The trend of messing with our childhoods just seems to keep steam rolling on, no matter how much complaining fans do. One of the latest is a remake of the 1984 classic, The Karate Kid. The news recently broke that Will Smith’s son, Jaden, will be starring in the lead role, with Jackie Chan starring as the updated version of Mr Miyagi. It’s also come to light that this film won’t be a remake of the original: the screenplay will “borrow elements” from the original film but is not a remake.
And, to make that difference clear, the filmmakers have gone so far as to rename the film. So what are they renaming it? Well, according to Chan: “They don’t want to call it Karate Kid any more… They want to call it The Kung Fu Kid.”
So they’re remaking The Karate Kid, fine. And they’re casting Will Smith’s son as the titular character, okay. And they’ve even got Jackie Chan as the new Mr. Miyagi, great! But The Kung Fu Kid? Are they serious?! The filmmakers must’ve been reading all of the movie websites (such as our very own Screen Rant) to cover their backs with that one, eh?…
Film Drunk mentioned The Kung Fu Kid as a possible title for the project over a year ago, but now it’s looking like that’s what it’s going to be. With it the filmmakers have kind of neutered themselves, contradicting themselves in the most stupid of ways: they’re remaking a famous film, presumably hoping to capitalize on the name recognition of those who loved the original as kids, and then they go and give it a different title, effectively removing said name recognition.
Our friends over at First Showing point out the fact that the martial art of Karate actually has some of its historical roots in Kung Fu, so the reason they may be changing the name instead is to be more “culturally relevant and accurate.”
Hmmm, okay, I guess I can buy that – but you gotta’ admit, the title of The Kung Fu Kid sounds pretty silly, to say the least.
The Karate Kid is one of those movies that gets overshadowed by its many sequels (which steadily diminished in quality from the original). And much like the Rocky series, people seem to forget that the original Karate Kid film wasn’t just one of those fun, entertaining, “you like it because you remember it from childhood” type of movies; it’s actually a respectable film of decent quality that even got nominated for an Oscar (for Pat Morita’s legendary performance as Mr. Miyagi).
It’s yet another one of those classic movies that just doesn’t need another sequel, let alone a remake “re-imagining.” Didn’t Hollywood learn from the tried and failed The Next Karate Kid?
What are your thoughts on the title The Kung Fu Kid, and about the general notion of them doing another Karate Kid?