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Everything we know about the Karate Kid reboot

The martial arts classic is being rebooted so prepare to wax on, wax off one more time…

Ralph Maccio and Jackie Chan announced a global talent search for the next Karate Kid. (Sony Pictures/YouTube)
Ralph Maccio and Jackie Chan announced a global talent search for the next Karate Kid. (Sony Pictures/YouTube)

After finding later-in-life success with the legacy sequel series Cobra Kai, 80’s kids’ classic The Karate Kid will grace the big screen once more in a brand new movie.

While already exciting news, what makes this upcoming Karate Kid project even more intriguing is that it looks set to splice two different corners of the franchise’s cinematic universe.

What else do we know about this nostalgic new project?

Grab your gi and meet us in the dojo: it’s time to train up on some key Karate Kid details.

When is the Karate Kid reboot released?

Daniel LaRusso practices karate alongside Mr. Miyagi.
Ralph Macchio starred in the original Karate Kid alongside Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi. (Alamy)

Despite not knowing too much about what the new Karate Kid might entail, we do know when we can watch it. The film will be released in cinemas on Friday, 13 December,.

This release date comes two years after we last saw Daniel LaRousso in season 5 of Cobra Kai on Netflix.

A sixth and final season is set to be in development but it is currently unclear how it will connect to this upcoming big screen outing.

What is the plot of the Karate Kid reboot?

Jackie Chan trains with Jaden Smith next to the Great Wall of China.
Jackie Chan starred as Mr. Han in the 2010 Karate Kid remake. (Alamy)

With production on the Karate Kid reboot still in its early stages, almost all plot details are currently still under wraps. That said, sources cited by Deadline suggest that this new story will continue the lore set out in the franchise’s first instalment.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will take place in America's East Coast and "focus on a teen from China who finds strength and direction via martial arts and a tough but wise mentor (or maybe even two)."

We also know that the film will bring characters from two different areas of the Karate Kid franchise together, with Ralph Macchio playing Daniel LaRusso and Jackie Chan reprising his role as Mr. Han — the Mr. Miyagi-esque martial arts expert — who trained 12-year-old Jaden Smith’s Dre Parker in the 2010 reboot.

The film is based on a new script from Peter Rabbit scribe Rob Lieber and will be directed by Jonathan Entwistle, the same filmmaker behind Channel 4 drama The End of the F***ing World.

Karate Kid Ii - Entscheidung In Okinawa  Karate Kid Ii  Noriyuki Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio Die Reise in Heimat bringt fuer
Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio starred together in Karate Kid II. (Alamy)

Released in 1984 and directed by John D. Avildsen, The Karate Kid followed Daniel LaRusso, a young boy who finds himself at odds with the new town he’s moved to with his mother.

After struggling with some high school bullies, Daniel finds solace in studying karate with an elderly handyman and martial arts expert named Mr. Miyagi.

Avildsen’s movie also introduced us to Daniel’s high school bully Johnny Lawrence who went on to play a significant role in the film’s spin-off series Cobra Kai years later.

Who is starring in the Karate Kid reboot?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 07: Ben Wang attends the Disney+ Original Series
American Born Chinese star Ben Wang is the new Karate Kid. (Getty Images)

In addition to Macchio and Chan, we also know that Sony has cast American Born Chinese star Ben Wang as their new Karate Kid.

As per reports, Wang bagged the role thanks to his "standout audition" that saw him display a "deep connection to the character." The fact that he is fluent in Mandarin and trained in various forms of martial arts also helped him to secure this coveted role.

The decision followed an intense open casting call that encouraged interested parties from all over the world to enter the ring and try out for the role.

Just one day after the casting call was made public, The Hollywood Reporter learned that the production had received over 10,000 submissions from all over the globe.

According to the official casting call website, the production is looking for someone to play “Chinese or mixed-race Chinese in the age range of 15-17 years old.”

William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence with Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso in Netflix's Cobra Kai. (Netflix)
William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence with Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso in Netflix's Cobra Kai. (Netflix)

Despite playing a key role in Cobra Kai, there's currently no word on whether William Zabka will return as Johnny Lawrence.

Is there a trailer for the Karate Kid reboot?

There’s currently no trailer available for the Karate Kid reboot. However, with its release date swiftly approaching, we’ll surely see more soon.


The Karate Kid reboot will be released in cinemas on Friday, 13 December.

Read more: Martial arts