Production began Saturday in Beijing on the long-gestating update to the 1984 hit “The Karate Kid” from Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, Columbia Pictures and the state-run China Film Group.

“Kung Fu Kid,” directed by Harald Zwart, stars Smith’s son Jaden in the starring role originated by Ralph Macchio, while Jackie Chan plays the kung-fu master/mentor who trains the bullied boy to be an accomplished fighter.

Chan and Smith, along with Smith’s parents and sister Willow, attended a traditional Chinese ceremony to mark the start of the shoot Saturday. Photos on China Film Group’s movie news Web site show the Smith family and Chan holding incense sticks.

Smith, Chan, Zwart and others symbolically removed a piece of red cloth covering a movie camera, after which Smith gave Chan a hug, according to video posted on Chinese news Web site His hair done in a huge Afro and wearing a bright red track jacket and blue pants, Jaden Smith stood and waved when he was introduced. His father ruffled his hair when he sat down.

Chan said on his Web site he also attended the younger Smith’s 11th birthday party last Wednesday, where he and Will Smith posed for pictures with young performers wearing red and yellow costumes with dragon patterns.

Ken Stovitz, one of Will Smith’s partners in the production company Overbrook Entertainment, said at the ceremony Saturday that “Kung Fu Kid” will be set in modern-day Beijing. China Film Group chairman Han Sanping said shooting will last three months.

Will Jaden be certified goon status once this movie drops? Share your thoughts below!

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