Jack Black says viral Britney Spears cover appears in Kung Fu Panda 4

US actor Jack Black has confirmed the viral rendition of Britney Spears’ Baby One More Time will play during the end credits to Kung Fu Panda 4.

The 54-year-old appeared at the world premiere of the action-comedy franchise in Los Angeles alongside returning stars Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman, screen veteran James Hong and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, who featured in the last 2016 film.

The film stars Black as panda protagonist Po, who is set to become the spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace but finds himself in need of a successor for the role of the Dragon Warrior.

LA Premiere of “Kung Fu Panda 4”
James Hong arrives at the premiere of Kung Fu Panda 4 (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/PA)

Appearing on the carpet wearing a white and black suit in a nod to his panda character, Black performed a series of kung fu moves to a mob of photographers and later described the film as the “funniest of the four” and “action-packed”.

It comes days after the star, who forms one half of US rock comedy duo Tenacious D with Kyle Gass, went viral after posting a video of the pair dancing to a rendition of Spears’ breakout 1999 hit.

Confirming the song will appear in the fourth instalment of Kung Fu Panda, Black told the PA news agency: “(Director) Mike (Mitchell) said ‘we’d love to have a Tenacious D song for the end credits’ and we said we’d like to do a Britney Spears song.

“He said ‘let’s do Hit Me Baby One More Time for the kung fu aspect of that song and we were like ‘hell yeah’, so we got in the recording studio and we did it and we’re really proud of the track.

“We shot a little impromptu music video in Kyle’s hotel room, and we put it on the internet, and it’s gone crazy viral; it’s exciting.”

Black and Gass appeared to film another impromptu music video for the song on the carpet before the world premiere began.

Director Mike Mitchell later told PA that Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer weaves in the Kung Fu Panda theme tune, which he described as “amazing”.

“He had like an 80-piece orchestra add to it, beautiful,” Mitchell said.

Meanwhile, School Of Rock star Black also spoke about his latest project, working on the upcoming Minecraft film alongside Danielle Brooks.

“I love Danielle Brooks. I’ve been a huge fan of hers ever since I first saw her on Orange Is The New Black, and she’s just been killing it in her career, and the fact that we’re working together on Minecraft is mind-blowing,” he said.

The Color Purple photo call
Danielle Brooks (Ian West/PA)

“We’ve been having a ball in New Zealand, and I’m so proud of her going to the Oscars; she’s the class of the cast, I always tell her. She’s crushing it and can’t wait for you to see the movie.”

The Kung Fu Panda 4 premiere marked a reunion for Everything Everywhere All At Once stars Ke Huy Quan and James Hong, who both starred in the film which dominated the Academy Awards last year winning seven awards – including best supporting actor for Quan and best picture.

In the upcoming Kung Fu Panda film, Quan plays Han, leader of the Den of Thieves, while Hong reprises his role as Po’s adoptive father, Mr Ping.

The fourth edition of the hit martial arts-themed franchise also features new cast members, including Academy Award winner Viola Davis as shape-shifting sorceress Chameleon and Golden Globe winner Awkwafina as quick-witted thief Zhen.

Director Mike described working on the film as a “blast” as the cast are individually “so funny” and also said it was nice to be involved with a funny, more light-hearted film as the world continues to feel divisive.

“Our theme is about change, and that’s what Po learns going through this and we’ve got a terrific villain,  a chameleon who is always changing her appearance,” he told PA.

“Going through change can be terrifying, filled with anxiety, and we try to show that change can be a good thing and you’re not losing anything of the past; you’re just gaining and becoming more of something better. I think that’s something nice for these times.”

Co-director Stephanie Stine also said this is her “favourite” type of film to work on because “it is so important to focus on what we as people are capable of doing for everyone else”.

“I think Po’s journey in all of the Kung Fu Panda movies, he is there not just to get better himself but also to help everyone who is around him and I think that is such a positive message,” she told PA.

She also described herself as an introvert but when Black enters a room “I feel like I just turn into an extrovert”.

“He has such an incredible energy,” she said.

“He is just the ultimate professional, he’s an incredible actor, he’s funny, he is always riffing and he knows so much about everything – I think the world of him.”

The franchise has previously featured A-list stars including Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, and Lucy Liu.