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34 years on, and the Karate Kid saga is continuing with a new YouTube series.
Nostalgia has been a cornerstone of the entertainment world as long as cinemas have sold popcorn, and the modern streaming era has proven just as keen, with Netflix rebooting sitcoms such as Full House (as Fuller House), reality series such as Queer Eye, Fox bringing back The X-Files, NBC re-launching Will & Grace, and, of course, Twin Peaks returned to our screens.
As YouTube continues to try and build its subscription platform, YouTube Red, it’s also gambled on recognised franchises, with Step Up: High Water premiering at the start 2018. Now, it’s the turn of The Karate Kid, with YouTube Red dropping a trailer this week for Cobra Kai.
The series will see Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprise their roles as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, arch-rivals of the 80s classic. Several decades older and they aren’t the same people they were in high school, but their rivalry hasn’t changed one bit.
With the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament a mostly distant memory, they now have different lives in the affluent hills of Encino. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) lives with his beautiful family, while running a successful string of car dealerships throughout the valley. Lawrence (William Zabka), whose life has taken a rocky turn, instead seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, promising to teach a bullied teenager how to fight back with “a method of fighting your pansy-ass generation desperately needs”.
The duo’srlives inevitably become intertwined and the rivalry is reignited, setting forth the next generation of karate kids. Produced by Overbrook Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television, Cobra Kai is written and exec-produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg. It will premiere on YouTube Red on Wednesday 2nd May, following a premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. In the UK, where YouTube Red is not available, curious fans of the films will have to buy it on YouTube.
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