American Born Chinese Actor Ben Wang is the New Karate Kid

Coming from Disney+ series American Born Chinese, Ben Wang has been offered the starring role in Sony Pictures’ newest chapter of the critically-acclaimed Karate Kid franchise. This was the outcome of a worldwide search involving thousands of submissions, out of which Wang’s performance was chosen for epitomizing the character and demonstrating a strong connection with it. Wang’s fluency in Mandarin and his multi-faceted martial arts skills also played a vital part in his landing the coveted role.

Wang’s Ahead-of-the-Pack Audition

With over 10,000 entries submitted within the initial 24 hours after the call, Sony Pictures had their hands full during the casting process. Ben Wang emerged from this massive pool of talent due to his exceptional audition and his featured skillset, comprising proficiency in karate, wing chun/kung fu, gumdo, kempo, and taekwondo. He exhibited many of these skills in American Born Chinese, a highly acclaimed adaption of the coming-of-age fantasy graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, also starring Michelle Yeoh.

Iconic Characters Reprised

In addition, Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio, famous for their pivotal roles in previous Karate Kid movies, return once more to assume their characters’ responsibilities. While specifics about the plot are still being carefully preserved, it promises a shift in location, bringing the narrative to the East Coast and focusing on a Chinese teenager who discovers courage and focus through martial arts and the guidance of a seasoned yet compassionate mentor.

Trailblazers Behind the Scenes

The movie will be directed by Jonathan Entwistle, popularly known for his career-defining teen television dramas like I’m Not Okay With This and The End of the F***ing World. The screenplay has been penned by Rob Lieber, who boasts credits for Sony’s Peter Rabbit and Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day. Karen Rosenfelt is on board as the producer. Sony has scheduled the film for a Dec. 13, 2024 release.

Legacy of the Karate Kid

Starting off in 1984, The Karate Kid soon turned out to be an unexpected sensation. The original featured Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, a Brooklyn lad newly settled in California, who out of nowhere becomes a karate champion, thanks to the guidance of Mr.Miyagi – an apartment handyman turned amazing martial arts expert. The renowned franchise has had its revival lately with the YouTube and Netflix series Cobra Kai. Sony gave the series a fresh restart in 2010 with a modern take on the story that spotlighted an American boy, portrayed by Jaden Smith, who moves to Beijing and is trained by a handyman specialized in martial arts, portrayed by Jackie Chan.

Box Office Success

Over the years, the Karate Kid movies have earned over $618 million worldwide, and the series gained several Emmy nominations.
Ben Wang can currently be seen in a role in the Mean Girls musical movie. He is represented by Stewart Talent, Artists First, and Schreck Rose.

Wrapping Up

In yet another rendition of the beloved Karate Kid franchise, the new installment is packed with high expectations featuring a well-crafted narrative and notable talents behind the scenes. It remains to be seen what Ben Wang will bring into this iconic Karate Kid character. To stay informed about the latest updates regarding the much-anticipated movie, keep visiting HitPlay.

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