Black Karate Kid…

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Will we see the new version of Johnny Lawrence’s “sweep the leg”? An extended trailer has been released for what Sony hopes will be one of their summer feel-good hits: an updated version of “The Karate Kid.”

Jaden Smith — best known for his role in “The Pursuit of Happyness” and for being the offspring of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — occupies the title role made famous by Ralph Macchio in the 1984 original.

The trailer does offer hints of elements carried over from the original, but the central plot seems diametrically opposed to that of its predecessor — almost literally.

The new “Kid” centers on a young man trying to adjust from the culture shock of moving from the United States to Beijing, China; the original “The Karate Kid” centered on a young man having to adjust with the culture shock after moving from Newark, NJ to … Reseda, CA. Come to think of it: Both of these transitions, on a philosophical level, might be considered equally drastic.

Jackie Chan takes over the role of Mr. Miyagi — now named Mr. Han — Pat Morita’s wise sage who teaches his young student karate through everyday life lessons. Chan has been best known for roles featuring martial arts and amazing stunt work. Before Morita played the role, he was best known for playing restaurant owner Arnold on “Happy Days.” Morita was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance, losing to Haing S. Ngor for “The Killing Fields.”

In the remake, Smith plays “Dre,” a boy who is continuously picked on at his new school until he is rescued by a seemingly mild-mannered maintenance man who is actually a karate master (Mr Han). In another all-too-familiar, yet completely different film element, Dre trains by running on the Great Wall of China. In the original, Macchio’s Daniel trained by waxing old cars and staining wooden fences.

The updated “Karate Kid” preview does attempt to woo fans of the original in its final scene: Mr. Han is seen attempting to catch a fly with chopsticks, a la Mr. Miyagi, then abandoning the utensils for a more useful fly-swatter. Even more appealing for fans of the original: Joe Esposito’s iconic “You’re the Best” from the original film plays in the background — which is even more impressive when you consider the song is not even available on iTunes. In the original “Karate Kid,” Mr. Miyagi noted, “Man who catch fly with chopsticks accomplish anything.”

If Han ever does catch that fly, perhaps he can accomplish anything, too — even successfully updating a beloved classic.

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