Just a week following the Season 5 release of Cobra Kai, Sony has announced that a new Karate Kid movie (Karate Kid 5) is on the way, and it already has a release date. While no further information regarding cast, crew, or plot is available, Sony has stated that the new installment will continue the original franchise.
The success after the release of Cobra Kai season 5 encouraged the production company to continue putting chips on this story and franchise, so it is possible that we will see more than one new movie in the future.
The original franchise kicked off in 1984, with Ralph Macchio leading the movies as Daniel LaRusso. The first movie introduced viewers to the titular character, a scrawny teenager who’s relentlessly bullied by his classmate Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and his crew. So, Daniel turns to karate master Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita), whose unconventional methods soon help Daniel gain a fighting chance against Johnny and the rest of Cobra Kai.
Following the first movie, three others were released set within what’s now dubbed the “Miyagi-verse.” In The Karate Kid II, Daniel and Mr. Miyagi head to Okinawa, where Daniel comes up against a new foe: Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto). Macchio and Morita returned once more for The Karate Kid III. However, the third installment saw Daniel don a Cobra Kai gi as the alluring promises of Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) created a rift between Daniel and Mr. Miyagi. Lastly, 1994 brought The Next Karate Kid. In it, Mr. Miyagi takes a new student named Julie (Hilary Swank) under his wing.
Since its release, The Karate Kid has become a cherished and widely recognizable movie. In 2010, it inspired a reboot of the same name that starred Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. While the general story itself is similar (bullied kid seeks martial arts lessons from mysterious maintenance man), the reboot brought its own set of differences. Most notably, it’s set in China, and Smith’s character Dre learns kung fu instead of karate.
The most recent continuation of the franchise – Cobra Kai
The most recent continuation of the franchise comes with the Netflix original series Cobra Kai. The show first premiered in 2018 and began as a YouTube Original. While it brought back both Zabka and Macchio for their respective characters, a heavier focus was placed on Johnny. When viewers were re-introduced to him, he had just lost his job as a handyman. After he meets Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), a kid who also endures some bullying, Johnny decides to re-open Cobra Kai. The show has been nothing short of a hit with audiences, bringing back fun nostalgia along with new storylines that have carried the show into five seasons so far. Other original franchise alums including Griffith, Okumoto, and Martin Kove reprised their roles, with guest stars such as Elisabeth Shue (Ali Mills), Sean Kanan (Mike Barnes), Tamlyn Tomita (Kumiko), Robyn Lively (Jessica), and more.
Karate Kid 5: When will it be released?
The movie is scheduled to arrive on June 7, 2024, so there is still time for another season of Cobra Kai to be released to set the stage for what will happen in the new installment. The franchise has been kept alive thanks to the creation and success of the series, which began its journey on YouTube and later became part of Netflix’s catalog.
Karate Kid 5: Who will be part of the cast?
Most likely, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka will return as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence once again. Both actors had previously mentioned that they would be interested in doing a sequel to the film and their words now make more sense.
Zabka might have even given us a pretty clear indication a few weeks ago when he was asked in an interview about the series finale and what’s next for the franchise:
“Yes, there’s no end game at all, we’ll keep this going for another ten seasons. [laughs] There is an ending. I’m sure it all points to a place on the map. It’s a question of how many we’ll get to do that, but there’s definitely an ending“, and added that the franchise could expand significantly, “We’re going to finish the series and then I think we’ll do a trilogy of movies“, he assured.
On the other hand, several new characters (that we have already seen in Cobra Kai) are expected to make their first appearance in a Karate Kid movie. Fans want Jacob Bertrand, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mousser, Xolo Maridueña, and Peyton List to make the jump to the big screen as the villains of the saga.