There have been reports of a new Karate Kid on the block and this time Sony is the one responsible for it. The production company has set its sight on branching out of the franchise by bringing back the existing trilogy. So far, the reports claim that the movie is diverging out of the shadows of its predecessors and taking on a whole new form. But how much was this reboot of the time-tested Karate Kid franchise influenced by the current trend of 80s-era remakes and trailblazing successes?
Also read: The 80s Most Popular Movies, Ranked
Karate Kid Steps Off the Cobra Kai x Miyagi-Do Timeline
With the unexpected and surprisingly good revival of the 80s classic karate franchise, Cobra Kai set out to achieve what most of Hollywood’s later remakes have failed to do — stay relevant while staying true to the source. The Netflix series not only reignited the lost passion for watching foes battle it out on the mat but also instilled the intergenerational themes of perseverance, fraternity, and redemption. Perhaps with the rising glory that comes with the success of Cobra Kai, the stage has been set for the re-entry of a new Karate Kid franchise now more than ever.
As confirmed by Cobra Kai‘s creator, Jon Hurwitz, the film does not have an association with the series and as such with the original trilogy. But this does not immediately set the movie below par since the upcoming remake now has two great advantages in its favor — it has the backing of an already established and beloved franchise as well as the fandom that comes with it. The new film moreover has the luxury of steering clear of the 80s-era scripted structure and deep-dive into a newly furnished world without having to trudge through the expectations of the old one.
Karate Kid Remake Finds Assurance in the Revival of the 80s
The last two decades of the 20th century delivered truly good franchises that are, to this day, being celebrated. Some have established themselves as peak popular culture references. This era of the golden 80s in Hollywood transgressed boundaries and set the foundations for entirely new kaleidoscopic possibilities in the field of cinema. We have witnessed the evolution of the Star Wars franchise, Back to the Future, Tony Scott’s Top Gun (1986), the Predator franchise, and The Karate Kid trilogy. All of these have prevailed through the decades and only grown more popular with age.
However, the best comeback among all the rest has been the resounding delivery of Top Gun: Maverick, which didn’t stop climbing until it reached the very top of the industry ladder’s rung of success. Top Gun: Maverick defined what a comeback of a classic should look and feel like and it delivered that and so much more. The film did honor its genesis and traditions but at the same time, didn’t hold itself back by clutching on to the fringed ropes of its past. Perhaps, Sony found a lesson to be learned from Joseph Kosinski’s creation when it decided to launch a new Karate Kid remake inspired by the 80s classic.
The Karate Kid is now streaming on Hulu. Season 5 of Cobra Kai is out on Netflix.