You already understand the blasphemy of this news. Columbia is developing a remake of The Karate Kid, with Jackie Chan taking over the role of sensei Mr. Miyagi from the late Pat Morita, and Jaden Smith set to play the titular pupil. We all know this is going to end poorly -- here are five reasons why:
1.) Didn't they already tarnish the legacy of this franchise enough?
Do you remember 1994's The Next Karate Kid? Hilary Swank certainly hopes not. I'm pretty sure all the Oscar-worthy performances she's given have been nothing more than attempts to reverse the bad movie karma she earned for this atrocious sequel, in which she succeeded Ralph Macchio as Mr. Miyagi's student.
2.) Check out the director's track record!
Harald Zwart is best known for directing the forgettable tween spy film Agent Cody Banks. If that was the only troubling thing on his resume, I would've been a little skeptical, but still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But what really worries me about Zwart is his latest project, the upcoming Pink Panther 2 -- a sequel to a remake that nobody liked! If Zwart was compliant in allowing Steve Martin to continue to tarnish the legendary character of Inspector Clouseau, how can I not fear he'll sit back and let Jackie Chan do the same to Mr. Miyagi?
3.) Speaking of Mr. Miyagi, where was he from again?
The correct answer is Okinawa, Japan. But the remake will be set in China. Now, I would've been okay with this if Chan's character wasn't supposed to be the same Mr. Miyagi from the original film. But since they are in fact saying it's the same character, why are they messing with his cultural heritage, which was a huge part of the original films? And will Chan's character even be teaching karate? His specialty is kung fu!
4.) Jaden Smith is just too young.
Now, I'm not going to start an argument over the acting talents of a ten-year-old boy. But I'm just a little disappointed that the producers of this film (who just happen to include Jaden's father, Will Smith) are choosing to make the student so young, because it implies that this is going to strictly be a kid's movie. Now, while the original Karate Kid was undoubtedly a family film, Ralph Macchio's character, Daniel LaRusso, was a high school student, which helped the film appeal to a much larger audience. Having a pre-pubescent kid take on the role will mean less-exciting martial arts, no teen-angst ridden romance with Elisabeth Shue, and most importantly, no redo of the classic scene where Daniel dresses up as a shower to hide from his bullies at his school's Halloween dance. Who over the age of eleven is going to want to see that?
5.) Different ages, different countries ... how is this Karate Kid again?
This isn't like a Batman reboot where they're making things better. They may call the sensei Mr. Miyagi, but this movie is not going to be the same as The Karate Kid. It's not going to have the same tone, characters or cool lessons about Japanese culture that made me love that movie as a kid. So instead of trying to ride the coattails of a cherished classic, why can't they just change the title and the name of Chan's character? I'm guessing it's probably because they don't want to acknowledge the truth about what it is they're really making. It's not really a remake of The Karate Kid. It's just another rip-off.
Now you decide!