Jaden Smith … So it looks like will be learning how to paint the fence over the coming months. And by that, of course, I don’t mean that Will Smith’s 10 year-old actor son is going to be helping out around the house. No, instead, he’s signed on to become the new Karate Kid in a remake of the Ralph Macchio 80s cult classic.

Smith, who made an impressive acting debut alongside his dad in The Pursuit Of Happyness and who has a role in the upcoming The Day The Earth Stood Still, is a martial arts practitioner in real life, so the role should come naturally to him. Nevertheless, his casting is still a surprise, as it immediately skews the remake in an unexpected direction, given that Smith is a good decade-and-change younger than Macchio was when he first took on the role of Daniel LaRusso back in 1984.

So, are producers Jerry Weintraub, James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz and – yes! – Will Smith himself refashioning The Karate Kid as a kids’ film? Perhaps. And then again, perhaps it’s a huge vote of confidence in Smith The Younger. If his dad feels he’s capable of carrying a film when he’s barely out of nappies, then who are we to argue?

Otherwise, very little is known about the Karate Kid remake, other than that it will hew fairly close to the plot of the original (bullied kid seeks solace in karate, and is taken under the wing of seemingly eccentric tutor), and that it will take place in Beijing, despite the Japanese influences of the original. And there’s no word yet on whether there’ll be a Mr. Miyagi-type character.

Chris Murphy is currently working on a script, while a director has yet to come onboard. But it can only be a matter of time, with filming set to start next year. Columbia is stumping up the cash.

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