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Arts and Entertainment

YouTube Signs On For 'Karate Kid' Sequel Series With Ralph Macchio

(Courtesy of Columbia Pictures)
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We know the nostalgia train is going full speed for the '90s and early 2000s, what with the coming revivals of select Nickelodeon titles. But there's still plenty to mine from the 80s, too, apparently. Case in point: The Hollywood Reporter says that The Karate Kid, that 1984 flick that gave the wax industry a big boost, is making a comeback on YouTube.

While the title already had one reboot—the 2010 Jaden Smith vehicle that also starred Jackie Chan—things will be different this time around. Titled Cobra Kai, this new version will be an actual sequel, and will star Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso, the original Karate Kid) and William Zabka (the kinda fascist-looking Johnny Lawrence, who was Daniel's main rival). Another major difference is that Cobra Kai will be parsed into 10, half-hour episodes.

The title gives a hint as to what the series will be about. "Cobra Kai" was the dojo where Johnny had trained (and, presumably, honed his brand of '80s yuppy villainy). The new series moves the spotlight slightly away from Daniel, giving the former foes equal standing. The story takes place about 30 years (!) after the original events, and confirms something that we'd all known hoped to be true: bullies get their just desserts when they grow up. While Daniel has grown to be successful, Johnny is now a wreck. The series follows Johnny as he goes on his search for redemption by re-opening Cobra Kai (and possibly churning out more kids who look like Children of the Corn crossed with Enter The Dragon).

Mr. Miyagi, Daniel's pal and instructor, won't be around for the series, as actor Pat Morita passed away in 2005. The death of the character will be written into the series.

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While there wasn't a public push for another Karate Kid revival (not one that we know of, at least), the title was a hot property, apparently. THR reports that YouTube had beaten out Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and AMC to land the series. Cobra Kai will run on YouTube Red, YouTube's subscription service.

The series will be written and produced by Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine) alongside Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold and Kumar). In a statement, the three said that Cobra Kai will be "a true continuation of the original films" and "reignite the LaRusso-Lawrence rivalry." Cobra Kai will drop sometime in 2018.

Lastly, here's Macchio showing off his soccer chops, set to the sounds of Bananarama. "This school sucks, man!":