing the legacy of the 2010 reboot. Only time will tell what direction Sony is going in with this new Karate Kid.