After the popularity of the TV show Cobra Kai, a new Karate Kid movie starring Ralph Macchio and Jackie Chan has been revealed, along with a worldwide search for a young lead actor/actress for the film.
Ralph Macchio, known for his role in the original Karate Kid trilogy from 1984 to 1989, reprised his role as the main character in Cobra Kai, which premiered in 2018. Jackie Chan, who starred in the 2010 remake with Jaden Smith, joined Macchio in a brief video to announce their involvement in the upcoming film. The casting notice revealed that a new character named Li Fong will also be featured, described as a Chinese or mixed-race teenager between the ages of 15 and 17 who is fluent in English. The website also mentioned that being able to speak conversational Mandarin is a bonus, as the character is intelligent, resourceful, and skilled in martial arts.
The inclusion of both Macchio and Chan suggests that the upcoming film will incorporate elements from both branches of the Karate Kid franchise. The “Miyagi-verse”, centered around the Japanese-American mentor portrayed by the late Pat Morita, was featured in the first three films with Macchio as well as the 1994 sequel The Next Karate Kid, which starred Hilary Swank alongside Morita. Cobra Kai, named after Johnny Lawrence’s (William Zabka) dojo and Daniel LaRusso’s (Macchio) rival in the first film, also exists within the “Miyagi-verse” and includes flashbacks of Morita (who passed away in 2005).
The 2010 movie changed the setting to China and substituted karate with kung fu as the main martial art. Chan was also cast as Mr. Han, taking on the role of a mentor and coach similar to Miyagi.
According to Variety, the movie will be helmed by Jonathan Entwistle (known for creating the popular TV show The End of the F***ing World) and is set to premiere in December 2024.