Jackie Chan Starring in The Karate Kid "Remake"
07.14.09 by REELZ
Variety reports that Jackie Chan will star in the Chinese-Hollywood movie Kung Fu Kid, which is a so-called remake of the 1984 American box-office smash hit The Karate Kid.
In the original, the late Pat Morita created one of the most iconic characters in movie history, the Karate master known simply as "Mr. Miyagi." He mentored Daniel Larusso, played by Ralph Macchio, a high-school kid who suffers humiliation and physical abuse at the hands of bullies who take karate from a slave-driver coach with a serious attitude problem.
Chan will apparently be a second incarnation of the Miyagi role, and the part of the young pupil will be played by Jaden Smith, the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith who starred alongside his father in The Pursuit of Happyness. Will Smith is also acting as one of the movie's producers.
It's strange that Kung Fu Kid's being called a remake when so many aspects of the original have been changed. According to a post on Movieline, the project is shooting in China due to financial obligations, thus forcing changes to parts of the original story that were specifically Japanese. These include the change from Mr. Miyagi, a carpenter born in Okinawa, to "Mr. Han," a Chinese janitor, and also the change from karate to kung fu.
As a result, the product will likely bare only a passing resemblance to the movie from 25 years ago, but calling it a remake will likely stir up the desired anticipation. Shooting for Kung Fu Kid began this past weekend, and the movie is scheduled for release next June. It is a joint project between Columbia Pictures and the China Film Group, and is being directed by Harald Zwart (Agent Cody Banks, The Pink Panther 2).