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Why remake 'The Karate Kid' (especially when you don't have Pat Morita)?

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Jaydensmith_l

Jaydensmith_lAccording to Variety, Jaden Smith, Will’s son, is set to star in a remake of The Karate Kid. Now usually, I laugh at people when they get upset over a planned redux. (Here’s an idea: Don’t watch it! Problem solved!) But this one got to me.

I understand why you’d want a new generation to see The Karate Kid: They’ve got Cobra Kai problems that they need to learn how to deal with, too. But the thing is, they are seeing it. I remember chatting with Ralph Macchio when The Karate Kid Collection DVD was released in 2005 and him telling me how often he hears that parents, who were fans of the film 20+ years ago, are now showing it to their children. The movie still holds up, and, more importantly, it has the late Pat Morita, who earned an Oscar nomination as Mr. Miyagi (and who tears up while talking about the role on that aforementioned DVD). Why would you want to show a child a Karate Kid that doesn’t have Morita?!

So am I just biased because I wrote Pat Morita’s remembrance for EW when he passed in November 2005, as well as the Karate Kid entries on our lists of the 50 best high school movies and the 20 Movie Endings We Love, or do you agree? And what planned remake has elicited the strongest negative reaction from you?

More on Teen Cinema:
50 Best High School Movies, Nos. 50-26
The 25 All-Time Best High School Movies

addCredit(“Kevin Winter/Getty Images”)

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