'The Karate Kid' Sequel: Ralph Maccio and William Zabka to Reprise Roles Over 30 Years Later

'The Karate Kid' Sequel: Ralph Maccio and William Zabka to Reprise Roles Over 30 Years Later

Aug 04, 2017

All it takes is a single glance at the current movie and TV landscape to see just how much influence the 1980s currently has on much of the content being produced. It's not surprising, either, considering many of today's top creators grew up during that time period and, as such, were influenced by the movies and TV shows of the era. Now, one of the most memorable movies of the '80s is getting a sequel, but unlike its previous three sequels and 2010 reboot, it's going straight to streaming on YouTube.

Ralph Maccio and William Zabka will reprise the roles of Daniel and Johnny, respectively, over 30 years after they were originally introduced in 1984's The Karate Kid. The duo will star in a new 10-episode comedy series on YouTube Red called Cobra Kai, created by the guys behind the Harold and Kumar movies (Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg) and Hot Tub Time Machine (Josh Heald). 

The series, which will drop in 2018, follows a down-on-his-luck Johnny who reopens the Cobra Kai dojo in order to find some kind of redemption in his life. Meanwhile, Daniel is successful, but still struggling to maintain balance in his life now that Mr. Miyagi is no longer around to have him paint houses and whatnot. Naturally, the two reignite their old rivalry, with plenty more karate promised.

Bonus clip: Here is how that rivalry first began...

"Like everyone who grew up in the 1980s, the three of us are enormous fans of The Karate Kid?,” Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg told THR in a joint statement. "Cobra Kai? 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."

The good news here is that those involved are all monster fans of the original, but will they lean too heavily into humor and risk losing some of the more dramatic beats that helped make those first couple of Karate Kid movies so special? No word on whether any more Karate Kid cameos are in the works (we're looking at you, Elisabeth Shue!), but we'll get to see the results on YouTube at some point next year.

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