Karate Kid remake in China
The remake of The Karate Kid, with Will Smith producing and his son Jaden Smith starring in the lead, is making quite a few changes with the original story, and the latest one has the entire story relocating to China.
Now that may not be such a big deal, but when Karate is actually a Japanese martial art and they're thinking of basing it on another martial art then you have to wonder if we're looking at a title change too.
The 1984 original told the story of a typical young American boy who becomes the student of a Karate master who is living a quiet life in America. The pupil is a headstrong and young man who is impatient and eager to learn, and for that matter to show off. It sparked a number of sequels.
"We're making it with the China Film Group, so it'll be based in Beijing. Mr. Miyagi was originally Japanese, so there'll be a Chinese adaptation to it...
...Fortunately, karate is originally a Chinese art form, so that's the area we're playing around in."
Not quite, as MTV point out, the Japanese art of Karate is adapted from various fighting styles and in particular a Chinese fighting style called Kenpo, so this would be The Kenpo Kid surely? Doesn't quite have the same ring as The Karate Kid.
No matter, they have their kid, albeit a bit younger than the original. Jaden Christopher Syre Smith is the boy for the job, but they still haven't found their Mr Miyagi.
Who would you want to play the teacher, and how do you feel about the film being moved all the way over to China? Personally for the story I feel there are two sides. One is that it hurts it because the idea is all about the discipline and honour of this martial arts teacher displaced in the selfish and aggressive America and how it changes the life of a typical American teenager.
Moving this to China loses all this and the story becomes an American boy, possibly obsessed with the same materialistic and selfish ways but himself being displaced. It becomes quite a different lesson.
On the other hand it could give a very interesting take on the idea and really isolate the western values, or lack of them, within those of Chinese society and the those of the martial arts.
What do you think?