Call us 80's purists if you must (it's a fair charge — after all, these Betamax tapes of Space Camp aren't gonna watch themselves), but when remaking The Karate Kid, some things are essential.
Things like, y'know, karate, or a character who can plausibly bear the name of Mr. Miyagi. We've made our suggestions on the topic, but it looks like producers intend to go in a wildly different direction, according to Will Smith (whose son Jaden will be stepping into Ralph Maccio's bare feet). In fact, now that they've gotten budgetary incentives from China, there will have to be some important changes:
Interestingly, though the original movie was set in the United States, the new version will take place in China, and that means key characters will change with it. “We’re making it with the China Film Group, so it’ll be based in Beijing. Mr. Miyagi was originally Japanese, so there’ll be a Chinese adaptation to it.”
But wait, isn’t karate a Japanese martial art in the first place?
“Fortunately, karate is originally a Chinese art form, so that’s the area we’re playing around in.” (Ed. Note: Though karate was developed in Japan, it is based upon Kenpō, a Chinese fighting style.)
Will Mr. Miyagi now become Mr. Mao, and will he teach kenpo in Beijing instead of karate in the San Fernando Valley? Will "Sweep the leg!" become "Envision the white infidel Sharon Stone"? Sorry, Elisabeth Shue — looks like that phone call you placed to your agent may languish on the "to call" list forever.