The streaming wars show no signs of abating, and further confirmation of that original-content escalation is Cobra Kai, a sequel series to 1984’s classic film The Karate Kid. Headlined by original stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, the show should be must-see TV for those with nostalgic memories of the martial-arts saga. And in a new clip, Cobra Kai’s creators not only discuss revisiting that beloved earlier work — they also debut some never-before-seen footage from The Karate Kid as well.
For those needing a refresher, The Karate Kid tells the story of Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), a teenager who overcomes adversity — via karate training courtesy of Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita) — to defeat his rival, Johnny Lawrence (Zabka). In returning to that tale, executive producers Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg have chosen to shift the focus to Lawrence, who has spiraled downward in the years following his momentous loss to LaRusso. To establish that flip-side perspective from the start of their series, the trio went into the vault to unearth unused footage from The Karate Kid — including, as you can see in the clip above, new shots from the film’s crane-kickin’ climax, which help shift sympathies from the nominal hero to its villain.
Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg’s comments make it clear that they were dedicated to staying true to their source material while nonetheless providing a novel way forward with Cobra Kai. Audiences can judge for themselves if they succeeded when the show premieres Wednesday on YouTube Red.
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