Last week, Sony Pictures surprised fans with the announcement that a new Karate Kid movie is on the horizon, more than a decade after the last feature film in the franchise was released. Described only as a “return to the original Karate Kid franchise," the film will arrive in 2024, adding yet another major tentpole to the calendar.
Of course, fans who've been paying attention for the last few years know that we already have a return to the original franchise in the form of Cobra Kai, the acclaimed streaming series that began as the continuing story of original Karate Kid character Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and has since expanded to include many facets of the original film and its sequels.
With that in mind, the announcement of a mysterious new Karate Kid film posed an obvious question: Would it be connected to Cobra Kai? Perhaps a big-screen continuation of the small-screen story, or a spinoff, or something else with connections to the world of the show? According to Cobra Kai co-creator Jon Hurwitz, the show's creative team has no idea what the new film is. They just know that they're not a part of it.
Here's how Hurwitz responded after a fan asked the obvious question on Twitter:
The guys and I would love to make Karate Kid and Cobra Kai movies and hope to someday. But this one isn't from us or focused on the Cobra Kai cast. Don't know much about it, but wish it well. #KarateKid #CobraKai https://t.co/pd2aYYAF0A
— Jon Hurwitz (@jonhurwitz) September 17, 2022
So now we have to ask: If the new Karate Kid film is "a return" to the original franchise, but it's not focused on Cobra Kai in any way...what is it? Are they going to try the legacy sequel approach and pretend that all the sequels didn't happen? Are they doing yet another "next generation" style story with a completely different cast? Are they making a Mr. Miyagi prequel or something similar? We just don't know. What we do know is that, even with Season 5 out in the world now, the show is probably not going to run out of ideas any time soon, as Hurwitz explained last year.
"We found, even in Season 1 when we were in the writers’ room, there were so many ideas that we had that just didn’t fit into those five hours in the first season, so they ended up getting pushed to the next season," he said. "There are ideas that we talked about at the beginning of the show, that showed up in Season 3 or will show up in Season 4. And then, there are ideas that just fall by the wayside. "There’s no added pressure to elongate the series. We’re still having a blast making it. There’s still a lot more story to tell, in our minds. We just finished shooting Season 4 and we have a lot more that we’re excited to do, going forward."
All five seasons of Cobra Kai are now streaming on Netflix.
Looking for some butt-kicking action? The Northman, Self/Less, Upgrade, The Mummy trilogy, Haywire and more are streaming now on Peacock.