2010’s “The Karate Kid” Movie: Cast and Characters

Credit: The Karate Kid

When the trailer for The Karate Kid (2010) first came out, it was thought to be another sequel to The Karate Kid series. However, the storyline is set in an entirely different fictional universe. The movie was created as a direct remake of the original 1984, The Karate Kid.

The film has no reference to the Miyagi-verse and uses Kungfu instead of the original karate. Although a sequel was announced after the movie’s release, it is yet to see the light of day. However, there has been an official announcement for the release of a new Karate Kid film in 2024. The announcement states the movie is already in development.

Even for fans of the original Karate Kid movie series, the 2010 film was a breath of fresh air. Critically acclaimed, the film did exceptionally well at the Box Office. With the production set in China, the movie grossed $359.1 million on a $40 million budget.

The movie’s cast and characters were based on the characters in the original film. The choice of actors and actresses undoubtedly helped to make it a success.

Dre Parker (Jaden Smith)


credit: The Karate Kid

Jaden Smith’s character, Dre Parker, is based on Daniel LaRusso from the original movie. Dre is the movie’s main protagonist. Dre recently moved to China with his widowed mom. He meets and befriends Meiying but gets challenged by Cheng.

Dre meets Mr. Han after getting beaten by Cheng and his gang. Together, Dre and Mr. Han would get enrolled in a fighting tournament. The movie is centered around the times and life of Dre Parker.

Mr. Han (Jackie Chan)

Mr. Han

credit: The Karate Kid

Mr. Han is a Chinese maintenance worker. The character is based on the original Mr. Miyagi. Mr. Han comes into the picture when he sees Dre being beaten by Cheng and his gang. He reassures Dre that Kungfu is used for good.

However, Mr. Han has his demons to fight. He lost his wife and daughter and continues to relive the trauma. Determined to help him through his pain, Dre stays committed to Mr. Han’s Kungfu teachings and enrolls in the tournament.

Renowned actor and martial arts specialist, Jackie Chan, plays Mr. Han.

Sherry Parker (Taraji P. Henson)


credit: The Karate Kid

Taraji P. Henson plays a character based on Lucille LaRusso. Sherry Parker is the mother of Dre and a widow. She recently moved from Detroit to Beijing on a work transfer. Raising Dre alone is hard enough, but dealing with his attitude and adapting to a new life is harder.

When she discovers Mr. Han is teaching him Kungfu, she’s first opposed to it. However, she would later support him in winning the tournament.

Meiying (Wenwen Han)


credit: The Karate Kid

Meiying’s character is based on Ali Mills. She’s the first friend Dre makes in Beijing and his love interest. Dre drags her away from school, thinking her audition will be the next day. When her parents come to get her after the audition is moved forward, they decide Dre is a bad influence on their daughter.

When Dre tenders an apology in Mandarin to Meiying’s father, he accepts and allows Meiying to continue being his friend. Meiying stayed a loyal friend to Dre throughout the Kungfu tournament.

Cheng (Zhenwei Wang)


credit: The Karate Kid

The character is based on Johnny Lawrence’s character from the original Karate Kid. When Cheng sees Dre for the first time, he dislikes Dre’s friendship with Meiying. However, when Dre throws a bucket of dirty water on Cheng and his hand, it’s enough reason to get his pound of flesh on the young American.

Cheng continued to be Dre’s nemesis, even competing against him at the Kungfu tournament final. However, when Dre refuses to give up and eventually wins the tournament, Cheng’s dislike turns to respect.

Master Li (Yu Rongguang)

Master Li

credit: The Karate Kid

Master Li is the Sensei at the Fighting Dragon studio. He has taught his students, like Cheng, to show no mercy and always be ruthless with Kungfu. When Mr. Han heals Dre, he takes him to the Fighting Dragon studio to meet with Master Li.

Master Li refuses to accept his students did anything wrong and threatens to deal with Dre and Mr. Han. To this end, Mr. Han chooses to teach Dre how to use good to defeat evil Kungfu.

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