Sony Pictures has found its new “Karate Kid” in “American Born Chinese” actor Ben Wang.
Breaking the news: The official “Karate Kid” movie Instagram page broke the casting news in a post on Tuesday, in which it welcomed Wang, 24, into the “Karate Kid Movie family.”
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How he got in: Wang nabbed the role after an audition that showed his connection to the character, with his fluency in Mandarin and his martial arts skills, including in karate, Wing Chun and kung fu, also helping him, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing studio insiders.
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He also competed with tens of thousands of actors who auditioned for the role, with as many as 10,000 entries submitted in the first 24 hours after Sony announced its global casting search in November 2023.
What to expect: While Sony is still keeping the “Karate Kid” plot details under wraps, the new film will reportedly bring the story to the East Coast, unlike the Los Angeles setting of the classic 1984 movie of the same title, according to the Reporter.
The new movie, of which the title is not yet revealed, will focus on a teen from China who finds strength and direction through martial arts under the guidance of his mentor or possibly even two mentors. Jackie Chan, 69, and Ralph Macchio, 62, will reprise their roles as Mr. Han from the 2010 “Karate Kid” movie and Daniel LaRusso from the classic trilogy, respectively.
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Catching up: Before landing the “Karate Kid” lead role, Wang starred in the now-canceled Disney Plus series “American Born Chinese,” which also featured Academy Award-winning actor Michelle Yeoh. He can also be seen in the musical movie “Mean Girls.”
The “Karate Kid” movie will crane kick its way to theaters on Dec. 13, 2024.
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