On May 11, the Twitter account for the upcoming Don Wilson-Cynthia Rothrock film THE MARTIAL ARTS KID announced that after a nationwide search, its titular actor has been found.

Nineteen-year old actor Jansen Panettiere has scored the titular role of Robbie, who after moving to Florida finds himself the target of a martial arts-fighting bully and learns martial arts from his uncle and aunt. If the last name sounds familiar, Jansen is the younger brother of Hollywood actress Hayden Panettiere of HEROES fame. Jansen is a talented gymnast and it will be interesting to see him do martial arts under the supervision of James Lew, who serves as the film’s action choreographer.

Don Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock will play Robbie’s Aunt Cindy and Uncle Glen, who become Robbie’s martial arts teachers. Martial artist and actor Matthew Ziff will play Bo, the resident bully. T.J. Storm plays Bo’s martial arts teacher. There are martial arts legends and champions galore who will appear in the film as well, from Bill “Superfoot” Wallace to Olando “The Warrior” Rivera.

Shooting is scheduled to begin soon in Cocoa Beach, Florida. In the meantime, if you are interested in helping out, go to the Kickstarter page and make a pledge today. Congratulations and Good Luck to the cast and crew of THE MARTIAL ARTS KID.

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  • John Firth

    Gymkata II!

  • Shizoo

    This seems like a very, very unnecessary remake of the Karate Kid. I also like the way the article makes it sound like it’s a surprise the brother of someone in the industry was picked to be the main character. They should’ve given the role to an unknown young martial artist instead.