Columbia Pictures has decided to set out to destroy another classic.
They plan to remake the 1984 hit The Karate Kid, and want Jaden Smith to star as the new Daniel-san.
That's right, Jaden Smith, the 10-year-old son daddy Will Smith keeps forcing onto us.
Variety is finally reporting that Jerry Weintraub is linking with Overbrook Entertainment's James Lassiter, Will Smith and Ken Stovitz to butcher his own original franchise. I say "finally" because IGN broke this (albeit as a fairly solid rumor) over a year ago.
Overbrook and Escape Artists did produce The Pursuit of Happyness for Columbia, so there's a glimmer of hope that this could be decent. But then again in that case, it couldn't have been too terribly difficult for Jaden to play son to his actual dad.
Chris Murphy is writing the script, and the new film will be shot sometime next year. It's set to take place in a number of cities but primarily in Beijing, where the dominant marital art is Kung Fu. It's also said to borrow elements from the original, where a kid moves to a new city and ends up being bullied by the locals, who eventually learns to stand up for himself with the help of a mentor.
I have number of problems with this announcement, but one item specifically: Why Beijing? Maybe Columbia hopes we'll be enchanted by a military brat who is bullied by Kung Fu practicing locals and finds some Mr. Miyagi to teach him to fight back--kind of like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
We all know how that turned out.
Some other details that should be noted include: Will Smith Jr. is a martial arts practitioner himself, and Mr. Miyagi has not been cast. I would suspect the mentor will be an outsider to Beijing, as Mr. Miyagi was to Los Angeles, but either way I don't have a good feeling about this film.
Do we really need another Karate Kid?