When I first heard that YouTube Red was revisiting the original Karate Kid characters I was beside myself with joy. Now a teaser trailer for Cobra Kai brings us just a bit closer to revisiting the legendary rivalry between Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).
The story is set 30 years after the events of the first Karate Kid in 1984, where Daniel in his attempt to rid himself of his tormentors, promised to apply to the All Valley Karate Tournament. Under the guidance of Mr. Miyagi, played by the late Pat Morita, he went on to win the tournament against competition from the highly prominent Cobra Kai dojo. In the present day, Johnny decides to reopen the infamous dojo. This somehow reignites the rivalry between him and the now successful business owner Larusso. The duo seeks to face demons from the past while dealing with their life.
YouTube Global Head of Original Content Susanne Daniels at a Television Critics Association event, had this to say about continuing the story as a series:
It is a half an hour format but I would call it a dramedy. I think it leans into the tone of the movies in that there are dramatic moments throughout. I think it’s very faithful really in some ways to what the movie set about doing, the lessons imparted in the movie if you will. It’s next generation Karate Kid.”
The series will be a welcome addition to the Karate Kid franchise following a lukewarm remake in 2010 starring Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, and Taraji P. Henson. Although not a bad movie all in all, other than a moving performance by Chan and some impressive martial arts skills by a very young Smith, the movie lacked the heart that the originals had in spades.
The franchise included two more installments with Morita and Macchio in the master and student roles in 1986 and 1989 respectively, a short-lived animated series that aired on NBC also in 1989, and finally a fourth sequel where Mr. Miyagi took in a female student played by a young Hilary Swank.
The series will be brought to us by Harold and Kumar creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. Writer Josh Heald will be in charge of a script. The series is set to be released later this year on YouTube’s streaming service.
Watch the teaser trailer to get a taste of what to expect.
Are you ready to “paint the fence” or do you prefer to “wax on, wax off”? Let us know in the comments!