"The Karate Kid" reboot project, which has been retitled to "Kung Fu Kid", has finally begun its principal photography. The Associated Press reported that the shooting for this co-production between the state-run China Film Group and Columbia Pictures has been kicked off in Beijing, the Chinese capital on Saturday, July 11, and will last three months.
In a phone interview, China Film Group spokesman Weng Li recalled that before the shooting took place, Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, the stars of the re-imagining, along with Smith's parents and sister Willow, attended a traditional Chinese ceremony to mark the start of the shoot. At the ceremony, Will Smith, Jaden's father and one of the film's producers, together with Chan, director Harald Zwart and others symbolically removed a piece of red cloth covering a movie camera.
The official ceremony for the start of shooting can be viewed via Sina.com.
"Kung Fu Kid" is a remake of the 1980s "The Karate Kid". Screenwriter Steven Conrad has been hired to work on Chris Murphy's script. In the remake, Jaden Smith will play a boy who moves to Beijing with his mother. There, he'll encounter a bully situation similar to what Daniel LaRusso, the main character in "Karate Kid" faced. However, instead of being called Daniel, Jaden's character will be named Dre.
The movie will also see Dre getting a kung fu lesson from martial arts master Mr. Han, portrayed by Jackie Chan. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" star Taraji P. Henson has been picked up to play Jaden's on-screen mother. "Kung Fu Kid" is scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters June 11, 2010.