Back in March, it was reported that the upcoming Karate Kid "remake" would be called The Kung Fu Kid, so as to be more accurate to the actual form of martial arts in focus, and to differentiate itself from the 1984 original. This news came directly from Jackie Chan (who will be playing the "Miyagi" type character.) Well, according to the folks at Moviehole, that won't be the case at all. It will indeed be called The Karate Kid (despite the kung fu) and while the film takes place in a different setting, the basic framework of the original film's plot will be preserved.
As I've said before, I am NOT in the "anti-remake" camp, as long as they are done with class. The Karate Kid is not a film that is intrinsically "great," but it carries with it, a nostalgia factor to an entire generation of young adults that is very powerful. Messing with that, is asking for serious trouble.
You know what, though? WHATEVER. I'm tired of whining, whatever is going to happen will happen. They're going to take the Karate Kid name, update it with inane, "hip-hoppified" modernity, aimed at fiscally minded, cultural pandering. Got it! As long as you accept it, you can put yourself into a Zen-like state that would even make Mr. Miyagi proud.
Besides, Jaden Smith might surprise us, and actually carry this thing. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. (What am I going to do? Hate on a 10-year-old kid?)
Here is the plot of the film, according to Moviehole:
"Sherry is offered a transfer to China. Considering the U.S office is about to lay off everyone, it's really her only choice; especially since nobody else at the office has been offered a transfer. With her young son Dre (Jaden Smith) in tow, the single-mother makes Beijing her new home. Needless to say, not knowing Chinese, and experiencing a bit of culture shock, they both find it a little hard to settle in - - Dre especially.
Like Daniel Larusso in the original film, Dre (who, unlike Larusso, is a skateboarding video-game buff) immediately catches the attention of the local bullies - in particular, Lui Wei Cheng. And before too long, Dre is going home with bruises (he tries to hide a black-eye under a cap by pulling it as far down his face as he can) and whining about wanting to return to the states.
Dre's enrolled into a strict Beijing Middle School. His first day there is a bit of a shambles - the assistant principal spots his bruises, and assumes he's been fighting (which, of course, they don't accept under any circumstances), and he turns up in a school uniform, something he didn't have to wear that day (there's only certain days when a uniform is required).
The Mr Myiagi character is actually named Mr. Han (Jackie Chan). He's the maintenance man of the apartment lock that Sherry and Dre have moved into, and meets the new residents when he's called over to fix their hot water service. From the bathroom, Han spots Dre practicing martial-arts kicks (unsuccessfully) in front of a video-game, and catches his black eye. Later, of course, he'll agree to teach him - both martial-arts and the Chinese language (so he can impress his mother by haggling over apples).
The ‘John Kreese' character - the character played by Martin Kove in the original film - is Li Quan Ha, the owner of the Fighting dragon school of Kung-Fu. One visit to the school - in which Li Quan terrorizes his students (who range from the age of 3 onwards), namely Lui Wei Cheng - and Dre is immediately put off.
Oh, and yes, there's a love interest - someone mother wants Dre to bring home for dinner."