Ralph Macchio might be the original “Karate Kid,” but he told MTV News on Monday at the Sundance Film Festival that Jaden Smith has the moves to fill his robes in the upcoming remake.
“The kid’s got chops,” he told MTV of Will Smith’s son, who’s set to star in the film. “That story will work forever, when well-told. So, it makes sense in that respect.”
But he said Jaden, 10, might be too young for the role, which originally included not just karate, but a love story.
“I don’t know where the romantic story-arc goes [with Jaden] at that age,” he said.
Still, it’s the role of Mr. Miyagi, which earned an Oscar nomination for star Pat Morita, which concerns him most.
“From my personal view, the filling the void of what Mr. Miyagi was – and the magic of that character – is going to be the toughest task,” he said. According to a Variety report, Jackie Chan is in talks for the role.
Ralph noted another potential problem with the planned remake — unlike some remade films, “The Karate Kid” remains a pop culture phenomenon.
“Reruns of the movie play a lot on television, so the now-generation knows it,” he said. “It’s not like ‘Ocean’s 11.’ When they remade that, no one had seen the other one in 30 years.”
Whatever happens with the new version, Ralph was happy that many fans are sticking with the 1984 original.
“It feels good that the public feels you don’t touch certain things,” he said. “Some times you go back to that, and probably shouldn’t.”