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New ‘Karate Kid’ Sequel Shows Folly of Modern Hollywood Groupthink

No franchise stars. No director. Just a brand to be exploited at all costs

The team behind “Cobra Kai” pulled off the near-impossible.

Creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg revived a decades-old franchise with love, respect and creativity. They paid homage to the “Karate Kid” features, brought back as many key, and not so key, players from the original saga and injected new blood into the storyline.

The results? Five seasons embraced by critics and fans alike, with more in production.

Cobra Kai: Season 5 | Official Trailer | Netflix

How did Hollywood respond to the unlikely resurgence? We just learned there’s a new “Karate Kid” movie on the way.

Sony announced “the return of the original ‘Karate Kid’ franchise” with a June 2024 release date. 

That’s all.

No stars or directors are currently attached to the material, at least publicly. We know nothing about the film save the title and its connection to the original franchise.

It gets worse.

The team behind “Cobra Kai,” who revived the brand and proved a new “Kid” saga still mattered, won’t be involved with the new film.

Could Hurwitz be acting coy? Seems unlikely, since he responded to a fan on Twitter and didn’t approach the press directly about his possible ties to the film.

Sony would seemingly love to trumpet the “Cobra Kai” team’s involvement with the project. What a perfect way to build interest in a film still two years away?

Instead, we’re given a generic announcement with zero details save the team who brought the brand back from the creative abyss are out of the loop.

It’s part of the new, baffling normal in La La Land.

RELATED: LA TIMES SLAMS ‘COBRA KAI’ AS TOO WHITE

Hollywood studios now plot movies with the word “untitled” in them for public consumption. Here’s more from a recent film slate announcement.

Columbia Pictures’ Garfield movie will go on May 24, 2024, Memorial Day weekend instead of Feb. 16, 2024. Currently on that Memorial Day weekend is Warner Bros/Village Roadshow’s Furiosa, Paramount’s John Krasinski/Ryan Reynolds’ IF, and an untitled 20th Century Studios movie. [emphasis added]

Disney also uses the “untitled film” place marker when announcing its future plans.

Let’s be blunt. The upcoming “Karate Kid” film could be as good, or bad, as any new feature. We literally know nothing about it, from the creative team in place to the finished product.

What’s clear, though, is that Hollywood is banking on brand recognition to green light a major motion picture. Sony is so confident about said brand that it didn’t bother to tap the “Cobra Kai” team to make it happen.

The move suggests an arrogance behind the scenes. The folks who own the “Karate Kid” franchise feel no need to bring on those well versed in the saga.

They better be right.

Most importantly, it points to a misunderstanding of modern pop culture. “Cobra Kai” is a hit on Netflix, but that doesn’t guarantee feature film success. Hit shows draw a fraction of what they did in the analog age.

For example, Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers” starts its 13th season Sept. 25, but the film based on the long-running show made a mediocre $31 million.

Sony may regret turning its back on Team “Cobra Kai” while prepping a sequel to a saga that curdled with 1994’s “The Next Karate Kid.”

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4 Comments

  1. With the absence of critical thinking everywhere we now get awful Broadway shows that are made from terrible movies, and mediocre at best sequels in the movies. No I don’t want a modern updated nonbinary stupid pro noun riddled diversity equity and inclusion version of the Karate Kid. No more critical thought taught in schools reaps the result of no more creativity. Try writing your own original bad movie, leave the oldies but goodies alone.

  2. This entire article is some right wing butt hurt about change BS. No film producer in his RIGHT MIND would “consult” or “bring on board” SOMEONE FROM FREAKING TELEVISION!!! The writing is DIFFERENT .. In a film , think SPIDER MAN , we need the kid to get bit between 10-15 min because he has to spend minutes 15-28 exploring/adjusting/ being affected by his new abilities, so that at about 30 min HE CAN REFUSE THE “CALL OF DUTY” only to have “no choice” but to undertake the journey to”Climb said mountain/Discover said cure/capture Doc Ock. On television THE SHOW WOULD ALMOST BE OVER by that time AND A MOVIE IS JUST BEGINNING! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.

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