Hurwitz, Heald, and Schlossberg built and defined the Miyagi-verse with Cobra Kai, but if this isn’t from them, it’s akin Sony’s Spider-verse films – the MCU without Kevin Feige. This makes the new film a total wild card. It doesn’t appear to have any connection to Cobra Kai whatsoever.
It could be a sequel to Jackie and Jaden’s redux. There have been rumors circulating around that since the first film came out, although there’s never been any confirmation from either actor. If that seems unlikely given the success of Cobra Kai, follow the money. The Karate Kid 2010 earned a global box office of $359 million, more than all the first four films combined. Will Smith (Jaden’s father as if you didn’t know) was the producer of The Karate Kid redux. He is also an executive producer for Cobra Kai. He is also listed as the producer of The Karate Kid 2 on IMDb, which is listed as ‘announced’ at this writing. Smith is attached to a dozen projects in various states of production, but such listings are occasionally dubious on IMDb. Until the project actually comes to fruition, IMDb’s listings are not written in stone.
Nevertheless, IMDb states that the project has six screenwriters: Jeremiah Friedman, Nick Palmer, Zak Penn, Ethan Reiff, Anthony Tambakis, and Cyrus Voris (Christopher Murphey wrote the original reboot). And two producers are alongside Smith, James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz. Lassiter and Stovitz produced the reboot alongside Smith, Jerry Weintraub, and Jada Pinkett Smith. There are currently no cast listings on IMDb, but it does include the following synopsis: “After the sudden death of Dre’s old Kung Fu Instructor, Mr. Han, young Kung Fu Champion, Dre Parker must learn The Dark Stepstones of how to become a good Instructor and teach his old fellow enemies a little more than respect.”
There’s another issue. Jaden’s character Dre Parker was 12 in The Karate Kid. Today, Smith is 24, so he’s no longer a ‘kid’. He might still play a teen, but unlike Macchio, who convincingly played an 18-year-old Daniel when he was 27, Smith doesn’t have that eternal baby face.
Another possibility is that this could be something completely new, another redux with a completely new cast. The writer of the original film trilogy, Robert Mark Kamen, had initially envisioned a completely different version of The Karate Kid Part III. He pitched a prequel where Daniel and Mr. Miyagi traveled to 16th century China in a dream, however the producers shot that down. Kamen is credited in Cobra Kai as the creator of the characters, and there’s a delicious Easter egg in the premiere episode of season 4. Toward the end of the episode, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffth) shatters a bottle of wine from Kamen Estates, Kamen’s winery in Sonoma.
Beyond being a vintner, Kamen is still an active screenwriter. His last film was Angel has Fallen in 2019 and he has consistently delivered film and TV scripts almost every year since the Karate Kid trilogy. While it would be a stretch to go back for this story now since Morita died in 2005, perhaps they could steal a page from Cobra Kai, and recast a young Miyagi akin to young Kreese (Barrett Carnahan) and young Silver aka Twig (Nick Marini).