The Karate Kid set for June 11, 2010 release

This summer, get set for The Karate Kid. Directed by Harald Zwart, The Karate Kid is a remake of the 1984 film of the same name.

Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in The Karate Kid

Photo: Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan in The Karate Kid

Starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith), The Karate Kid is the story of a 12-year-old boy who masters the martial arts to teach the bullies in his school a lesson and win the heart of the girl he likes.

The Karate Kid – produced by Will Smith – will be released in theaters in the United States on June 11, 2010.

The movie has been “refashioned as a star vehicle for Jaden Smith” and borrows “elements from the original plot, wherein a bullied youth learns to stand up for himself with the help of an eccentric mentor.” Principal photography for The Karate Kid took place in Beijing, China.

Dre Parker (Jaden Smith), 12, is a popular kid in Detroit, Michigan, where he lives with his single mother Sherry Parker (Taraji P. Henson). A career move by Sherry forces them to shift to Beijing, where Dre develops a crush on a school mate Mei Ying. Cultural differences and Ying’s father’s disapproval make friendship tough for Dre and Ying.

Dre’s attraction to Ying also brings forth attention from infamous bully leader, Cheng, who nicknames Dre “The Karate Kid” – since Dre’s knowledge of the martial arts form is severely limited.

The gang of bullies makes his life miserable, until he runs into Mr. Han (Jackie Chan). Mr. Han makes a deal with the bullies’ kung-fu master that if they let Dre train they can fight Dre in an upcoming tournament. Quirky Mr. Han, who is also a kung-fu master, teaches Dre kung-fu through unconventional yet effective techniques. The climax of The Karate Kid has Dre Parker battling Cheng and his friends in a grand martial arts tournament.

The official theme song of The Karate Kid is Never Say Never, performed by Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith.

The 1984 film, The Karate Kid, was directed by John G. Avildsen and starred Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, and Elisabeth Shue. The story of an underdog who emerges triumphant, The Karate Kid told the story of high school senior Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) who moves with his mother (Randee Heller) from Newark, New Jersey, to Reseda, a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. Their apartment’s handyman is an eccentric Okinawan immigrant, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita).

Daniel falls for a high school cheerleader (Elisabeth Shue), but faces trouble in the form of her ex-boyfriend (William Zabka), a karate student. Johnny is the best student at the Cobra Kai dojo, where he learns a vicious form of martial arts.

After repeated beatings from Johnny and his friends, Daniel is rescued by Miyagi who defeats all five Cobra Kai easily. Miyagi agrees to teach Daniel the martial arts form, and a close bond develops between the two.

The Karate Kid spawned a franchise of related items and memorabilia. Three sequels also followed – The Karate Kid, Part II (1986); The Karate Kid, Part III (1989); and 1994’s The Next Karate Kid (in which Hilary Swank played as Mr. Miyagi’s new student).

Will Smith’s The Karate Kid does not feature the modern interpretation of karate; the new film has the protagonist learning kung fu.

It is likely that the film will be called The Karate Kid in the United States and The Kung Fu Kid in Asia.

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