When Screen Rant first reported that Columbia was remaking The Karate Kid, fan reaction was decidedly negative. Many people asked: Why? Why remake a film that many consider a modern classic? If you are going to remake a well-known film, why change it’s title to The Kung Fu Kid? Our subsequent coverage did little to mitigate these concerns.
Now, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Steven Conrad, the writer of The Pursuit of Happyness, has been brought on to work on the original script by Chris Murphy. The report is unclear as to whether Conrad has been asked to make major changes to the script or simply provide some touch-ups, but given that the film is set to begin production in a month, I wonder just how much polish the script needs before it’s considered ready.
As you probably recall, The Pursuit of Happyness starred Will Smith, the father of Jayden Smith who is taking over the Ralph Maccio role from the original film. Has Conrad been brought in to recapture some of the emotional depth that helped The Pursuit of Happyness earn $300M worldwide? One of the most endearing aspects of the original Karate Kid was the sincerity of the relationship between Maccio’s character and Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi. Will Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith be able to recapture that dynamic?
All in all, I’m still not totally on board for a Karate Kid remake. Call me sentimental, but there’s just too much to like about the original to justify retelling the story.
What do you think? Does Conrad’s addition to the production ease some of your concerns, or are you still unsure?