What's up with the movie industry today? Are there no original ideas left in Hollywood? Lately it seems as if all they do is remake classic films that I don't think necessarily need updating. Next on the list? 1984's "The Karate Kid." Sure, the new version, which stars Will Smith's 11-year-old son Jaden in the lead role of Dre Parker, and Jackie Chan as his martial-arts mentor Mr. Han, has made a few changes. For one, the story takes place in Beijing, China, and Jaden's character learns kung fu -- not karate. Perhaps they should have renamed it "The Kung Fu Kid"?
Meet Jaden Smith -- the new "Karate Kid." - Art Streiber/Vanity Fair
The son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith trained three hours a day for the role. - Art Streiber/Vanity Fai …
At any rate, it's good to know that Jaden is fully aware he is treading on hallowed ground. "It's an honor to re-do the classic," he tells Vanity Fair. "But it's also scary that people might not like it."
Regardless, the young actor -- who made his film debut alongside his father in the "The Pursuit of Happyness" (2006) -- is excited about his first starring role and had a blast working with Jackie Chan.
The 11-year-old has been practicing karate since age 5. - Art Streiber/Vanity Fair
“It’s an honor to re-do the classic," says the curly-haired cutie. - Art Streiber/Vanity Fair
"Jackie Chan is amazing," gushes Jaden. "On the set, he was teaching everybody. I have been doing karate since I was five, but kung fu is way different."
Although the majority of the movie was filmed in China, Jaden didn't get to do a whole lot of sightseeing. "I was working the whole time," he sighs. "I only got to see the Great Wall and the Forbidden City." As for the Chinese food? "I ate burgers."
Check out the trailer for 2010's "The Karate Kid." Think Ralph Macchio will approve?
- Jackie Chan