Hollywood's steady death march to the Idea-Killing Fields continues with news today that Jaden Smith—smarmy hatchling of the dangerously in black love super-couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith—will star in a re-imagining of sacred 1980s cinematic text, The Karate Kid. Set to shoot next year in Beijing and other locations, the film won't be a straight-ahead remake, but will rather "borrow elements of the original plot, wherein a bullied youth learns to stand up for himself with the help of an eccentric mentor." With no word on who will play the pivotal role of handyman mentor Mr. Miyagi, we thought we'd offer some casting suggestions to go along with the logical "Ralph Macchio : Jaden Smith" equation:1. Nicolas Cage We can think of no other actor more capable of tapping into both Miyagi's quiet dignity and flying-insect-assassinating ferocity than Cage—to say nothing of his intimate familiarity with Far East mysticism, having served for years as a pachinko pitchman on Japanese TV:
2. Dwayne Johnson
The professional wrestler turned movie star seems determined to prove to Hollywood he's more than a handsome action-lunk. What better challenge, then, than playing a 60-year-old, 5'5" Japanese WWII veteran and vintage auto enthusiast? If the physical transformation is convincing enough, perhaps there's even an Oscar nomination in the cards—as there was for Pat Morita. 3. Jackie Chan
The tender moments of surrogate father-son bonding captured by the original can only be enhanced by saucy half-pint Smith barking, "A CRANE KICK?! ARE YOU NUTS, MR. MIYAGE? I AIN'T DOIN' NO CRANE KICKS! MY KNEE IS SWOLLEN UP LIKE A CANTALOUPE!" as his sensei frantically responds something unintelligible back in comically broken Chenglish. 4. Jean-Claude Van Damme
Van Damme is overdue for a comeback—but while the Kaufmanesque and undeniably foreign JCVD may have won over the international critical community, it's not going to really satisfy the VD-craving masses. This is the part. This is the film. Bienvenue, vieil ami. 5. Samuel L. Jackson
Eleven words: "I want this motherfucking wax ON and OFF my motherfucking CAR."