Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio ‘excited’ to ‘team up’ for ‘The Karate Kid’ as global search for star begins

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The martial arts franchise that started in 1984 will have a new installment featuring the stars of the original and remake films.

Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio, who play Han and Daniel LaRusso respectively, will join forces for the new film The Karate Kid, which will be released in theaters on December 13, 2024.

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New film “The Karate Kid”: what we know so far

The as-yet-untitled new film will be directed by Jonathan Entwistle and written by Rob Lieber. Karen Rosenfelt will produce the film for Sony Pictures.

Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio, who play Mr. Han and Daniel LaRusso, respectively, will join forces for new film “The Karate Kid” (Getty Images)

Plot details are being kept under wraps, but Macchio is confirmed to reprise his role as Daniel, Miyagi’s karate student played by the late Pat Morita, Variety reports.

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Chan will return as Mr. Han, the kung fu master who trained Jaden Smith’s Dre Parker in the 2010 remake of the first film. According to Deadline sources, the new film will continue the mythology of the original franchise.

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It’s unclear how the story of the Netflix series Cobra Kai, which follows the lives of Daniel and his rival Johnny Lawrence (played by William Zabka) decades after the events of the original films, will influence the new film.

Macchio serves as executive producer and star of the hit show, whose sixth and final season was announced earlier this year.

Global casting is looking for a new karateka to lead the film

In a video posted to YouTube, X Chan and Macchio began a global search for a new karateka to helm the film by inviting young actors to submit audition tapes to KarateKidCasting.com.

The video shows the two stars reminiscing about their experiences in the franchise and encouraging aspiring martial artists to showcase their skills and personality.

“We are looking for someone who can bring something new and fresh to the role, someone who can honor the legacy of the karateka but at the same time make it his own,” Macchio said in the video.

Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio are looking for the next karateka to star in the new #KarateKidMovie. The global search begins now! For more information visit: https://t.co/VsnX9P62Z6 pic.twitter.com/rLgSJTKQWT

— Karate Kid Movie (@KarateKidMovie) November 21, 2023

Chan added: “We need someone who knows how to play, fight and have fun. We need someone who can become the next karateka.”

The stars confirmed that they are “really, really excited” and that “we’re doing a new karate movie together.”

A pop culture phenomenon spanning nearly three decades

The Karate Kid franchise is a popular sports saga that began in 1984 with Macchio as Daniel, a karate student of Mr. Miyagi, a Japanese-American master.

The franchise includes five films: The Karate Kid (1984), The Karate Kid Part II (1986), The Karate Kid Part III (1989), The Next Karate Kid (1994), The Karate Kid -karateka.” (2010)”, “The Karate Kid 2 (2024)”.

In addition to an animated series, a video game, and the Emmy-nominated series Cobra Kai, which follows the rivalry between Daniel and Johnny, his former bully.

The franchise has earned over $430 million worldwide and has inspired many fans and martial artists.

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