The Karate Kid movies are an 80s touchtone for people of a certain age and provide a deep seam of nostalgia that Cobra Kai is successfully mining on Netflix. The 2010 re-imagining by Harald Zwart manages to be successful as a movie, largely due to a powerhouse performance by Jackie Chan. It made $400 million at the box-office too. However it was not The “Karate” Kid, choosing Chinese money for the production and therefore changing the martial art to Kung Fu and setting itself in China.
However with $400 million banked from an earlier effort, and Cobra Kai doing huge numbers on Netflix, it is with a tedious sense of inevitability that the news comes that Sony would want to return to the well. Even more tediously inevitable is the apparent missing of the point, completely, again as they did with the 2010 remake.
Murphy’s Multiverse reports that Sony have a new iteration in active development and are seeking cast members.
Apparently they are looking to cast a teenager for the lead in the role, referred to as Li, who can speak both Mandarin and English. So Mandarin, a Chinese language, for a movie titled after the Japanese martial art of Karate?
Seems a bit racist to us. Are Sony saying all Asians are the same with their chock-socky fighting so who really gives a shit? Again? Culturally ignorant and insensitive. His character description apparently lists him as:
“…small for his age, but tough, smart, and scrappy. A skilled fighter who has had his life uprooted to Brooklyn, New York.”
A synopsis doing the rounds says Li dealing with a past tragedy that drives a wedge between himself and his mother. Li will be the one training someone else. He meets fellow fellow high school student Mia and Li soon finds himself training her father, Victor, in the ways of Kung Fu.
Rob Lieber (Peter Rabbit) is apparently writing the script of this new Karate Kid entry that is not about Karate.