When it was announced that Sony would be remaking The Karate Kid with Will Smith‘s son Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan as the Mr. Miyagi character, I was livid. Every once in a while on /Film we’ll preclude our headline with “Worst Idea EVER:”, which is kind of a running joke because we run 20-30 of these stories a year. The joke is that Hollywood loves bad ideas. But my mind began to change after I watched the trailers for the new film. Not just change, but totally reverse. It looked like a completely different movie just playing off the basic concepts of the 1980s film. Sure, I wish that they would release the film under the title “The Kung Fu Kid” but I was actually excited to see the film.
And see the film I did. Today at ShoWest I got a chance to see the film a few months early. Was it good? Was it terrible? I’m not quite sure. Even if I was able to write a review (which I’m not, though Sony is allowing reaction blogs) I’m not sure what I would say. If I had seen this movie today without ever having seen the original Karate Kid movie, I probably would have liked it quite a bit. It definitely isn’t a bad movie. But…
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At ShoWest, there are a lot of standees fr upcoming movies on display, some of which have not ever been seen before, and others that were made specifically for the show. I’ve included a small collection of photos of some of the standees I found more interesting, or had not yet been featured online. Films include Toy Story 3, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Karate Kid, and Kick-Ass. Please note that Karate Kid photos were snapped while still in construction, as the film premieres at ShoWest tomorrow.
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Even with our well documented disdain for the project, we found the teaser trailer for The Karate Kid remake starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan to be surprisingly watchable (but it might have just been the very low expectations we had set). Word leaked in January that the film earned the second highest test screening score in Sony history.
Sony has now released a second movie trailer for the film on Yahoo. I like how they borrowed from the first film, yet play against some of the expectations. I also love the inclusion of Joe “Bean” Esposito’s song “You’re the Best, which of course, was featured prominently in the All-Valley Karate Championships montage in the original 1984 movie. The fighting sequences also look a few levels above that in the original. I’m still not convinced that the film will be great (there is no chance that Chan’s performance will match Pat Morita’s Academy Award-nominated performance from the original film), but I’m a lot more confortable with it than I was originally (Although I still don’t understand why they can’t just call it The Kung Fu Kid).
Watch the trailer after the jump, and please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Entertainment Weekly is reporting that The Karate Kid remake starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan just held a research screening and earned the second highest test screening score in Sony history, just under 2005’s Hitch, which coincidentally starred Jaden’s father Will Smith. Even with our well documented disdain for the project, we found the teaser trailer to be surprisingly watchable (but it might have just been the very low expectations we had set).
Of course, EW got the information from the studio, who could easily be lying, but for any movie — why lie for this film? The story claims that the positive scores ranked in the 97th percentile. Keep in mind that research screening audiences are recruited to fit a targeted demographic (age, sex, financial, who knows what else) that the studio is aiming for with the release. I’m sure the screening wasn’t filled with hardcore fans of the original Ralph Macchio 1980’s “classic”, and probably skewed much younger.
Consider me shocked that The Karate Kid remake starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan actually looks like it may be a fun film. We’ve covered the film over the past year with increasing trepidation — especially when the studio decided to stick with the Karate Kid title instead of The Kung Fu Kid. But now we have the first trailer for the film, and somehow my first response isn’t to burn it at the stake.
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Update: Sony has sent us three more photos, check after the jump.
People Magazine has the first official photo from the Will Smith-produced remake/re-imagining of The Karate Kid (and yes, we still wish they would revert back to the old Kung Fu Kid title and leave the Karate Kid title out of this). You might remember when we posted a couple set photos and even official teaser art back in September, but this is the first time Sony has released an official photo from the upcoming film. The article doesn’t reveal much: Jaden Smith trained every day for four months with the film’s fight coordinator Master Wu, and they filmed a scene atop the Great Wall of China.
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The saga of the ever-changing Karate Kid remake title continues. You might remember when we posted a couple set photos earlier in the week, we mentioned that the Will Smith-produced remake/re-imagining of The Karate Kid had been officially retitled The Kung-Fu Kid. A /Film commenter named videophonic forwarded us to some official art on Sony’s website which still features the old title. I don’t believe I’ve seen this art anywhere else online, so I thought I’d pass it along.
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The Associated Press has confirmed that the Will Smith-produced remake/re-imagining of The Karate Kid has officially been retitled The Kung-Fu Kid. The new title should qualm upset fans of the original, and actually makes a whole load more of sense considering the story is based around Kung Fu and not Karate.
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Earlier this month when Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson was cast in Columbia Pictures’ reimagining of The Karate Kid, we asked you if she brought any credibility to the project. Tonight it has been revealed that a new screenwriter has been hired for the Will Smith-produced reboot.
Who is the new scribe? Steven Conrad, whose credits include Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, The Weather Man, The Pursuit of Happyness and the underrated comedy The Promotion. An obvious choice considering Conrad’s connection to Smith. But will a new screenwriter be able to save this project from expected doom? Don’t count on it, especially considering the bits and pieces of information that leaked out of Chris Murphy‘s previous draft. Lets just hope that the final film is retitled The Kung Fu Kid, or something else entirely.
Taraji P. Henson has been cast in the Will Smith-produced reimagining of The Karate Kid. Henson, who was nominated for an Oscar for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, will play Jaden Smith’s character Dre’s mother Sherry.
Forced to relocate to China to keep her job, Dre finds it hard to fit in and gets in an altercation at his school. Jackie Chan plays the Mr. Myiagi character, renamed Mr. Han , who agrees to teach Dre martial arts in order to defend against the students of Li Quan Ha’s Fighting Dragon School of Kung-Fu.
The original film befitted from an A-level acting. Pat Morita’s performance in the first Karate Kid was good enough to earn him an Oscar Nomination. Does an Oscar-nominated actress give this remake any credibility? As long as the film is still titled “The Karate Kid”, I vote “No.”