The Hollywood Reporter is exclusively reporting that a TV sequel to The Karate Kid is making its way to YouTube Red and will include original stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka.
The series will be a ten-episode half-hour comedy that will see Macchio and Zabka reprise their roles as underdog Daniel LaRusso and bully Johnny Lawrence. The subscription service fought off competition from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and AMC in order to get the property.
Set thirty years after the evens of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, where we find a down and out Johnny Lawrence who, seeking redemption, reopens the infamous Cobra Kai dojo. It reignites his rivalry with a new-successful Daniel LaRusso, who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor Mr. Miyagi (played by the late Pat Morita). We will follow the journey of the duo addressing demons from their past and present frustrations…..through karate.
The script is being written by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg and the trio will serve as executive producers on the project alongside Macchio and Zabka. The report states that Hurwitz and Schlossberg will direct most of the series as well. Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment will executive produce with James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett overseeing for the company.
Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg released a joint statement about the news, saying:
“Like everyone who grew up in the 1980s, the three of us are enormous fans of The Karate Kid. 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.
YouTube global head of originals Susanne Daniels, spoke to THR about Macchio and Zabka’s pitch about Cobra Kai, saying:
They were enthusiastic and fun. I don’t know whether they had rehearsed it, but they played the parts of their characters well. More than anything, it was just amazing to see them together again. If The Karate Kid was Daniel’s story, Cobra Kai is equal parts Daniel and Johnny’s story. Also because this is a series and not a movie, we really wanted to reimagine how the story was told. Changing the name made sense as part of that.
Executive Vice President of Comedy Development at SPTS, Glenn Adilman said:
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. We are thrilled that YouTube Red felt the same thing the minute they heard the pitch and then stepped up with this series commitment.
Cobra Kai is being aimed to debut in 2018.