Inexplicable Karate Kid remake to feature Will Smith's son

Will Smith
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Some things date a movie horribly: rear projection, clearly hand-drawn animation for special effects, Shelley Duvall in a starring role, etc. But there are some films that contain none of these elements but are still, in and of themselves, a piece of pop-culture ephemera from another time and place. This is where Karate Kid firmly lands. Its premise is ridiculous, and pretty much everything about the film seems to exist more for the pleasure of lousy VH1 Remember the __s programs than as an actual attempt at making a movie. That being said, it sure is a fun and quotable flick.

But with studios as desperate as ever for "new" feature ideas, it was bound to pop into someone's head eventually that maybe Karate Kid due for a comeback. Last year this first popped up as a rumor, with Will Smith's son Jaden Smith as the titular kid and Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer) directing and playing as Mr. Miyagi. Now, Variety has confirmed this rumor, saying that the franchise will be "refashioned as a star vehicle" for Smith. The film is shooting on location in Beijing and elsewhere, "set in that exotic locale," and will in other matters mostly ape the original.

We have no idea yet whether Chow's still onboard, especially with his involvement on The Green Hornet likely taking precedence, but it's still possible. One way or another, we'll probably see the Karate Kid remake in theaters by 2010 at the latest.

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