Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio Find Their Next Karate Kid Star in Ben Wang Straight Out of Canceled Disney+ Series Starring Michelle Yeoh

Jackie Chan’s The Karate Kid Sequel will not bring back Jaden Smith, as they have found their next Karate Kid star in Ben Wang!

Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio Find Their Next Karate Kid Star in Ben Wang Straight Out of Canceled Disney+ Series Starring Michelle Yeoh

SUMMARY

  • Ben Wang, the star of the Disney+ series American Born Chinese, has been cast in the upcoming The Karate Kid sequel.
  • His exceptional audition and fluency in Mandarin and martial arts skills have been praised by studio insiders.
  • He will be sharing the screen with veteran actors Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio.
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Ben Wang, the star of the Disney+ series American Born Chinese, appears to have found work quickly after the show’s second season’s recent cancellation. The Hollywood Reporter recently announced that the young actor has been cast in the upcoming The Karate Kid sequel. As part of this project, franchise veterans Jackie Chan (The Foreigner, Drunken Master) and Ralph Macchio (Cobra Kai, The Outsiders) will also be sharing the screen.

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Studio insiders claim that Wang had an exceptional audition that showed how well he connected with the role. It also helped that he speaks Mandarin fluently and is skilled in a variety of martial arts forms, including Taekwondo, Kumdo, Karate, and Kung Fu. 

Ben Wang via Instagram @definitelynotbenwang
Ben Wang via Instagram: @definitelynotbenwang

Let us quickly review: the first The Karate Kid movie debuted in June 1984, kicking off a legacy that has lasted for 40 years. Now, in the modern era, the Cobra Kai series’ success has kept the franchise alive and well. The original films followed Ralph Macchio’s character, Daniel LaRusso, as he navigated the world of karate and triumphed over bullies. Jaden Smith mastered Kung Fu in another installment released in 2010.  

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Ben Wang is Jackie Chan & Ralph Macchio’s Next Karate Kid 

Ben Wang is going to be the next Karate Kid, as we learned from THRThe young actor—who previously starred opposite Michelle Yeoh in the Disney+ series American Born Chinese— landed the highly sought-after role in Sony’s new The Karate Kid film, which also stars Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio. The search saw thousands of young actors from all over the world compete for the title role. Studio insiders claim that Wang gave an exceptional audition performance, showcasing his strong emotional bond with the role.

The actor is proficient in a variety of martial arts styles, including Kempo, Taekwondo, Gumdo, Wing Chun/Kung Fu, and Karate. He also speaks Mandarin fluently.

the karate kid
The Karate Kid (2010)

In November, Chan and Macchio released a video announcing the casting call. Although the new film’s plot is still unknown, Macchio will reprise his role as Daniel LaRusso from the original The Karate Kid film and the television series Cobra Kai, and Chan will play Mr. Han, a Kung Fu master from the 2010 Jaden Smith remake.

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Rob Lieber will pen the script for the film, which Jonathan Entwistle, director of The End of the F…ing World and I Am Not Okay With This, will helm. 

With a budget of $40 million, The Karate Kid movie made $359 million

Disney+ Cancelled American Born Chinese After One Season

Ben Wang via Instagram @definitelynotbenwang
Ben Wang via Instagram: @definitelynotbenwang

Per Deadline, Disney+ has decided not to renew Disney’s action fantasy series American Born Chinese, which starred Michelle Yeoh and Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan.

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Based on Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel American Born Chinese, the film, directed by Kelvin Yu, centers on Jin Wang (Ben Wang), a tenth grader who finds it difficult to blend in with his classmates. Even more worlds collide when Jin unintentionally becomes involved in a conflict between Chinese mythological gods on the first day of classes when he meets a new student.

Even with a stellar cast that included two of Hollywood’s biggest names, Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh, American Born Chinese failed to draw in enough viewers for a second season. 

Disney is streaming American-born Chinese, and The Karate Kid (2010) can be rented on Apple TV.

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1540

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1500 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.