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Ralph Macchio returns to Karate Kid franchise for YouTube Red series 'Cobra Kai'

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Wax off, wax on. Original Karate Kid franchise star Ralph Macchio is planning to return to the family-friendly martial arts franchise for an upcoming show on YouTube Red titled Cobra Kai — and he’s not the only one reprising an iconic role.

William Zabka, who portrayed high-school bully Johnny Lawrence (of “Sweep the leg, Johnny!” fame) will co-star with Macchio in the series, playing the character who tormented Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso in the franchise-spawning 1984 film. The series is a envisioned as a comedy set 30 years after the events of the first film.

According to The Hollywood ReporterCobra Kai follows “a down-and out-Johnny, who, seeking redemption, 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 (deceased franchise actor Pat Morita). The half-hour comedy follows the duo addressing demons from their past and present frustrations — through (what else?) karate.”

Hot Tub Time Machine screenwriter Josh Heald will pen the script for the series along with Harold and Kumar franchise writers Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg. The Harold and Kumar duo are also expected to direct most of the series, which will consist of 10 half-hour episodes. Macchio and Zabka are serving as executive producers, along with Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment production studio.

“Like everyone who grew up in the 1980s, the three of us are enormous fans of The Karate Kid,” said the trio of writers in a statement accompanying the announcement. “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.”

Macchio’s last appearance as Daniel LaRusso was in 1989’s The Karate Kid Part III, while Zabka reprised his role as Johnny Lawrence for a brief scene in The Karate Kid Part II. Although Zabka’s character is generally perceived as the antagonist of the original 1984 film, some fans have argued that he’s actually the unsung hero of the story — so it will be interesting to see whether that interpretation of the character will inform the new series.

The Karate Kid and the two direct sequels it inspired, as well as the soft reboot in 1994 (The Next Karate Kid, which starred a young Hilary Swank) and the full 2010 reboot (The Karate Kid, which starred Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan) have earned $430.3 million in U.S. theaters across five films. The 2010 reboot leads the Karate Kid franchise with $176.5 million domestically and $359.1 million worldwide. (The original trilogy didn’t receive an international release.)

Cobra Kai is expected to premiere sometime in 2018.

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

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