Karate Kid | American Born Chinese star Ben Wang to play lead in new film

The Karate Kid
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Sony’s new Karate Kid movie will see Ben Wang star alongside Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio. More here:

After a lengthy search which saw a quite frightening number of actors apply for the role, the next Karate Kid film has cast its title star. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive, it’s Ben Wang, previously known for his work on the series American Born Chinese.

As it turns out, Wang is quite spectacularly suited for the role, given that he’s well versed in a number of martial arts forms, including kung fu, kempo, taekwondo as well as karate. We wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him, frankly.

Sony’s Karate Kid film is the first since the 2010 reboot, in which Jaden Smith took over from Ralph Macchio as the bullied teenager taken under the wing of a martial arts sage, played in that film by the great Jackie Chan.

The new Karate Kid will cross the streams a little in terms of casting, with Wang being joined by Jackie Chan and Macchio, who played Daniel LaRusso in 1984’s The Karate Kid and its two immediate sequels. There’s no word on whether the film will connect in any way with the hit TV series, Cobra Kai, which also stars Macchio.

THR also reports that the new film will be set in the US’s East Coast (the 2010 film was set in Beijing), with Wang playing a teenager who moves to the region from China and finds “strength and direction via martial arts and a tough but wise mentor (or maybe even two).”

Two martial arts mentors? Now that’s just being greedy. The new Karate Kid will be directed by Jonathan Enwhistle, with the script being scribbled by Peter Rabbit’s Rob Lieber.

No word on a release date yet, but with the cast in place, it’s likely the film will get going on filming fairly soon. More as we get it.

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