Though Chan's character is named Mr. Han and not Mr. Miyagi, there is no doubt who Chan will be channeling on the screen -- and he promises the performance will show audiences his little-seen dramatic side. "Me, [I am] never happy-go-lucky the whole movie," Chan told Moviefone at Saturday's Los Angeles premiere of 'The Spy Next Door.' Recreating the original Mr. Miyagi isn't as easy as "wax on, wax off." Just ask Jackie Chan, who will take on the iconic character in June's 'The Karate Kid,' a modern-day remake of the 1984 classic that starred Pat Morita as a gruff but kindhearted sensei and Ralph "Danielson" Macchio as his eager pupil.
Though Chan's character is named Mr. Han and not Mr. Miyagi, there is no doubt who Chan will be channeling on the screen -- and he promises the performance will show audiences his little-seen dramatic side. "Me, [I am] never happy-go-lucky the whole movie," Chan told Moviefone at Saturday's Los Angeles premiere of 'The Spy Next Door.'
"[I am a] master with the white hair, and I walk like this, and even speak slow. Crying, heavy drama," Chan says. "You can see everything. 'Karate Kid' is adult; also for the children, but more older adult. 'Karate Kid' is different," Chan insists. "You can tell 'Karate Kid' action [is] totally different than this action."
Since 2008's smash 'Kung Fu Panda' and 'The Forbidden Kingdom,' Chan seems to be aiming to alternate between family films and drama-driven stories. He has been most successful in recent years with broad (but not G-rated) comedies such as 'Rush Hour 3' and 'Shanghai Knights.' His biggest Hollywood bomb was the kids' movie 'Around the World in 80 Days.'
"That's what I am planning to do: one children's [movie], one heavy drama," Chan says. "The next one, probably I will do 'Indiana Jones,' happy-go-lucky, lot of action, happy action. I have been planning it for so long."
'The Karate Kid,' which kicks its way into theaters on June 11 and co-stars Will Smith's son Jaden Smith ('The Day the Earth Stood Still'), is a chance for Chan to work not only as acting star, but also action director and stunt coordinator.
In 'The Spy Next Door,' however, Chan acts with a safe, kid-friendly action style. "I think I have been doing this kind of light action for so many years, I can tell what kind of movie for what kind of audience," he says. "When I do 'Rush Hour,' I know what kind of action. Children's movie, a different kind of action and different kind of humor. I think I am good in this kind of thing."
Lionsgate's 'The Spy Next Door' opens Jan. 15.