Call it the Karate Kid Cinematic Universe.
Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio, both of whom starred in Karate Kid movies decades apart, are set to reprise their popular characters in Sony Pictures’ latest installment of the iconic coming-of-age martial arts franchise.
Jonathan Entwistle, best known for his well-regarded and award-winning teen television dramas I’m Not Okay with This and The End of the F***ing World, is directing the untitled feature that the studio is positioning as the fusing and continuing the mythology of the original franchise.
A global search for a Chinese actor to play the title character began today, with Chan and Macchio introducing the process in a video.
Rob Lieber, writer of Sony’s Peter Rabbit and Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day, has penned the script. The plot line is currently under wraps.
The latest iteration will bring the story to the East Coast and focus on a teen from China who finds strength and direction through martial arts and a tough but wise mentor.
Karen Rosenfelt is producing the feature which Sony has scheduled for a Dec. 13, 2024 release date, with a spring shoot on the horizon.
The Karate Kid launched in 1984 with the original movie being an unexpected hit. It starred Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, a Brooklyn kid who moves to California and finds himself an unlikely karate champion under the tutelage of Mr. Miyagi, an apartment handyman who is quite proficient in karate. Miyagi was played by the late Pat Morita, who earned a best supporting actor Oscar nomination his work.
The movie spawned three sequels, with the franchise seeing a resurgence in recent years thanks to Cobra Kai, a series that has introduced a new generation of butt-kicking teens. Fans have dubbed these stories the Miyagi-verse after Morita’s character; Morita passed away in 2011.
In addition to his Karate Kid work, Machhio starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders, and more recently, HBO series The Deuce. Chan, a multi-hyphenate who also directs and produces, has become an action and comedy star both in China and internationally.
Chan is repped by CAA and Jessica Chen. Macchio is repped by Untitled Entertainment, Buchwald, and Hansen Jacobson.
Entwistle is repped by CAA, Grandview, and Jackoway Tyerman while Leiber is repped by Verve, Fourth Wall Management and Sloane, Offer.