It cost $40m to make and took north of $300m at the box office. A sequel to The Karate Kid was clearly a no-brainer, and, following a previous draft by the Kung-Fu Panda team of Cyrus Voris and Ethan Reiff, the job of writing Karate Kid 2 has now fallen to Zak Penn.
Absolutely no details about the direction of the follow-up are yet being revealed, although there's been speculation that, in a reversal of the original Ralph Macchio Karate Kid 2, the action might take us from East to West. Columbia pictures are tight-lipped on the subject. Maybe Jaden Smith could actually learn the right martial art this time.
Voris and Reiff (who also handed in screenplays for Bulletproof Monk and Nottingham, which eventually became Ridley Scott's Robin Hood) were underway with the script eighteen months ago, but there seems to have been little movement on the project since then. Penn contributed to the second and third X-Men movies and wrote Louis Leterrier's The Incredible Hulk. He's since been beavering away on SyFy's series Alphas. It's not clear yet whether his Karate Kid 2 is an overhaul of what's already been written, or a start-over from scratch.
As before, Jaden's dad Will Smith is producing Karate Kid 2 with James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz. Jaden, obviously, is expected to be back, and all involved are hoping that Jackie Chan will join him again.