By

Ralph Macchio

Last month Variety confirmed that Jackie Chan was in final negotiations to portray the martial arts mentor in producer Will Smith’s KARATE KID remake. While at Sundance, MTV caught up with the original Karate Kid Ralph Macchio who wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about the idea.

“I don’t know,” said Macchio. “I think Jackie Chan, we all assumed that’s where they were going to go — unless they were thinking of just casting an unknown.”

“The thing is whether Jackie Chan gives you Jackie Chan, or if Jackie Chan does a, you know, real stretch to the character.”

Macchio went on to explain that he and fellow cast and crew on the original KARATE KID had similar concerns about what Pat Morita, a sitcom actor could possibly do for the role. “You know, the great thing about Pat Morita is he played [serious when he had to]. He was Arnold from HAPPY DAYS! We said the same thing [when he was cast]: ‘Oh, this guy isn’t going to be [dramatic enough]. They wanted like, Toshiro Mifune or some great actor.”

“And Pat Morita comes in and just embodies this character,” recalled Macchio. “He had the humor, he had the comedic chops, but he had the richness of what the human part of that character needed, which is what made it such a great performance.”

With the production headed to China, Jackie Chan likely to fill Morita’s shoes and 10-year-old Jaden Smith taking on the role of then 23-year-old Ralph Macchio, the KARATE KID remake is likely to see some significant changes but Macchio ultimately voiced support.

“I think Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, with a good script, and all the moons in alignment? It could be another big fat hit.”

MTV says they have more comments from Macchio, including his thoughts on doing a cameo in the film.

The untitled KARATE KID remake is scheduled to begin production this summer in Beijing.

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  • BruisedLo

    i think ralph macchio needs to start a petition… haha. go daniel san!!! lol! will smith needs to be crane kicked and drum punched. breathe-in, breathe-out, wax-on, wax-off, smack! a remake my ass, its more of a inspiration. they have a chinese and a black kid… call it rush hour 4.

    the karate kid is a good film, but its not extreme on certain areas. the movie could of tackled so many things, that it would of underline KARATE, and became a instant classic. we get a little history of the fighting art, and daniel learns basic stuff, so he’s very rigid if you ask me.

    for a good remake, it needs a combination of sonny chiba’s street fighter, and korean film the art of fighting.

  • 107

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the kid saw the movie and said “daddy, I want to be the next KK – can I! can I!” “Sure son, whatever you want.” Thus begins the exploitation of a classic. Expect wire fu, tight cuts, the basic crap designed to hide the fact that the actor is unable to fight or take a hit.

  • SifuLeroyGreene

    I think this will be really cool. Jackie Chan is a very good actor. People don’t know this but he is a trained actor from Beijing Opera and has had many dramatic hk roles. I don’t see how he can hurt this film at all. Now I hope the movie is well written so both actors can shine. Whatever Will Smith puts his hands on, usually turns to gold. Much love to Will and his family doing big things. Now in closing I don’t think we should talk about him as far as dads hooking their kids up. In the U.S. that seems to be the culture whether its: getting kids into Ivy League universities, handing them their companies or even becoming President despite qualifications. Lets check out the movie before we discredit it. But I hope we see a good movie with a good story and very strong martial arts performances. Peace

  • http://na Jacke chan fan

    I am very happy with it since it is going to be made in Beijing which will include great kickboxing by the hong kong team. I have great expectations for this movie. Jackie chan is a great master of kungfu, master different styles of wushu and kungfu with skills in dragon fist, snake amd crane, 5 animal styles, wing chun and soo many so i do believe that he will bring a fresh ideas of the training scenes will be a knockouts. I know for sure the fights scenes will be off the chain as long as it is not comedy in it. He is diverse in the 36 crazy fist of kungfu, wire kungfu. This man is a martial art veteran.

  • BruisedLo

    I don’t believe this! Have a little respect for THE KARATE KID movie, and for Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) who passed away in 2005! And for the martial art itself KARATE! When was the last time we’ve seen any real Karate in action, other than Kung Fu? It’s no remake, they’re just going to take elements from the film. They’ll say anything to get attention. You really think Chan and Smith can bring that magic Macchio and Morita did?

    Jackie Chan, who I’m a fan of, who was trained in Peking Opera, (not Beijing, you must have Jet Li on your mind) working with Jaden Smith, it’s probably gonna turn into a Comedy. Do you people even care what type of martial art we’ll see in the film? Talk about no respect. Praising Jackie and Smith won’t do shit. It’s all about the film, and what they bring to the table. What if they got Lateef Crowder to play Mr. Miyagi, and he starts teaching Jaden Capoeira, then lies that its Karate? The word retarded comes to mind.

    Wanna know how many similar martial art underdog films are out there? You can even consider them remakes of The Karate Kid. Let me name a few… No Retreat No Surrender, The Last Dragon, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Drunken Tai Chi, Drunken Master, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Sidekicks, The Art of Fighting, The King of the Kickboxers, American Shaolin, etc. etc. Ew ew I forgot, The Forbidden Kingdom, with Jet and Jackie. I just loved the guy who played Daniel Larusso, and Miyagi was split into two Chinese men. Oh lets not forget Rocky… if Boxing is a martial art, then this is a remake too.

  • GrandMaster T

    I though this thing was called The Karate Kid, not the Kung-Fu Kid. Me hears the slow dripping of bullshit. Jaden Smith needs to be slowly tortured into giving up acting- he is the cinematic equivilent of a swarm of mosquitoes.

  • ZenShiite

    BruisedLo… Um, Peking and Beijing are different transliterations of the same name.

  • BruisedLo’s Daddy

    lol what are you so mad at Will Smith for? 500 grand says he’d beat the everloving crap out of you all the way up and down the block. not only is he in better shape and stronger than your pudgy, keyboard warrior typing, dorito eating arse, but probably has better grasp on what he’s doing professionally than you do. So kindly shut up please.

  • BruisedLo

    Sorry I’m not from China.

    500 grand that I beat your ass and Will Smith who doesn’t even do martial arts. You’re Will Smith’s left nut or what? He’s your blackanese god? Keyboard warrior typing? wtf? What does this have to do with anything? I’m no fat lazy ass dorito eating shit head like you. I bet you can’t even jog a mile.

    Smith has grasp on what he’s doing professionally with The Karate Kid? You think so? Are you sure you not on crack daddy? Why am I mad at Will Smith? DUDE I DON’T HATE THE GUY BUT SINCE WHEN WAS HE A MARTIAL ARTIST??????? HE DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT MARTIAL ARTS AND HE’S DOING A REMAKE OF THE KARATE KID. DON’T YOU SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT?????

  • reefer

    Wow, this thread has gotten outa hand.

    Ralph Macchio is not a martial artist either.

    Most of the movies listed as remakes of Karate Kid where made before Karate Kid! Rocky? Drunken Master? Snake in Eagles Shadow?

    Jackie Chan is certainly equipped to pull off this role. I guess I might question the age of Jaden Smith more. What is he? 9 or 10? I think the fans of this film will want to see something authentic and possibly a little more intense than the original. With a child actor so young, I think the level of violence would have to be tempered. Will it be a softer children/family film or will it appeal to the original fans too?

  • soulborn

    haha you guys.

    This will come either we like it or not. i think the result will be watchable but easy to forget about. Like most of the new movies with Jackie Chan in them.. Drunken master 2 was the last movie i remember well. I loved his movies before that.
    Something happened either i got older or the movies have been to Americanized. I am watching movies to be entertained not to support an actor

  • BruisedLo

    So what? Pat Morita is not a martial artist either.

    That’s why I said ‘similar martial art underdog films’ and ‘consider them remakes’. I already knew some of the films I said were made before The Karate Kid. Just that this film is American, and it got more of a cult following. But in Asia, if you let me exaggerate, there is like millions of the underdog films with the teacher and student. If you wanted me to get technical, I shouldn’t had said those older films then. I guess I’m not suppose to go Chris Tucker on anyone here.

    Obviously you non-martial artist don’t care about the art. What they say must be true, the audience only care about big stars and fantastic sets, and good story. Who cares if Daniel is black, and Miyagi is Chinese, and we see kung fu fighting rather than karate, and as long as you american viewers are happy, that’s what matters. But truthfully I believe it’s not going to work, and it probably won’t make as much money as the original, and its not gonna gain that cult following, because the bond between Morita and Macchio is special. They have a connection that only works with them two, and their hard work made them stars. Slapping Jackie and Jaden’s head on their bodies ain’t gonna change a thing.

    I don’t think the fans want to see a remake. Are you even a fan? Do you have the film on DVD? If a remake is going to be made, they better use the right people. I could see a remake in Japanese Animation, and it would actually work.

    Haha thats the other thing, Jaden is like 10 years old. So how much violence are we gonna see… right? What about the brilliant music by
    Bill Conti from the original film? Are we gonna hear it in the remake or we’ll hear Will Smith’s rap crap? Like if they did a remake of Rocky, will we hear the old Rocky theme? lol. What about the headband? See? There is so many things in The Karate Kid that shouldn’t be tampered with.

    I wouldn’t be mad if they got Robert Mark Kamen, who has a background in martial arts, who wrote all The Karate Kid films, to write the remake. I bet he wouldn’t do it, but if he did, hopefully he’ll some how make the script work for Jackie and Jaden.

  • danmye

    BruisedLo,

    Sounds like you are more rascist than anything else. You haven’t even seen the movie yet, but have already concocted the most ludicrous, rascist scenarios as to how the movie might play out.

    Did you see the “Pursuit Of Happiness?” The Smiths have been associated with nothing less than A level film product. There is no reason to see anything different here.

    BTW, the thought of any non-Asian character learning an Asian art, from an Asian martial arts instructor, is just plain culturally ludicrous and patronizing (the foriegner doing Asian culture a favor by learning apsects of it as something given value by a foriegner’s interest). Outside of the Drama, there was nothing special about watching a nerdy, effeminite Westerner learning “Wax-On; Wax-Off.” My suspension of disbelief remained because, frankly, Macchio is about as “MACHO” (pun intended) as a crossdresser’s Cinderella gown. He had about as much fluidity as a rock, and as much prowess as an aged mule.

    In all likelihood, Jackie Chan has more acting ability in his left pinckey than you’ll have in forty lifetimes (even if you started off as Robert Di Nero himself). God rest his soul, but Ancestor Morita was no Mofune in the physical department either. Even dummying down the stuntmen’s ability, and Action Director Pat Johnson’s choreoghraphy, neither Macchio nor Morita looked physically proficient enough to carry out the film’s physical requirements. Since the film was “The Karate Kid,” and not “The Dead Poet’s Society,” having talented actors able to perform as the content dictated would have been a great part of the product.

    Oh, and last I checked, there wasn’t much on actual history regarding indepth knowledge on Karate so, other than your nostalgic love of Ralph Femininio, and the supposedly mystical bond between SHE and Morita, it wouldn’t matter what art form was substituded.

    And, yes, boxing was once a martial art, now reduced to martial sport, the same way aspects of Karate are headed if not careful.

  • BruisedLo

    What the hell. No I’m not racist, it’s just a gut feeling, but I’m sure I’m right. Its people like you that drag things down, but maybe after the remake flops… What then? You’ll eat your words? Shithead. You know what, that’s true, none of us have seen it yet, so I shouldn’t come to my assumption.

    Oh you have that much faith in the Smiths? Just because they did The Pursuit Of Happiness? Let’s hope they’ll dig real deep into the art for the remake of The Karate Kid then.

    “the thought of any non-Asian character learning an Asian art, from an Asian martial arts instructor, is just plain culturally ludicrous and patronizing (the foriegner doing Asian culture a favor by learning apsects of it as something given value by a foriegner’s interest).”

    Sounds like you’re the arrogant racist one. Its douches like you who feel too superior to think it can be taken serious.

    What’s the point of making fun of Macchio in a film that was done way back in 1984? Ever thought they had a concept in mind? And wtf HAHA why are you overpowering me with Jackie Chan???? Oh good excuse just to bash on me, how pathetic. Yes you’re right, those two weren’t very physical, Pat Johnson said so in the DVD. Watch the making of it on DVD so you get their full vision, and see what they had to offer, so you would STFU. They have the right people, if you think they didn’t, go agrue with them then. Blast your ass to the past and you do the casting. Your pointless making fun of them is going no where.

    The only history in the film was when Miyagi saves Daniel, and gives a mini info. Even though they didn’t go deep into Karate, which I felt they should of, the film was successful anyway and started a trend with American viewers during that time. Who said I had a nostalgic love for the fictional teacher and student? The millions made the film a hit, and the characters became icons. If you think they shouldn’t had been, then start a Anti-karate kid campaign. Just because I’m defending these actors, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t matter what art form should be shown. You dare say shit like this obviously you don’t care what style they show, as long as it looks impressive. Don’t bother coming to this site then, because you seem to not give a crap about martial arts. If those characters can’t be taken serious with you, yeah the art wouldn’t matter! Why don’t you go fight with a old asian grandmaster, and try your best to beat the hell out of him. Let’s see how many times you’ll end up on the floor embarrassing yourself. That might actually make you show some respect.

    We get a little history, and your basic white belt level of martial arts in the original film. If only they went deeper into the Karate, and dealing with bullies, and showed what works to whats right, that would put the film even more on edge to capture the hearts of people like you who wants to see only threatening characters haha, to convince you enough to go along with their fairy tale.

    Mr. Kamen has a nice concept, but it sets up to add in more elements. So for a remake, if they take ideas from the Korean film The Art of Fighting, and Sonny Chiba’s Streetfighter, it should work. The Korean film plays out like The Karate Kid, but it deals more with bullies, and in Chiba’s Streetfighter series, we see actual Karate in action.

    Here’s the other thing, Kamen did martial arts since he was 17, and his sensei is Okinawan. Kamen’s teacher’s teacher, whose the founder of a style that I don’t know how to say in Japanese, but Miyagi’s name is part of that fighting style. So out of respect, if a remake is gonna be done, at least hire a Japanese to play Mr. Miyagi. Now for a douche bag viewer, they don’t care if this character is played by a Chinese or a Thai, but the fans do.

  • Anonymous

    alot of people getting pretty bent out of shape over a movie that’s not even in production yet.dorks!!!

  • akatok1

    I’m sorry but I know this movie is not going to be a hit. Will Smith’s son isn’t ready to deal with a film like this. He’s like 10 years old. If he’s going to do this role, he better go train for like 6 months so that the fight scenes be good. And Jackie, he’s done ! There’s nothing else he can do. He completely tore his body apart for the sake of film. I’m sorry but he needs to retire from acting and go back to directing. That’s where he had complete control of everything. I’m telling you they are gonna screw him over. They’re going to let him design the fights. If I was doing the remake, I would make it a little bit gritter.

  • danmye

    Briusedlo,

    Don’t even know where to begin with your bullshizzle. First, words like ‘blackanese,’ and the rest of that bulllshit you kickin’ are what they are: rascist bullshit. THE FAKE ASS supposedly “oriental” tracks that pathetically keep pace with the equally boring, uninspired wax on/off movements of your lovely girlfriend, Rachel Bicchio, in the original homoerotica you are calling a classic, are nothing less than puke worthy.

    I am of African descent-check the username, google it, and you’ll have some idea of my martial arts background and interests. I said the MA would not matter because neither actor properly displayed much real Karate in this movie. In fact, the movie would have been better served without having Karate in it, since it works more as a coming of age film than anything else.

    Your bullshit ass comments about a Lateef Crowder scenario, rap musical acore, ad nauseum, show you to be what you are: a dickhead rascist pissed off that some black guy’s starring in a remake of a film YOU deem as a gem; in fact, how the hell do you know that Kamen’s concept would be better? You don’t, that’s how.

    Who gives a flyin’ fuc that the original made millions relative to the film’s martial arts connection and action content thereof. Lau Sifu’s films grossed no where near this crap, but regarding history and content, including action design, are the best of the genre. Speaking of which, did I miss something, shithead, or is this site kungfucinema. Why are you bicchion about Karate content on a kungfu cinema site in the first place? Fuccin’ idiot.

    As for being rascist-nah, I’m tired of the rascist white westerner learns Asian/non-white artform, beats the bad Asian classmate/triad/Yakuza antagonist then fucs the Asian village beauti-queen bullshit that permeates this subgenre whitesploitation/Asian sex fetish film. I guess having Pat Morita speak in the perfectly fluent dialect of the American English that was his, and having such a master based in LA, wouldn’t have worked with the Rice Oroni crowd of viewers that masturbated off this shit.

    Ah, well, more fortune cookies pweaase.

  • shaolin81

    hello mr miyagi was actually true life character together with 4 others who all made famous them selfs starting school of tode or nahate in japan where they come from okinawa these men were gichin funakozi(shotokan karate) gojin motobu(goju ryu karate) chojun miyagi and two others they named art of okinawan hand to karate (empty hand) after mowing to japan s main islands fact is that okinawan peoples was not japanese but original nation of japan called ainu nation they were ethnic and wery cruelly treated across to history by the japan nations chinese shippers where had seweral monks of skilled fighters etc thought okinawan s tode thats why the original name is still tode meaning CHINESE HAND so if they do some kungfu look alike this remake movie whats the difference coz all karate forms are also founded in chinese arts like sam kiu from wing chung style is one of basic karate katas called saam chin and there lots of more all the arts are different looking ways wich lead all to one and same destination i dont want to bark anyone so please maybe something my writing is falsely remembered but please dont scold me thanjk you

  • BruisedLo

    danmye,

    For chist sake, if you’re offend by that word, I WON’T SAY IT THEN. It wasn’t suppose to be racist. I heard Chris Tucker say it… lol.

    Oh heavenly father, now this douche is going into the music and still insulting Macchio. Do you see me insulting Will Smith or his family? And I’m not using these stars to bash on you.

    The film doesn’t need to be a classic to you or me. But maybe to other people, the film must mean something to them, and they’re the ones keeping the spirit alive. If you hate the original film that much, you’ve said enough, no need to trash it more.

    Well if you want to really pick it apart, yeah Karate wasn’t properly shown. When I watch Sonny Chiba’s stuff… I notice the quality in his martial arts, and I see them do real Karate punches/kicks/throws etc. No no, without the art, the film wouldn’t had got to where it’s at. Why people keep bringing it back? Why was there a video game made? Why Will Smith doing a remake? So even though there isn’t much Karate, if it was taken out, including Karate in the title of the film. And the movie just came out the way it did, without mentioning the art at all. I bet it would of still caught the eyes of millions.

    I must of hit a nerve with my bullshit. Ever seen a movie call THE LAST DRAGON? What if they got a white to play Leroy Green???!!! …F#!% because Kamen study martial arts, and if he wasn’t a good writer, he be out of work, and they wouldn’t had done Karate Kid sequels! He wrote Kiss of the Dragon, and The Transporter.

    The millions who do give a F made it a hit. Lau who? Lau Kar Leung? Now you’re bringing in someone whose been doing martial art films forever. Leave the Eastern talents alone, this is about a Western film. And we know those hollywood people, less Asians, less martial arts.

    Now you’re just being harsh. This site goes through any martial art films. You’re the one that seemed to be dissing martial arts on a martial art film site! If they only gave news and reviews on Kung Fu films “ONLY”, then this article shouldn’t had been here. No Ong Bak review, no Matrix review etc.

    Alright already, I get where you’re coming from. But in The Karate Kid, the kid doesn’t even have sex with the beauty queen. Those whitesploitation martial arts B-movies must be on your mind. Wtf, sounds like you’re a sick freak, and quit being so vulgar!

  • danmye

    This site was dedicated to those patronizing, specifically, the Kung Fu martial arts genre, with further note to other branches of Asian action cinema. That was actually no point whatsoever in a film about the protagonist’s relationship with a growth process through Karate wherein the resulting physical prowess was all but absent. Only a Westerner could suspend such disbelief as “believe” that this unathletic actor could remotely represent Karate on screen, in a well choreoghraphed screen variant.

    Like I said: you’re a rascist (by even bringing ‘Bruce Leroy’ into the discussion), and the only nerves you’re hitting are your own. As a person of African descent, if I am going to patronize martial arts genres involving said peoples, it would be of an African involved in an African derived artform, like the ones about which I am involved/knowledgeable (Libanda, Ladja/Danmye, Gbada ritual combat of the Dundunba, et al), not Egg Foo Young eating African wannabes. Will is from Philly like me, and has been around when we (African-Americans)went to theatres like the Locust and Capital to see Hong Kong Kung Fu cinema before those theatres were closed down, and would have been exposed to it further on Blackbelt Theatre which aired, here, on Channel 29. Further,who told you I liked the Last Dragon? Likewise, not one black Karate film, to my knowledge, had the lead beating up on fellow Asian students customarily stamped as bad and, then, boink the Asian village darling.

    Those “millions” about whom you speak don’t even bother with the genre, so your point is worthless. The only fans I care about are the ones patronizing this genre. The loyal ones who went to the theatres and drive-ins to popularize the genre here when the now Johnny Come Latelees considered it “ChopSockey.”

    If you do not consider it a classic than what are you whinin’ about? I didn’t know that criticizing Ancestor Morita’s lack of action/screen prowess, or accepting Will’s remake was tantamount to religious blasphemy? What spirit is being kept alive. Count the number of threads, on this site, that people are discussing this “Holy Grail” of a Karateless film versus other films and holle’ back.

    There was no Karate in it (worth noting), so it is quite a stretch to think that it was the Karate that was the draw. Yeah, I suppose for my wife’s sake I could watch it so we could cuddle up an’ cry together like two blubbering idiots, but if I am looking for something with it all, I’ll watch Fighter In The Wind. I eat like a man, not like a lil’ nerdy faggot so I don’t give reverence to lil faggy films, especially in a male oriented genre of film. Why are you so hell bent on defending this non-active “action” film? And which Miyagi am I to reverence: the real or REEL one?

    No, this is about a Karate themed film that is absent of the a great portion of the subject matter, one which you have the gaul to believe that someone has to remain true to a film that was not even true to itself.

    And you’re calling me a freak while reprimanding me about vulgarity-check your comments above before you talk about vulgarity, and give your girlfriend Rachel a kiss for me.

  • bOoMpOw

    Kung Fu and Karate are most definitely different. you know I’m no Karate expert but does Karate have a Crane like stance like how Daniel-san did in the original Karate Kid????? Or is that Kung Fu?

  • aldous

    I've always wondered if Ralph Macchio ever took genuine Japanese karate lessons before making The Karate Kid. He kind of struck me as being an effete martial artist from beginning to end, even with his victory. Many of the moves he displayed in the movie could not be classified under any of the great schools of karate. The so-called “crane” technique, embellished in the film with a travesty of Oriental martial art philosophy as mouthed by Pat Morita, and which features in the movie's climactic tournament fight, does not belong, as far as I know, to the traditions of karate, and is closer to a Chinese kung-fu stance. But even being kung-fu in style does not recommend it as a useful and effective technique. It looks ridiculous, and only an amateur would be suckered into being a victim of it when executed. With Jackie Chan reprising Morita's role, we could finally have some genuine martial arts feature in a rites-of-passage story, laced with lots of humor and wisdom as only Chan can dish out. But then, the remake would have to be called THE KUNG FU KID. (I wrote this before scrolling down. I see that other readers have comments similar to mine.)

  • aldous

    I've always wondered if Ralph Macchio ever took genuine Japanese karate lessons before making The Karate Kid. He kind of struck me as being an effete martial artist from beginning to end, even with his victory. Many of the moves he displayed in the movie could not be classified under any of the great schools of karate. The so-called “crane” technique, embellished in the film with a travesty of Oriental martial art philosophy as mouthed by Pat Morita, and which features in the movie's climactic tournament fight, does not belong, as far as I know, to the traditions of karate, and is closer to a Chinese kung-fu stance. But even being kung-fu in style does not recommend it as a useful and effective technique. It looks ridiculous, and only an amateur would be suckered into being a victim of it when executed. With Jackie Chan reprising Morita's role, we could finally have some genuine martial arts feature in a rites-of-passage story, laced with lots of humor and wisdom as only Chan can dish out. But then, the remake would have to be called THE KUNG FU KID. (I wrote this before scrolling down. I see that other readers have comments similar to mine.)