Sony has just announced the return of The Karate Kid franchise on the big screen, with the studio revealing that a new movie is in the works and will be released on the date of June 7, 2024.
The original film that started it all was made back in 1984. It spawned multiple sequels, beginning with The Karate Kid II back in 1986 and The Karate Kid III in 1989. The franchise then continues on with The Next Karate Kid in 1994., then with the last movie in the series with a remake, starring Jaden Smith, The Karate Kid in 2010. Aside from the date, there is no other information announced about the project.
One can assume that Cobra Kai made a big impact on this decision as it has proven to be one of Netflix’s most consistently successful series of all time and has returned the once-epic franchise to pop culture relevancy. The Karate Kid spin-off continued the story from the original continuity with the original cast all grown up and mentoring a new generation of Karate practitioners, with the twist that the original movie’s antagonist, Johnny Lawrence is now the main focus still played by William Zabka. With season 5 just ending, it is still going strong.
KARATE KID’S CONNECTIONS TO NETFLIX’S COBRA KAI
Despite Cobra Kai obviously influencing a decision to make a new Karate Kid movie, fans of the TV series will be disappointed that the creators will not be handling the movie’s production. Cobra Kai co-creator Jon Hurwitz clarified his involvement in the new Karate Kid film in a tweet.
“The guys and I would love to make Karate Kid and Cobra Kai movies and hope to someday. But this one isn’t from us or focused on the Cobra Kai cast. Don’t know much about it, but wish it well,”
With Jon Hurwitz’s clarification, how much the new movie will tie to Cobra Kai remains a question. With little information about the project, it is even a mystery if the new movie will be in the same continuity as the original film, or will be a reboot in a new universe similar to the 2010 The Karate Kid remake. The dream of Cobra Kai expanding beyond the valley may not be true just yet.
Another question we can ask is who will be the main hero and actor as the “Karate Kid”? Will the new hero still be Daniel LaRusso, or will it continue the Cobra Kai tradition of Johnny Lawrence? Will the actor playing Daniel LaRusso even still be Ralph Macchio, or will this new movie be a reboot of a franchise where Daniel LaRusso will be recast with a new rising teen star? Can the possibility of a new character similar to Daniel LaRusso be introduced as the new hero in the story similar to the original movie?
Either in-continuity or not, a cameo by Ralph Macchio or William Zabka may not be out of the question. A cameo by either of both stars will be a crowd-pleasing moment.
What are your thoughts on a new Karate Kid movie? Do you want to see continue the story from Cobra Kai? Or do you think that the Netflix series can stand alone at this point, and it’s time to begin a new karate legacy on the big screen? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow The Illuminerdi on social media.