Jackie Chan in Karate Kid
Jackie Chan is in negotiations to play Mr. Miyagi in the remake of The Karate Kid starring Jaden Smith as the kid who learns the ways of the martial art. There's also a director been signed, Harald Zwart who has just directed The Pink Panther 2.
Yes, that's much what I thought. With the news that the film is to be relocated in China, and that Karate isn't even Chinese, I'm struggling to see what this has to do with the original series.
Okay, there's a kid learning a martial art from an older mentor and there will probably be struggles on the way, but it's far from the remake of The Karate Kid, and shouldn't that be a good thing? We're sick fed up of remakes anyway aren't we?
Well I can see that there's room to remake The Karate Kid and do some good. A remake could touch on many moralistic themes and maybe inspire a few kids to do something a bit more with their lives, perhaps show some positivity in the cinema.
The whole story of trying to teach a Western boy struggling with the same day to day rubbish the lessons taught in the martial arts could come out with so much relevance today. Just thinking of what the original had to say about honour, perseverance, focus, not to listen to others pettiness, to rise above the words of others and be yourself, and be strong, not to enter into fights just for the sake of it, but to defend your honour, etc. There's a lot in there that could be taught.
However moving it all to China loses a huge connection for the western audience, and I do believe that was a large part of the original story, that's how we all found the connection.
All that aside, the film is being loosely remade and it's superb news that Jackie Chan is now being talked to regarding the role, and according to The Hollywood Reporter is in active negotiations. He would make a perfect mentor character.
The real question is will Harald Zwart be able to do something positive with the film and rise above The Pink Panther 2? I'm starting to lose hope frankly, and anything positive I saw in the project is starting to fade into a mist of child friendly Rush Hour-ness.