No, you weren’t dreaming when the news hit. The Karate Kid is indeed being turned into a TV series, one that continues the story from the original movie trilogy starring Ralph Macchio. The actor, who played Daniel LaRusso in three installments between 1984 and 1989 before the franchise spun off with The Next Karate Kid, then later was remade, is returning for the project. So is William Zabka, who portrayed nemesis Johnny Lawrence in the first movie.
See the two foes reunited in the first-look, behind-the-scenes photo from the show, called Cobra Kai, below via Entertainment Weekly and YouTube, its distributor.
It’s wax ON! 33 years after Karate Kid, @RalphMacchio & @WilliamZabka are kicking it on the set of #CobraKai, coming soon to YouTube Red. pic.twitter.com/wlqy0IMUaZ
— YouTube (@YouTube) October 24, 2017
EW also shared some new details about Cobra Kai, so let’s take a look at what all we know about the series so far.
What’s the plot of the show?
More than 30 years after the events of The Karate Kid, Johnny has fallen on hard times, unlike Daniel who is doing well as owner of a successful car dealership. Something reignites their rivalry, causing the alcoholic and jobless Johnny to re-open the Cobra Kai dojo where he trained in his youth.
Will Daniel and Johnny now be training a new generation of karate kids?
That would be the conventional way to go, but the series hasn’t been confirmed as a legacy sequel of that nature yet. However, a few newly-announced cast members do represent the next generation: Tanner Buchanan (Designated Survivor) plays Johnny’s street-smart son “eager to prove he’s nothing like his dad, even though he’s on his way to making the same mistakes,” while Xolo Maridueña (Parenthood) is a bullied Ecuadorian boy taken under Johnny’s wing at the karate studio.
Daniel also has a kid, a “firecracker” daughter played by Mary Mouser (Body of Proof) “straddling the ‘good girl’ and popular teen cliques.” Is she going to be a karate champ like her father? Does the resurrected beef result from something happening between Daniel and Johnny’s kids? Will any of them be instructed in the ways of waxing on and waxing off?
Who else is in the cast?
Rather than having Daniel wind up with any of his love interests (played by Elizabeth Shue, Tamlyn Tomita and Robyn Lively, the last of whom was more of a buddy), he has a wife and business partner played by Courtney Henggeler (Mom). Rounding out the known ensemble so far on the older generation front is Ed Asner, who has a recurring role as Johnny’s “old-school, hard-nosed, former studio mogul” step-father.
But, sadly, not Pat Morita, who earned an Oscar nod for his iconic role as Mr. Miyagi, as he passed on 12 years ago. Nor is original Cobra Kai sensei Martin Kove returning, as far as we know. Hopefully we’ll hear about some special guests reprising their roles, like fellow Karate Kid baddies Rob Garrison (who recently joined Zabka for an anti-bullying event) and Chad McQueen.
Thx for the birthday wishes yesterday! been slacking on my tweets cuz …. #CobraKai ???? pic.twitter.com/kavwp0giR2
— William Zabka (@WilliamZabka) October 21, 2017
Who is making the show?
As we learned back in August, Cobra Kai is being produced and scripted by Harold and Kumar franchise writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg and Hot Tub Time Machine scribe Josh Heald, who together stated the series “will be a true continuation of the original films — packed with comedy, heart and thrilling fight scenes.” Hurwitz and Schlossberg will be directing some episodes, as well.
When can we watch Cobra Kai?
Currently filming in Atlanta, the 10-episode series will be available to stream via YouTube Red sometime in 2018.