Other than a brief mention that it was happening, we here at MCS have not reported too much on the remake of The Karate Kid, probably because it hurts our collective soul a little too much.
With the movie having its official kickoff, though, I thought maybe this was a good time to throw out a rundown of what we know about the film. Then we can let it fade into obscurity until such time that a trailer forces us all to actively bitch about the raping of our childhoods.
Production officially kicked off on the Karate Kid remake, now retitled The Kung-Fu Kid, this Saturday in China with a traditional Chinese ceremony (this according to the AP). Everyone was in attendance, including Will Smith, who is acting as a producer on the show. This is due to the fact, I’m sure, that his son, Jaden, is playing the titular “kid.”
But who is playing Mr. Miyagi?!? Well, nobody. Instead, we get Jackie Chan playing a character named Mr. Chan.
Hmmm…that’s going to be different.
The film has been written by Steve Conrad (the excellent The Weather Man) and will be directed by Harald Zwart (The Pink Panther II).
The other thing that seems to have changed is the plot. Here is the remake’s synopsis on IMDB, typos and all:
“Work pressures cause a single mother moves to China with her young son; in his new home, the boy embraces karate, taught to him by a master of the self-defense form.”
In truth, this doesn’t feel much like a remake at all, especially with the name change. I’m willing to bet this one will be a non-stop action thrill ride with a lot of “homage” elements thrown in. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (at all), and I love Jackie Chan as much as the next guy, but it’s still hard to get excited for this one.
If nothing else, I won’t be able to stand the 14-year-old kids arguing why this one is soooo much better than the original, which they made out to while it was on cable at three in the morning.
Anyway, that’s the skinny. Thought you oughtta know.