YouTube Red is hoping to age up its audience by breathing life back into ‘The Karate Kid,’ the 1984 martial arts classic about a bullied teenager who befriends a Karate Master. The Google-owned company is creating a series based off the movie that will star the original Karate Kid Ralph Macchio and his archenemy William Zabka.
“We are targeting an 18–49 audience with this,” Susanne Daniels, global head of content for YouTube said at the Television Critics Association press tour. “That is a part of an evolving strategy for YouTube Red.”
The series is part of Daniels’ plans to broaden YouTube Red’s programming. While the company will still work with YouTube Stars, it will also pick up projects with more traditional talent attached, like its done with “Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television” and “Step Up: High Water.”
“Cobra Kai” landed at YouTube Red following a competitive bidding process that sources say also included offers from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and AMC after Macchio and Zabka pitched the series all over town, reported Hollywood Reporter.
The 10-episode series, which has been titled “Cobra Kai,” is set 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament and revolves around a down and out Johnny (William Zabka) who, seeking redemption, reopens the infamous Cobra Kai dojo. It reignites his rivalry with a now-successful Daniel (Ralph Macchio), who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita). The half-hour comedy follows the duo addressing demons from their past and present frustrations through what they know best — Karate.