Shooting Begins On Officially Retitled ‘Kung Fu Kid’

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:50 am,

kung fu kid header Shooting Begins On Officially Retitled Kung Fu Kid

A remake of the classic ’80s movie, The Karate Kid, is something that, when announced, was met with the same groans and “Please no!” responses (from most folks out there) similar to about every other dreaded remake. The fact that they reportedly changed the name to Kung Fu Kid, as well as the storyline that was reported being a bit on the cheesy side, didn’t exactly help matters.

Today we get the news that the title of this remake has officially been changed to Kung Fu Kid.

Admittedly it makes sense since it’s Kung Fu our lead learns and not Karate as in the original. Playing the lead is Will Smith’s son, Jayden, as a kid (would you have guessed it?) who moves to China with his mum, gets bullied at school, and eventually ends up learning Kung Fu from Mr. Han (Jackie Chan, playing the remake’s equivalent of Mr. Miyagi). I’ve said it before – it’s not the absolute worst idea in the world, but couldn’t they have conjured something a bit better?

The Harald Zwart (Pink Panther 2) directed martial arts remake actually started filming this weekend in Beijing (heck, at least they’re shooting the camera’s in the right location…), where the story it will take place in modern day. The shooting schedule of the film is set to last for three months, and to celebrate the start of production, a traditional Chinese ceremony was held on Saturday.

Jayden Smith was there at the ceremony with his father, Will, mother, Jada Pinkett, and sister, Willow. In a video shot of the ceremony put online at, Will Smith, Chan, and Zwart, “symbolically removed a piece of red cloth covering a movie camera, after which Smith gave Chan a hug.” If you want to take a look at the ten-minute video of the ceremony, you can head here.

kung fu kid chinese ceremony Shooting Begins On Officially Retitled Kung Fu Kid

'Kung Fu Kid' Beijing ceremony

Even if the title change from The Karate Kid to Kung Fu Kid does distance the remake to the ’80s original, I still fear it will soil the reputation of it. I fully realize that if the remake sucks, we’ve still got the original, but as I have said on a number of occasions, today’s audiences might automatically think of this remake whenever “The Karate Kid” gets mentioned. It’s happened numerous times with all the remakes of classic horror movies (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of Wax, The Amityville Horror, on and on...), where most likely today’s (young) audiences will not even be aware there was one before these relentless 21st century rehashes.

I suppose that’s what the title change is for, but will the same happen with Kung Fu Kid? I believe it just might…

What do you think of this remake now officially being retitled Kung Fu Kid? Do you think there’s a chance it may turn out to be any good?

As stated, Kung Fu Kid started production last weekend in Beijing, but it doesn’t have a release date set as of yet. The film is directed by Harald Zwart, and written by Steven Conrad (The Pursuit of Happyness).

Sources: AssociatedPress, /Film, and Sina

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Well atleast its not the same as the original, but in my opinion to be on the safe side this film shood just be boi cotted to prevent sequels

  2. This movie is going to suck, and it’s going to suck hard.

  3. I’m glad they changed the name. It still looks like it’s gonna be a disaster though.

  4. Check out the face on that afro!

  5. Can it be even considered a remake anymore? I mean a remake should a least be somewhat connected to the orginal in someway and there is none of that here! Heck, it doesnt even have the same name as the original film, or even the same type of people. I say that no one will try and confuse this with the original karate kid and will see it as its own piece of crud film that just happens to share a similar pliot as karate kid (further more, the film sidekicks had a similar plot to karate kid and no one confuses that with the kid)

  6. I like Jackie Chan a lot, so I’m willing to give it a chance … at least until a trailer surfaces.

  7. The more I hear, the worse this “remake” sounds. At least they changed the title to “Kung Fu Kid,” letting the original set of “Karate Kid” movies to hold claim to the title.
    The original Karate Kid movies were namely for teens and young adults, but they had enough drama and substance, especially the first two, to appeal to older crowds.
    The heart of the original ones always was the character of Mr. Miyagi, and his back story — a Japanese-American who fought for America during WWII as part of the 442nd, and whose wife died during childbirth, while she and millions of other Japanese-Americans were interned in American internment camps. No matter how far the stories strayed or weakened with later Karate Kid movies, it was that which really drove the movie and made us care for both Miyagi and Daniel-san.
    Without that, Karate Kid really would have been yet another Rocky movie, but with a younger protagonist who does karate instead of boxing.
    I sense this Kung Fu Kid movie will be a very typical movie about a young kid who’s bullied at school, who learns kung-fu from a cartoonish Jackie Chan (How often does Chan not play cartoonish characters?), and then he’ll beat up the bully.
    As much as I like the Karate Kid movies, and while I can believe that Daniel-san could beat other suburban teens during a karate tournament in America, it’s much harder to believe that he could beat up Japanese martial artists who have been practicing and learning karate since they were young kids.
    That will likely be my problem with Kung Fu Kid. Most likely, Jaden Smith’s character will be fighting Chinese kids who have been studying and learning kung fu since they were very young, whereas Smith will probably pick it up after being beaten up.

  8. If you have followed Jackie Chan’s career from the late 70′s you well imediatly realize that doing this remake of the Karate Kid is a “Full Circle” for Jackie. In his early Kung Fu movies he always played a bullied student who then meets an elderly master whom teaches him masterful Kung Fu techniques. In reality while making these movies it was Jackie who instructed the older actor to successfully protray the elderly instructor. An early example is the “Big Brawl” which failed here as Jackies first entry to America. The teacher was well performed by the late actor “Mako”. Years later after this film was released then came the “Karate Kid” with a story line not too unsimilar to the storyline of Jackie Chan’s early movies. Finally Jackie can teach the student.

  9. I have to admit the original “Karate Kid” was my generation’s film,,,(wax on! wax off!),,, but this remake (no matter the casting) is a film that I can get behind because it teaches kids to stand up and be independent in school. Learn kung fu, karate, jujitsu, whatever,,, stand up and protect those around you. Good message in the current state of films. (IMO)

    If only a few kids learn to stand up for themselves and protect others the reboot/film is totally worth it,,,, ;-)

  10. -Just getting into Krav Maga myself. Can you recommend and dvd’s or videos for me to watch?

  11. karate kid was actually a great movie of its own time but to the modern audiences,it turn to a boring martial art movie because the moves in particular film was not really realistic!!! and to cast realistic moves is now the most imp. step to succesful movies.

  12. It’s definitely still called the karate kid…