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January 28, 2009

Finally: Will Smith to Produce and Direct Remake of Karate Kid, Starring His Own Son

Steven Chow is in talks for the Miyagi role.

Ummm... why? The original movie made a lot of money, and everyone saw it, largely because it was, for a period of a year, on HBO every four hours. I thought HBO really got mileage out of Rocky III, but that was nothing compared to the rotation Daniel-san got.

So sure, it's well-known, but it never attained the status, I don't think, of beloved; it was just your basic mentor-student movie, stuffed with gratuitous amounts of wish fulfillment fantasy (they really poured it on when Miyagi gave Daniel-san that sweet car), and going on for a ridiculously long running length. (IMDB says it's only two hours and six minutes, but it felt more like 2:45.) Sure, it spawned catchphrases, but largely as goofs.

It's an okay movie, for what it is. But a remake? Only 20 years later? And once again they're breaking the key rule of remakes: Don't remake a movie that pretty much got it right the first time around. You have nowhere to go but down.

This seems like the ultimate vanity project, or the most expensive gift a dad's ever given his son.

Thanks to Thomas.

Not So Finally: IllTemperedCur points out that this story is a year old.

But the remake is in pre-production, slated for a 2010 release. Jackie Chan is in talks to play Miyagi. Jaden Smith is still slated to star, but Will Smith isn't listed as the director. Presumably (certainly) he's still the producer.

Not only would Smith have probably done a piss-poor job as a director, being a neophyte (and being a bit too close to his star, too), but it's just a dumb financial move for an in-demand actor to take a directing job. It takes about two years to direct a movie, without any time available for other projects. As an actor he could appear in four or five movies over that span.

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posted by Ace at 03:26 PM

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