Whether or not you agree with the idea of the planned remake of The Karate Kid, starring Jaden Smith in the Ralph Macchio role, you’ve probably had a picture of the ideal new Mr. Miyagi in your head from day one. It’s Jackie Chan, right? Right.

And, for once, the filmmakers are in full agreement with the consensus view of Joe Public – yes, Chan is in final negotiations to join The Karate Kid as the wise and kind older gentleman who takes our eponymous hero under his wing and teaches him to kick ass via a series of mundane household chores, such as painting the fence, waxing on (and off), and catching flies with chopsticks.

The role was made iconic by the late, great Pat Morita, who brought his gruff, worldly charm to all four of the original Karate Kid movies, from 1984 onwards. Chan has the natural charisma to play Miyagi – and we know that he can handle the physical side as well. It’s a perfect choice… except for one potential problem: the character may not be called Mr. Miyagi.

Miyagi was Japanese in the originals – Chan, of course, is Chinese, with the new film set to take place in Beijing, so it’s not certain yet if the character name will survive. We’ll keep you posted. One area we can confirm, though, is that the new movie will be directed by Harald Zwart. The Dutch-born director first made a splash with the decent crime comedy, One Night At McCools, before moving onto the likes of Agent Cody Banks (natch) and the forthcoming The Pink Panther 2 (extra natch!). However, Columbia apparently feels that he’s a safe pair of hands, and has brought him on board.

Let’s hope the Zwart of McCools shows up. Filming will start this summer in Beijing.

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