A few years ago, Sony Pictures made a movie that I’ve never seen. They called it The Karate Kid even though it is set in China, where Kung Fu is the martial art most studied. Moreover, it was (according to all reports) practically a shot-for-shot, scene by scene remake of the original. The original was and is one of my favorite movies of all time. The issue with the remake is that they just made the same movie, and if I wanted to see that story, I’d always put in the original movie.
That being said, here’s how a true Karate Kid film would win over fans like myself, who have no interest in watching a remake of our favorite movie. First thing to remember here is this: if the movie is set in China, use the prominent Chinese Martial Art: Kung Fu. And call it The Kung Fu Kid. But if you’re calling it The Karate Kid and it’s still set in China, then use that as your strength.
Put Daniel LaRusso in the film as the teacher for the new kid. The kid should have a similar backstory to LaRusso, being a fish out of water. If it’s set in China, then the one problem to solve is how to get LaRusso over there. Perhaps that is solved by making a simple change to the story, and having the kid be LaRusso’s own son.
And here’s where it builds up: in a land where everyone else is learning Kung Fu, LaRusso trains his son in Karate.
As he’s teaching Karate to his son, things begin to escalate similarly to the original film, and the son begins to get frustrated that he’s not learning Kung Fu. At this time, LaRusso reveals that everything else his son has been doing has been part of the practice of Kung Fu. See, LaRusso had been a black belt in Karate and decided to learn other martial arts, and also knew Kung Fu. It’d be a mirror of the scene in which Miyagi shows LaRusso that he’d been training him the whole time.
Next comes the tournament, as father watches son participate. Whether he wins the last fight in the tournament or not, he earns the respect and friendship (!) of the guy that bullied him.
Instead of ending at the end of the tournament, it ends with a shot of LaRusso teaching Karate to a class of students that includes his son, and the other kids. The message being that Karate and Kung Fu can be complementary.
What are your thoughts? Would this work as a true sequel?
I’ve just read that they have decided to re-name the Karate Kid remake. Thank you! The Kung Fu Kid is a name that I recommended back in January.
This is the first positive news that I have heard. According to an interview with Jackie Chan, found on FirstShowing: “They don’t want to call it Karate Kid any more,” Chan said. “They want to call it The Kung Fu Kid.”
It’s about time that a company got some bit of intelligence when doing a remake of a film that many, including myself, consider to be a classic among films created in the past 150 years.
I mean, Pat Morita was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the original Karate Kid. Let’s not have Jackie Chan try to repeat that performance. Let’s see if the news continues to improve as character names are changed, and the name Miyagi doesn’t appear in the film.
-via Obsessed with Film
I originally posted this on the Ghostbusters.net Discussion Forum. I am reposting it here, in a slightly edited form, along with my follow up, and some extra thoughts. It is edited only for punctuation purposes only.
On the New Potential Production of Ghostbusters 3
A film where the original team is replaced with new Ghostbusters will bring in a group of guys that none of us has known for the past 25 years, and thus not really care that much about.
It’s something that we’ll all have to take into consideration, should this film get made. We’ve known the original team for 25+ years, and if a new team is assembled, then we’ll have to get to know them. But it’ll never really be the same, or really fit right, unless they can capture the feel of the original films well. We’ve got this feeling like they’re part of our family, and it’s like part of that family is moving out and we won’t be seeing them again. We’re probably going to get a new group of guys that look like some of our friends, because face it, they’re probably going to be about our age, by now. The original Ghostbusters were always older, and something we could grow up to become.
The new team would make it impossible to aspire to become that, in our own minds, and may even be younger than many of us.
It’s probably going to be a natural reaction that effects whether or not each of us enjoys the new film.
I think that was part of the problem with the new Indy. It had been about 19 years between films, and had it come out in like 1992 or 1993, I think we’d probably have just seen Indy 5, and thought that nothing was really too out-there in Indy 4 (it would have been different without Shia, though, and Indy’s age would have put him into slightly different situations). People would have compared it more to Temple of Doom’s supernatural feel than wondering if Indy still had it.
I’d wager that we’re all going to be very split on our own reaction to the film. For some of us, it’s going to be like an old pair of pants. They may not fit as well, but they are broken in some. They may fit just as well, and we love wearing them. For others, it’ll be like a new pair of pants, however. You know how to wear the pants, but it takes a while to get used to them.
And that’s only half of it. The other half is that a new film means new ownership by a younger generation. The new generation will claim ownership of the franchise in their world, and start treading on well established territory. There will be some that claim the new team is better, and probably younger and if they go there, “hotter” than the original team. It’s going to frustrate a lot of us fans of the original.
I just say, we have to be prepared for anything.
Ghostbusters.net’s Doctor Venkman replied to this, saying:
You make a lot of very valid, very well-though-out points. You verbalized a lot of what a lot of the community is feeling…. very torn between whether or not they want a new film and the reasons behind it.
You… you’ve earned it:
And then I followed up with this:
Thanks! Granted, in looking over my original post, I would like to add more punctuation to it, and split up some of the run-ons. But it was a stream of consciousness of what I feel about the film and how I feel reaction will be. It’s kind of well-informed as well. Analyzing fan reaction from Indiana Jones, Star Wars and even Prince Caspian and Terminator and the casting of Avatar: The Last Airbender; you get a lot of various feedback and it all plays a role. Being a fan of all of those series of films, books or tv shows, but not a super-fan to the point of rabid, has afforded me the chance to take a step back and ask why fans might feel the way that they do about certain properties.
I’m a big fan of Ghostbusters and The Karate Kid for very different reasons. I grew up watching both films hundreds of times. I know how the fans of each of the previously mentioned series feel, and claim the same type of ownership of GB and Karate Kid. Case in point, I created a mock DVD cover of what they’re doing with The Karate Kid franchise: http://www.sweetpaul.com/more-karate…ain-no-thanks/
I am very thankful that Ghostbusters isn’t just heading the route of re-make, because we’ll never know what might’ve been. I wish that Karate Kid went the same route, with Larusso teaching the kid.
After posting that, I found an article regarding Karate Kid in which original star Ralph Macchio is quoted:
Macchio, now 47, said he expected the new version to flop. “It feels pretty good that some people are pretty angry that they’re trying to remake The Karate Kid,” he said. “It feels good that the public feels you don’t touch certain things. Some times you go back to that, and probably shouldn’t.”
He added: “From my personal view, the filling the void of what Mr Miyagi was – and the magic of that character – is going to be the toughest task.”
It’s a different set of circumstances, and I am very thankful that Dan Aykroyd is looking after the Ghostbusters series while he still can. I think we just have to wait and see how it all turns out.
Personally, I am happy that they’re going to do a new Ghostbusters film, and excited at the potential of Dr. Venkman’s idea for Ghostbusters franchises come to fruition. Having new recruits to take the series on can help give Ghostbusters the legs to last for generations to come.
So, not only are they destroying the classic film The Karate Kid by making a remake of the original. They’re also ruining the character of Mr. Miyagi with the casting of Jackie Chan in the iconic role. In a move that I am sure the executives believe is the best choice worth celebrating, they’ve picked someone that is not right for the tone that Miyagi set.
For those of you that don’t know, Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith is in the leading role of Daniel Larusso. However, the name will likely be changed as Larusso was Italian. The character has also been dropped from high school to middle school, making any amount of story from the original movie nil. An article at Variety said that it “will borrow elements of the original plot, wherein a bullied youth learns to stand up for himself with the help of an eccentric mentor.”
So, news has hit the web today that a deal has been made to remake The Karate Kid. Not only that, but it will be set in middle-school. But that’s not all. It will be a starring vehicle for Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith.
To truly understand the problem that this has caused, we have to understand the history of The Karate Kid. It’s a film that I grew up on, and more important, it’s a film that AMERICA grew up on. America learned how to be a man from life lessons by Mr. Miyagi. Who hasn’t heard the phrase “Wax on, wax off?” Where else did we learn how to paint the fence, and defend ourselves, in the same night? When else can we move from one side of the country and learn Karate by doing chores from a man who has exiled himself from his home country of Okinawa?
It’s certainly not from whomever is going to try to imitate Pat Morita’s iconic Mr. Miyagi. It’s certainly not from a younger version of the story. No, this is more in the vein of The 3 Ninjas than TMNT.
The Karate Kid has it all. It’s got a guy in high school, dealing with a new town, making new friends, and a girl that happens to be the ex-girlfriend of his new-archnemesis. It’s also got a martial arts expert.
The new faux-Karate Kid? Middle-school. Will there be a middle-school girl? Will there be a clique that all goes to a crooked teacher that teaches false Martial Arts?
Who knows and who cares. It’s not set within the correct age group. It’s just not realistic.
Now, I’m not one to pre-judge a movie unless I am well educated about the content of the film, and I am not falting them for wanting to remake this amazing movie for a new generation. Call it Kung-Fu Kid, call it Karate Kid: The Next Generation, anything but The Karate Kid. Let’s not try and replace the original film with something new and flashy.
America deserves better than this. America thought better than “The Next Karate Kid” and they should think better than this film.