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Jackie Chan's Karate Kid Remake to be Called Kung Fu Kid

by
March 29, 2009

Jackie Chan

Last year it was announced that Columbia Pictures was remaking the 1984 classic Karate Kid with Jaden Smith set to star. In January, we announced that Jackie Chan had been cast as the lovable Mr. Miyagi, stepping in for Pat Morita. As far as I know, not a single person was excited by any of this news, but of course Sony is pushing forward with the production in hopes of convincing audiences later with marketing. Well, a good friends of ours dropped by with a tip recently letting us know that in a recent interview with Jackie Chan, he let slip that this remake is actually going to be called Kung Fu Kid, not Karate Kid.

"They don't want to call it Karate Kid any more," Chan said. "They want to call it The Kung Fu Kid." He quickly changed topics and unfortunately didn't add any more about as to why this change was being made. Our guess is that since this remake is a Chinese co-production and being shot in Beijing, it's much more relevant today to use kung fu as opposed to karate (which isn't as popular as it was back in the 80's) and also more appropriate considering karate actually has its historical roots in kung fu. As in, story updates and Chinese influence caused them to change the title to be more culturally relevant and accurate.

If you're actually big Jackie Chan fan, a great interview can be seen over on 3news.co.nz. He talks about how he's trying to change his image and become more of an "actor who can fight" not a "fighter who can act." It's actually a really heartfelt interview and it reminds me why I love him so much. Hopefully this news about the title actually sheds some positive light on the production, although I doubt it will. Thoughts?

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  • Roberto Dinamite
    why don't they just replace all the storm troopers with dickheads and rename it Cock Wars? wouldn't that be swell?
  • LW
    Funny fact: In Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi was in fact teaching kung-fu. Wax on, wax off? That's basic wing chun. Who'd a thunk it? lol ^^
  • Hey Ya
    Wait what? People think he can act and not fight?
  • DoomCanoe
    #1 BA HAHAHAHAHA!
  • Kal-el
    This is a bad F**king joke. Even if the title was called The Karate Kid, I would never want to see this. The original film was fantastic and as much as I like Jackie Chan, Pat Morita will always be Mr. Miyagi.
  • movieboy1
    i knew it they going to change it to Kung Fu Kid cause the story is going to based in China and the kid will be teach by Jackie Chan who is a Kung Fu master we will never believe him to be Japanese. Karate aint from China so it make sense to call it Kung Fu cause Kung Fu comes from China.
  • L
    #6... but the name Miyagi is Japanese, hehe
  • Mike
    I'm guessing the name change has more to do with paying rights fees to DC Comics/Warner Brothers (who own the rights to the name "Karate Kid") than it has to do with Chinese sensibilities. It will, of course, be spun differently, however.
  • cindarr
    Movies are use to be good should just be remembered. Movies that suck there is no remake of it.. Why is that? Sorry to say this THIS MOVIE IS F**King lame. Probably after Kung fu kid.. there will be Muay Thai kid..
  • Eric
    Karate was started in the towns of Shuri, Naha and Tamari in Okinawa moron!
  • Tom W
    honestly the news for this movie gets worse and worse just stop now pay your actors say sorry but i have my future to look at and this movie if made will ruin your film reputation
  • S
    Since we're making sequels, prequels, mid-quels, remakes, reboots, reimaginings and redos for just about every movie made more than 15 years age, you know what GD movie I want a sequel to, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.
  • Travis Cowsill
    Please.
  • smacky
    What a bunch of crap
  • James
    While I have not seen the original and therefore have no positive or negative opinions about this project, I'd like to suggest for debate the idea of whether this newe title was inspired by the popularity of Kung Fu Panda. With a similar title, it may help convince kids to see this movie.
  • http://movies.iconocritic.com peloquin
    James, I don't think that has anything to do with it as it's a completely different studio and they don't have a habit of imitating the titles of competitors. Also, since this is not animated I fail to see the comparison. They'll most likely market it to families and not kids as I see it being the type of film a father would take his son to. The most likely reason for the name change would be the extremely negative buzz surrounded in calling the film a "remake" of the classic Miyagi legend from the 80s. I'm sure bastardizing such a classic started to look like a bad idea when the bloggers tore them a new one just at the thought of such a film. They most likely changed the name to seperate themselves from the connotation "The Karate Kid" carries in order to trick audiences into thinking it's an original story instead of a reboot.
  • chris vu
    OH NO! if it's the same Jaden Smith from The Day The Earth blah blah blah. Then I'm out. I'm not against children of famous actors stealin movie roles (ok maybe I am just a tad) but if they suck at acting, then they suck at acting. I thought he pretty much ruined The Day The Earth Hibbity Squibbity. Original Karate Kid is still the shit. They should get Ralph Machio but I'm sure he's probably turned it down.
  • Mr j Money
    The link below expresses how I feel about all of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ytCEuuW2_A
  • http://jordondave@hotmail.com Dave Jordon
    This is Chan another obvious attempt to please American audiences and I know that it's going to suck, he should go back to making films that brought him there in the first place which is with Golden Harvest.
  • leavethemwithdignity
    thank you. you can make remakes all you want, but something as classic as the original The Karate Kid, doesn't need a remake not for another 50 years. give it a different name, at least leaves the original with dignity. they should have done the same with Dukes of Hazzard, Starsky and Hutch, Transformers (2007), those movies had nothing to do with the original shows, only used the name to garner "attention". thank you. Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio you can rest easy.
  • chris vu
    #18 LOL!!!
  • Voice of Reason
    Barf-a-roo.
  • LW
    If 'The Good, The Bad & The Wierd' didn't suck... then it's way too early to judge this just yet :/ . Not defending, just saying.
  • namegoeshere
    Might as well remake the bible. Remake the eighties. Get the N. Dynamite's martial arts teacher in the American pants to play Mr. Miagi. It's a dumb idea. Just make a movie about a wimp who gets taught by a great master and beats his bullies. Old formula but a great one. Why call it a remake?
  • http://www.cyworld.com/paulyahn Paul Y. Ahn
    what does "'The Good, the Bad, and the Wierd" have to do with this??
  • Josveta
    WHY DO THEY HAVE TO DO THIS SHIT!!!!! there is no f**king need!!!!!!
  • LW
    to 26 Isn't the "The Good, The Bad and the Wierd" a complete remake, reimagining and retelling of "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly"? In which case, dosn't that mean to "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" fans that their movie was completely butchered and brutalized by a bunch of "damn Koreans"? ((Not that I see it this way, but it's an interesting perspective)) But at the same time, I have immensely enjoyed 'The Good, the Bad and the Wierd', even if it is, what I'm sure what some would call, "a bastardization" of the 'original'.
  • http://www.cyworld.com/paulyahn Paul
    although "The Good, The Bad and the Weird" was heavily inspired by "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly," it was NOT a remake. FYI, I loved Leone's film and hated Kim's film
  • LW
    Aha! Then why are we still calling 'Kungfu Kid' a remake? We may be calling it a remake over here, but are they calling it a remake over 'there'? And if they are, then there's a plausible possibility that Jackie Chan's english isn't that good, so we're both imagining completely different things around the word remake. Check and mate good sir! ;)
  • Dave Jordon
    You may not know this and some people may disagree with this statement , but the idea for the Karate Kid came from Jackie Chan's original movie released in either 1978 or 79 called Drunken Monkey English translation (aka The Legend of Drunken Master or just Drunken Master). Whatever any movie would be called in any country is totally irrevelant, since it is the company that decides what it has to do to make itl sell. I also want to point out from judging Jackie's history is that he is a kung fu artist and Pat Morita although a good actor was always known as an actor who acts never as an martial artist. I don't think if by googling Pat Morita, he never has taught karate or martial l arts or had even choreographed a fight for a movie in his life. The Karate Kid was made for English audiences, Drunken Master was made for Chinese audiences. The only thing I know is most of Jackie's english movies all suck except for Rush Hour 1 and 2 .
  • Dave Jordon
    I also want to know how many of Jackies movies had you guys had seen because the movies he used to make in Hong Kong, he's actually hitting people for real , unlike the movies they make in Hollywood they don't even touch. They just swing thre arms in the air with a camera behind someone. Two different countries making movies two different ways.
  • Mr j Money
    Dave, can you find anything (not anecdotal) that would back what you're saying about the Drunken Master as an influence? It doesn't ring "Departed" in the asian-influence dept but it sounds really interesting and i'd love to read up on it if anything's available. To me, Kung Fu Kid is still a crappy, rip-offy, type name and I think execs will try and ride what's left of the cult wave from the original franchise.
  • Dave Jordon
    It's a little naive to try to find any info regarding any movie to be an influence to another film unless the director or producers admit to it, this is to avoid paying other royalties and since they made alot of money why should they. I actually caught this piece of inf from a mag. I used to subscribe about Asian Films and they are expensive mags B/c they were independent. I can tell you though before Karate Kid was even made, Hong Kong under British rule were making martial art movies about training for years. If you google at Jackies history, it's extremely impressive. Almost every film he's been in are stunt- filled and martial arts imaginable. I mean both the idea and the storyline of "The Lion King" by Walt Disney is an direct copycat from an old Japan animation series called Kimba The White Lion. Ironically it was also one the last Disney movies to be on DVD to avoid royalties because Disney want to make sure that even word Kimba would never be mentioned on the "making of bonus disc" The Chinese had been making movies about martial art training in every way possible imaginable after Bruce Lee died, the difference is time settings are different and by the sound of it, you obviously cannot relate to anything unless it's in English with English settings. By comparison in my opinion Karate Kid is very tame to Drunken Master or even Snake In the Eagles Shadow both movies directed by kung fu artist Yuen Woo- Ping. I do however think Kung Fu kid is not going to be very good unless they let Jackie do whatever he wants.
  • nikki
    hi yeh it will not be the some as karate kid and i been watching it when i was 7yrs old and i know what it be like.
  • Roger beckner
    The film will be a huge hit, not only do we have a real karate master; Jackie Chan, we have a great young actor; Jaden Smith who plays the young boy 'DRE' who moves from America to China with his mother played by Taraji P. Henson , plus Jackie Chan plays the very funny character 'Wong Tong' from the young adult novel 'Fledgling Jason Steed' 'Dre' is bullied and seeks help from Jackie Chan, the film may have the same theme, but its better made and acted. The director of 'Agent Cody Banks' 'Harald Zwart' steps in as director. Watch out for a box office hit and the best 'G' rated movie for the fall of 2010. The book 'Fledgling Jason Steed' is released at the same time by Sourcebooks Inc. Expect to see a little romance between Mom (Taraji P. Henson) and Jackie Chan.
  • Mozz
    This is Hollywood at its finest. Remaking a great movie and destroying it. I wont be seeing it and will NEVER see a movie with Jackie Chan or Will Smith (and his son) in it ever again as they have sold out. Hollywood get your shit together and start making original movies. Stop making remakes, stop stealing movies from europe and Asia and get original. If you cant then just stop making movies. If i want to watch a good movie I'll watch a movie from the 80's. At least they were original then. Hollywood, Will Smith, Jackie Chan. 2 words for you, YOU SUCK
  • allforadeuce
    "Our guess is that since this remake is a Chinese co-production and being shot in Beijing, it's much more relevant today to use kung fu as opposed to karate (which isn't as popular as it was back in the 80's)" Bad bad guess. It was probably due to be renamed "Kung Fu Kid" because Karate is a Japanese word and represents one form of Japanese martial arts. Kung Fu, which isn't even used as a word exclusivly for martial arts in China, is a Chinese set of words. Actually, Gung Fu is more utilized in southern China vs. Kung Fu which is more utilized in northern China. Karate and Kung Fu are used mostly by Westerners as a blanket reference to martail arts in general. These are the same western idiots that call udon and soba "udon noodles" and "soba noodles" but would think it's stupid to call spaghetti "spaghetti noodles" (psst soba and udon are noodles, no need to be redundant by adding noodle to the end of it). "and also more appropriate considering karate actually has its historical roots in kung fu." Which has its roots by a monk that historically has been noted to have travelled from India and introduced Chinese monks to his fighting system. Under your philosiphy, we now have to call it "Bollywood Kid". "As in, story updates and Chinese influence caused them to change the title to be more culturally relevant and accurate." What? Granted the rising of Chinese power may have something to do with it, but I am thinking more on the lines that the most popular Asian actors in America that would garner respect in a martial arts movie today are Jackie Chan and Jet Li, both Chinese who would do best in teaching a Chinese-based martial art. Segal would be the most prominent Japanese-style martial artist in the USA today, but since 99% of his work goes straight to DVD or the USA channel, he probably wasn't considered for more then a millisecond for the role.
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  • Monteirinha
    ... Obaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ... One more to me to watch ... Watch all the movies he's acting ... I saw the thriller and that's coolllllllllll ... For me, he was always a very good actor/singer/director/... Tchau ... See you ...
  • David
    Will smith might be doing the good father thing and bank rolling his son's movie. But its a poor choice to cast a boy with no marital arts experience and no acting -- only credit is being born rich.
  • mmm
    @42 well, I mean the kid did train for a short while- idk, is that any more training than ralph macchio had? If you're going to go that rout then you could give the remake props for using someone who is a real martial artist in the "miyagi" role. But in the end, it's a movie, what it needs is actors. The reason people have such a die hard attachment to Morita was because he acted the role well (and also because of massive nostalgia, come on the movie was good, but not THAT great without that old 80's nostalgic sheen...). Macchio did a respectable acting job, but nothing major, I don't know that Smith's kid will be all that much worse. Not a great actor but not terrible- he'd do well enough in a movie to make kids from his era nostalgic for his kiddie movies 20 years later. I'm not saying I'm all about this remake or that it will be better than the original. It's a childhood favorite of mine too and I think it sucks that hollywood can't get some balls and just be creative instead of rehashing everything, but I think it's easy to blow things out of proportion too...
  • Monteirinha
    ... The son of Will acted already in one movie with his father ... And really he was very good in the movie ... I don't remember the title of the movie ... The name was going to be Kung Fu kid but somebody changed to kung fu kid - i think that's the name, it's not here yet - ... Tchau ... See you ...
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  • http://www.squidoo.com/jackie-chan-vs-bruce-lee Chinese Martial Arts
    The Karate Kid rocks!
  • http://www.squidoo.com/jackie-chan-vs-bruce-lee Amanda
    My favorite - The Karate kid
  • http://www.squidoo.com/jackie-chan-vs-bruce-lee Amanda
    I'm a fan of Jackie Chan.

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