Jaden Smith, son of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, is set to take the title role in a remake of the 1984 film The Karate Kid. We first mentioned this project being in development back in September 2007, as Jaden was appearing with his father on screen in The Pursuit Of Happyness.
Daddy Smith will be producing the film for Columbia Pictures. Chris Murphy is providing a screenplay that will take the film on location to Beijing and other cities. This definitely sounds like there are some changes to the original’s Southern California setting.
An even more glaring change is the age of the lead character. Smith is only ten years old, while the original’s star Ralph Macchio was over twice as old as Smith when he played the teenage character. Part of the appeal of the original film for audiences was being able to identify with some of the teenage problems that Macchio’s character was going through, from feeling alienated in friendless in his school to longing for the girl he had a crush on. I have a ten year old step daughter, so I can tell you at that age, with the exception of making sure Dancing With The Stars gets DVR’ed, kids don’t have much to get angsty about.