‘Karate Kid’ Sequel Series With Ralph Macchio, William Zabka Greenlit at YouTube Red

Ralph Macchio William Zabka
Macchio: MJ Photos/REX/Shutterstock, Zabka: Courtesy of YouTube

A sequel series to the classic film “The Karate Kid” is set to launch on YouTube Red.

Currently titled “Cobra Kai,” the series would reunite original film stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. The 10-episode, half-hour series, coming to YouTube Red in 2018, picks up thirty years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. A down-and-out Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, reigniting his rivalry with a now successful Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi.

“The minute I heard about this project, I knew we had to have it. ‘The Karate Kid’ became an instant classic in the 1980s, and still resonates with audiences around the world and on YouTube today,” said Susanne Daniels, global head of original content for YouTube. “We’re thrilled to partner with Sony TV, Overbrook and the talented writing team led by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg to add a fresh, new comedic twist on one of Hollywood’s most storied rivalries.”

The series is written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg. Heald is the writer behind the cult classic “Hot Tub Time Machine,” while Hurwitz and Schlossberg created the successful “Harold & Kumar” film series and wrote and directed the hit comedy “American Reunion.” Hurwitz and Schlossberg will direct much of the series. James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett will executive produce for Overbrook Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television Studios.

Macchio is repped by Untitled, Buchwald and Hanson, Jacobsen, Teller. Zabka is repped by Advanced Management and Feig Law. Overbrook Entertainment is repped by CAA. Hurwitz and Schlossberg are repped by CAA and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman L.L.P. Heald is represented by Paradigm Talent Agency and attorney Howard Abramson.

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  1. I think Sony should contact serious producers and make a movie as a final instalment of Karate Kid, as a tribute for Pat Morita and late director John Avildsen. It was amazing that John had a small budget and made Karate Kid an international success back in 1984. I don’t know why now making a comedy – TV series from a classic teenager drama/adventure movie. John Avildsen did not like KK3 because was about “karate revenge” and the fans were expecting more of the franchise. John actually wanted to make a movie in Asia with a focus on Miyagi’s marital arts history then returning with Daniel to USA, but Producers did not supported his vision. So, KK3 was very weak comparing with the previous 2. I read the book “The Films of John Avildsen” and wrote a blog for a marketing course at University.

  2. WonderBoy says:

    But what about Elisabeth Shue?

    • I don’t think Shue will be on it. Well, back in KK1 it was sad that the Producers did not agree on Shue’s role for KK2, thus ending Ali’s storyline so abruptly, a big mistake. But regardless, KK was a drama/adventure movie, how it will work now as a TV comedy?

  3. Jason Klinger says:

    this is so f’n lame. just let a classic remain a classic and stop trying to profit off it. John lawrence had redemption at the end of the film and after Kreese assaulted him in KK2- LEAVE IT ALONE!

  4. Bill Clinton says:

    Opposite of Lou Grant, where a character from the classic comedy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, became the lead in a drama.

  5. Mr Hollywood says:

    Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg are known for comedy but hopefully this will stay in the same tone as the movies. I have two questions: is Robert Mark Kamen involved and will Hilary Swank make a guest appearance?

    • I don’t think Robert Kamen is involved… as Robert wrote Karate Kid as a drama/adventure movie. I am not sure about Hilary Swank, if she was involved they would advertise right away for marketing, so my guess is she is not. I think the audience was looking for a more serious and mature movie, as a development of the KK franchise. It was sad that back in KK1 the Producers did not agree on Elisabeth Shue’s role for KK2, ending Ali’s storyline abruptly. Fans thought that a movie would be make for the 30th anniversary of KK, with a storyline set 10 years after KK3, bringing Daniel and Ali back, as a Daniel struggles with the death of Miyagi. Instead of that they did a remake with Jade Smith that had nothing to do Karate Kid. Well, the name was KK for brand recognition to attract the audience….

  6. Angel says:

    WTF is you tube red?

  7. Jimmy dempster says:

    Smart move the nastalgia wave is huge right now with everything being remade,brought back, rebooted or even taking place in the 80s 90s like stranger things,glow etc. All these shows huge Im not saying this us a great idea Im kind of skeptical but theres no denying the demographic numbers

  8. Is this going to be a drama series….if so,then I’m in.

    • the audience was a bit surprise but this will be a half hour comedy based TV series… I am not sure how it will work from a Karate Kid, screenplay of drama/adventure movie, now into a “comedy”… no further comments.

  9. Ralph Macchio in a wheelchair would be a hundred times better than that Jaden Smith abortion.

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