Up until now, the Karate Kid franchise has lived on solely through the “Cobra Kai” TV series, but in 2024, it’s set to return to the big screen with a brand-new movie. The untitled project will mark the sixth installment in the franchise and will release exactly 40 years after the first Karate Kid film premiered in 1984. The original movie starred Ralph Macchio as a teenager named Daniel LaRusso, who learns karate from martial arts master Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) in order to defend himself against a group of bullies, one of whom includes Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). Since their rivalry is also at the center of “Cobra Kai,” we’re left to wonder whether the new film will bring the iconic pair back once more.
In September 2022, Macchio told Entertainment Weekly that he wasn’t attached to the project, however, since the movie was still in its early stages, anything could happen. “I think that [will be figured out] in the near future, or I may have nothing to do with it,” Macchio said. “We’ll talk when I know what’s going on.”
Of course, it’s also possible the movie will focus on a new set of characters. While Macchio starred in the first three Karate Kid films, Hilary Swank led the fourth installment as Julie Pierce, who was another one of Miyagi’s students. Meanwhile, the 2010 version of “The Karate Kid” was a remake of the original film starring Jaden Smith as Dre Parker and Jackie Chan as Mr. Han.
While we wait for more info regarding the next movie, here’s what you need to remember about the rest of the Karate Kid films.
How Many Karate Kid Movies Are There?
- “The Karate Kid” (1984)
- “The Karate Kid Part II” (1986)
- “The Karate Kid Part III” (1989)
- “The Next Karate Kid” (1994)
- “The Karate Kid” (2010)
- Untitled Karate Kid Film (2024)
Karate Kid Movies in Order
1. “The Karate Kid”
“The Karate Kid” begins with Daniel moving from New Jersey to California with his mother, Lucille. After befriending a cheerleader named Ali Mills, Daniel gets bullied by Ali’s ex-boyfriend Johnny, who is a student at Cobra Kai dojo. When Mr. Miyagi — a handyman who is skilled at karate — defends Daniel against one of Johnny’s attacks, Daniel asks Miyagi to train him so he can learn to defend himself. Although Miyagi initially declines the offer in hopes of resolving the pair’s conflict without fighting, he agrees to take Daniel under his wing after realizing Johnny and the rest of Cobra Kai won’t leave Daniel alone unless he beats them at the karate championship tournament.
2. “The Karate Kid Part II”
After Miyagi learns that his father is dying, he and Daniel take a trip to Miyagi’s hometown in Okinawa. There, Miyagi reunites with his best friend turned rival, Sato, who was arranged to marry Miyagi’s childhood sweetheart, Yukie. When Sato learned that Miyagi and Yukie planned to run away together, he challenged Miyagi to fight to the death, but since Miyagi couldn’t bring himself to fight his best friend, he left the country instead. However, once Miyagi returns to Okinawa, Sato reignites their feud by threatening to destroy Miyagi’s village if he doesn’t fight him. At the same time, Sato’s nephew, Chozen, begins a rivalry of his own with Daniel.
3. “The Karate Kid Part III”
“The Karate Kid Part III” centers on Cobra Kai’s sensei John Kreese teaming up with his old friend Terry Silver in order to get revenge on Miyagi and Daniel after Cobra Kai’s humiliating loss at the end of “The Karate Kid.” Silver hires karate champion Mike Barnes to challenge Daniel in the next tournament, but when Miyagi refuses to train Daniel again, he turns to Silver for help instead. However, Daniel soon realizes that Silver’s methods are more violent than Miyagi’s. When Silver reveals he’s been working with Kreese and Barnes all along to bring Cobra Kai back to its glory, Miyagi finally agrees to train Daniel again for the upcoming tournament.
4. “The Next Karate Kid”
“The Next Karate Kid” sees Miyagi traveling to Boston to attend a military reunion. At the event, he meets a woman named Louisa Pierce, who is the widow of his commanding officer, Jack Pierce. He’s also introduced to Louisa’s granddaughter Julie, whose parents tragically died in a car accident. Their deaths caused Julie to develop anger issues, which led to her getting into trouble at home and at school. Miyagi offers to help Julie deal with her anger issues by taking her to a Buddhist monastery and teaching her karate.
5. “The Karate Kid” (2010)
In “The Karate Kid” remake, 12-year-old Dre moves from Detroit to Beijing, where he befriends a young girl named Meiying. After noticing Dre and Meiying getting close, Cheng, who is a family friend of Meiying’s, begins bullying Dre using his Master Li’s ruthless methods. Handyman Mr. Han defends Dre using kung fu and then accompanies Dre to see Li in hopes of making peace with him and Cheng. When Li turns down their offer, Han agrees to train Dre and enter him in an upcoming kung fu tournament, where he’ll compete against Li’s students.
6. Untitled Karate Kid Film
According to Variety, there’s a sixth Karate Kid movie in development by Sony Pictures that’s set to release on June 7, 2024. Although the plot and cast for the film have yet to be released, it’s described as marking the “return of the original ‘Karate Kid’ franchise.” As for what that means, it seems we’ll just have to wait to find out more details.