At FHM, we’re all for you waxing off. Or waxing on, for that matter, because it means that you’re a fan of The Karate Kid, the 1984 pint-sized version of Rocky directed by that film’s John G. Avildsen (hey, if a formula works…). It helped launch Ralph Macchio into superstardom, and brought a serious amount of attention to his on-screen opponent, William Zabka. Now comes word that YouTube Red will be continuing the story in the form of a new series with both of them reprising their roles.
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The show is officially described as follows: “Thirty years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, a down-and-out Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, reigniting his rivalry with a now successful Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi. The show is about two men addressing past demons and present frustrations the only way they know how: through karate.”
The idea is to produce 10 half-hour episodes for the YouTube Red channel. The show is going to be written by Hot Tub Time Machine’s Josh Heald and Harold & Kumar and American Reunion’s Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. A bit disconcerting about all of this is that this seems to be more comedy than drama, and that does not sit well with us.
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Of the series, which will take place 30 years after the original film, YouTube’s Susanne Daniels comments, “We’re thrilled to partner with Sony TV, Overbrook and the talented writing team led by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg to add a fresh, new comedic twist on one of Hollywood’s most storied rivalries.”
“Continuing the story of The Karate Kid has been a passion project for all of us, and when Ralph and Billy said yes, we knew it had become real,” adds Glenn Adilman, EVP Comedy Development, Sony Pictures Television Studios. “We are thrilled that YouTube Red felt the same thing the minute they heard the pitch and then stepped up with this series commitment.”
In a statement, Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg offered, “Like everyone who grew up in the 1980s, the three of us are enormous fans of The Karate Kid. [This] will be a true continuation of the original films — packed with comedy, heart, and thrilling fight scenes. We can’t wait to reignite the LaRusso-Lawrence rivalry, and we’re thankful to our partners at YouTube Red, Sony Pictures Television, and Overbrook for their shared enthusiasm in making our dream project a reality.”
All we can say is that they better treat Daniel-san with respect, or they’re all gonna get a crane kick to the face!
Previously on The Karate Kid:
Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of a group of bullies who study karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. Fortunately, Daniel befriends Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita), an unassuming repairman who just happens to be a martial arts master himself. Miyagi takes Daniel under his wing, training him in a more compassionate form of karate and preparing him to compete against the brutal Cobra Kai. (Google)
After learning that his father is dying, karate master Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita) returns home to Okinawa, bringing his protege, Daniel (Ralph Macchio), with him. In Japan, Miyagi is surprised to discover that his old sweetheart, Yukie (Nobu McCarthy), has remained single. Meanwhile, Daniel is attracted to Yukie's niece, Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita). But romance must be put on hold while Daniel and Miyagi deal with local bullies and long-harbored grudges. (Google)
Cobra Kai karate instructor John Kreese (Martin Kove) is still brooding over the defeat handed to him by Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita). With his slimy partner, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), Kreese plans an intricate payback that involves hiring a mean-spirited ringer (Sean Kanan) to rob Daniel of his championship title. When Mr. Miyagi refuses to train Daniel, even under threat, the boy makes the mistake of turning to Terry for guidance. (Google)
Karate master Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki "Pat" Morita) goes to Boston to attend a military reunion. There, he visits with Louisa (Constance Towers), the widow of his former commander, and meets her granddaughter, Julie (Hilary Swank). Julie's parents were recently killed in a car accident, and she is still reeling from the loss. When Julie surprises Miyagi with her knowledge of karate, he takes her to a Buddhist monastery for training and to help her come to terms with her angst. (Google)
When his mother's career results in a move to China, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) finds that he is a stranger in a strange land. Though he knows a little karate, his fighting skills are no match for Cheng, the school bully. Dre finds a friend in Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), a maintenance man who is also a martial-arts master. Mr. Han teaches Dre all about kung fu in the hope that Dre will be able to face down Cheng and perhaps win the heart of a pretty classmate named Mei Ying. (Google)
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