Chris Pratt has wrestled dinosaurs, scoured the galaxy, voiced a LEGO toy and recently become the father of Arnold Schwartznegger’s first grandchild. What could possibly be next? Apparently the actor is ready to sharpen his karate skills. Does that ring a bell? Parks and Recreation fans will lovingly remember Chris Pratt’s endearing Andy Dwyer creating his own character (no, not Burt Macklin) called Johnny Karate, who later led the humble guitar-player to fame with his own fictional children’s show called The Johnny Karate Show.
But no, the latest Chris Pratt karate-related news has nothing to do with Parks and Recreation. The Jurassic World star has instead signed on to lead and produce a comedy called The Black Belt. In the movie, Pratt will play an “unorthodox” uncle to a teen boy who is determined to become an expert in karate.
Randall Green has written the script for The Black Belt, following credits in Netflix’s Noah Centineo rom-com The Perfect Date and as a story editor in Showtime’s Billions. The movie will be produced under Chris Pratt’s production company Indivisible Productions, with Jon Schumacher of the Sicario films also involved. The movie seems to take a note out of Cobra Kai’s playbook, which was one of the most successful shows to hit Netflix this year after a move from YouTube Premium.
Cobra Kai is a television series that acts as a sequel to the Karate Kid films, starring original actors Ralph Macchio’s Daniel Russo and William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence in their middle aged years training their own students with different methods at play. The series injects comedy into the beloved franchise and is set to premiere its third season in January. It explores the mentor-student relationship that could perhaps be a similar jumping off point for The Black Belt, although for the time being, details are thin.
Chris Pratt recently wrapped his work on the Jurassic World films after an over-five-year journey in the role of Owen Grady. He’ll soon be joining another famous Chris, Thor’s Chris Hemsworth, for the fourth film starring Marvel's God of Thunder, with Thor: Love and Thunder set to begin filming next year. He’ll also presumably start production on the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie and Cowboy Ninja Viking in the coming years. The Black Belt sounds like a fun, low-key independent comedy project for the actor after a whole lot of CGI and green screens.
Chris Pratt certainly held his own in Parks and Recreation's few karate scenes. We’ll have to see if his character will be a full-fledged badass or clumsy mentor for the undisclosed teen he’ll mentor. Pratt recently reprised his role as Andy Dwyer earlier this year for the Parks and Rec reunion episode. Pratt will return as Owen Grady in Jurassic World: Dominion on June 10, 2022.