[U.S.A.], August 5 (ANI): After almost three decades after the original 'Karate Kid,' Ralph Macchio and William Zabka are heading back to the dojo.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the duo are set to reprise their roles as underdog Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) and bully Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) in a 10-episode straight-to-series follow-up called 'Cobra Kai' for subscription service YouTube Red.
The series, set to bow in 2018, is set 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament and revolves around a down and out Johnny seeking redemption, who reopens the infamous Cobra Kai dojo. It reignites his rivalry with a now-successful Daniel, who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita).
The half-hour comedy follows the duo addressing demons from their past and present frustrations through karate.
Josh Heald ('Hot Tub Time Machine') as well as duo Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg ('Harold and Kumar') will pen the script and executive produce the project.
Macchio and Zabka will co-exec produce. Hurwitz and Schlossberg will direct much of the series.
"Like everyone who grew up in the 1980s, the three of us are enormous fans of The Karate Kid. Cobra Kai? will be a true continuation of the original films, packed with comedy, heart and thrilling fight scenes. We can't wait to reignite the LaRusso-Lawrence rivalry, and we're thankful to our partners at YouTube Red, Sony Pictures Television and Overbrook for their shared enthusiasm in making our dream project a reality," said Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg said in a joint statement.
The series landed at YouTube Red following a competitive bidding process that sources say also included offers from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and AMC after Macchio and Zabka pitched the series all over town.
YouTube global head of originals Susanne Daniels, shared, "They were enthusiastic and fun. I don't know whether they had rehearsed it, but they played the parts of their characters well. More than anything, it was just amazing to see them together again," adding, "It had all the elements you look for in a strong show. It had heart, it had laughs, it had drama, it had characters with strong points of view. All of it was there in the pitch."
Asked specifically why they were ditching the familiar Karate Kid title in favor of Cobra Kai, Daniels said it was driven by the story.
"If The Karate Kid was Daniel's story, Cobra Kai is equal parts Daniel and Johnny's story. Also because this is a series and not a movie, we really wanted to reimagine how the story was told. Changing the name made sense as part of that," Daniels said.
Excited about the project, Glenn Adilman, exec vp comedy development at SPTS, noted, "Continuing the story of The Karate Kid has been a passion project for all of us, and when Ralph and Billy said yes, we knew it had become real. We are thrilled that YouTube Red felt the same thing the minute they heard the pitch and then stepped up with this series commitment." (ANI)