‘Karate Kid 2’ Shake Up: Director Out, Two Writers In

By June 26, 2014

Back in April, Sony set The Crazies director Breck Eisner to helm their upcoming (and long in the works) Karate Kid sequel (remake sequel? re-quel?), a strange choice considering both Eisner’s pedigree (not a kids’ film in the bunch) and his reputation for making a giant bust of a movie (Sahara). But while we bemoaned the choice — and, really, bemoaned the existence of yet another Karate Kid spinoff — those fears were at least slightly unfounded, as Eisner has now left the film.

Deadline reports that the director has exited the project due to “conflicting schedules,” which could be a product of both his packed slate and the fact that the film is obviously not ready for production yet. Perhaps when Eisner accepted the job, he expected to get cracking on the sequel to the 2010 blockbuster quite quickly, and that just never happened.

And how do we know that the film is obviously not ready for production? Because just as Eisner is leaving, Sony and Overbrook Entertainment have added on some other talents — but not for the director’s chair. The film may be short a director, but it’s now up two more screenwriters, turning up its total number of attached screenwriters to a staggering five. The outlet reports that Jeremiah Freidman and Nick Palmer will now write the script, and while it’s not exactly clear from their post on the matter, it appears that the script for the film has not been written, and other attached talents Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, and Zak Penn never did any work on the project (the post simply mentions that the three had “previously…been tapped to write the sequel”).

Breck Eisner

So the sequel is either the kind of project that no one wants to write or direct, or it’s the kind that already has far too many writing cooks in the kitchen. Either possibility is not that exciting (and we’ll be sure to update when this is clarified further).

At least Friedman and Palmer might breathe some fresh air into the project, as the duo has an interesting resume to boast their talents. They first caught Hollywood’s attention when they made the 2010 Black List for Family Getaway, which centers on “a man whose family doesn’t know he’s an assassin must protect them during a cross-country car chase when rival killers show up.” They’ve also been hired to pen the script for a Bodyguard remake (so they know remakes!) and they recently sold a script for a “Die Hard-esque pitch” titled Speeding Bullet (so, uh, they know remakes!). Friedman and Palmer sound like the kind of guys who can combine action and humor, which is exactly what a new Karate Kid needs.

Original stars Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith are still attached to star in the film, whenever it actually gets written, gets a director, and goes into production.

Do you have any interest in a second new Karate Kid?


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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss, Film.com, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.