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jaden smith.jpg

The Karate Kid Remake Isn't a Remake

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 6, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | May 6, 2009 |

We’ve discussed the Karate Kid remake a few times on the site. It stars Jaden Smith (Will’s son) and Jackie Chan and it’s another in a long line of efforts to steal our childhoods and sell them back to a new generation at half the cost.

However, new details from some people working on the film about Karate Kid are starting to emerge, and — according to Moviehole — it’s less a remake than it is a new movie based on The Karate Kid template (which is to say, based on every other individual sports movie in existence since 1984). The differences are this: It will be set in China. Instead of Daniel, the character that Will Smith’s kid, Jaden, will play will be named Dre. The Mr. Miyagi character, played by Jackie Chan, will be named Mr. Han, and he’ll teach Dre both martial arts and the Chinese language. Dre will still be picked on by bullies, and there will still be an asshole instructor. But, instead of karate, it’ll be kung-fu.

Basically, the same movie with some minor details changed, which is to say it’s like almost every other remake. So yeah: Stop selling us this “it’s not a remake” bullshit. It’s called Karate Kid. It stars a bullied kid who learns martial arts from an older mentor and fights in a martial-arts competition. You can change the setting, the names, and the style of martial arts, but it’s still a remake. It’s probably hard to understand that, however, while you’re having your cake and eating it, too.

I hope someone chokes on it.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.