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New Karate Kid movie with Ralph Macchio and Jackie Chan in the works

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A global casting call has been published to recruit an adolescent star for a new Karate Kid movie starring Ralph Macchio and Jackie Chan, which follows the success of the TV series Cobra Kai. Together, in a brief video, Macchio—who played in the first three Karate Kid films from 1984 to 1989 and then returned to anchor Cobra Kai, which debuted in 2018—and Chan—who starred in the 2010 reboot starring Jaden Smith—made the announcement. A new character named Li Fong, who is described as “Chinese or mixed-race Chinese [aged] between 15-17 years old [and] speaks fluent English,” was also mentioned in the casting ad. “Conversational Mandarin is a strong plus,” the website continued. He has to have wit and tenacity

The presence of both Macchio and Chan appears to indicate that separate strands of the Karate Kid series will both be present in the new film. The so-called “Miyagi-verse”, revolving around the Japanese-American coach-mentor figure played by the late Pat Morita, operated in the first three films with Macchio, as well as the 1994 follow-up The Next Karate Kid, featuring Hilary Swank opposite Morita. Cobra Kai, which is named after the dojo of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), who Macchio’s character Daniel LaRusso defeated at the climax of the first film, also operates in the “Miyagi-verse”, with Morita (who died in 2005) appearing in flashbacks.

But the 2010 movie moved the action to China, substituted kung fu for the primary martial art of karate, and starred Chan as Mr. Han, a mentor/coach in the Miyagi role . According to Variety, Jonathan Entwistle, the man behind the popular TV show The End of the F***ing World, will be directing the movie, which is scheduled for release in December 2024.

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