This past November, Sony announced that Ralph Macchio and Jackie Chan will star in a new Karate Kid film—which would hold a global search for the new "Karate Kid." Now, Sony has officially found the franchise's new hero: American Born Chinese star Ben Wang. The search included thousands of submissions, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but it seems that the studio felt more comfortable going with Wang than with unknown talent. Studio insiders told The Hollywood Reporter that Wang "delivered a standout audition that demonstrated his deep connection to the character."
Meanwhile, the new Karate Kid film will mark Macchio and Chan's first time on screen together, with a story that is set to combine the franchise's multiple storylines. Netflix's successful Cobra Kai series will also likely play into Daniel LaRusso's return, while Chan will once again star as Mr. Han from 2010's Karate Kid remake. Sure, he trained Jaden Smith in that movie... but who cares! Now, he's friends with Daniel, and all is right in the world.
In a video released by Sony this past December, the two Karate Kid stars revealed that they were looking for a new lead. Before I could think about all the potential kid actors I wanted to see in the role, Jackie Chan announced that Sony would hold global casting calls for the next "Karate Kid." I thought, Does this mean... I could be the next Karate Kid? I got my first black belt when I was just nine years old, and I would have shattered skulls to be the next Karate Kid. Alas, Ben Wang landed the part.
Jonathan Entwistle (The End of the F***ing World) will direct the film, according to Deadline, with Rob Lieber (Peter Rabbit) penning the script. It may be too late for me, but I'll cheer for Ben when the new Karate Kid movie hits theaters on December 13, 2024.
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