New ‘Karate Kid’ Movie Casts ‘American Born Chinese’ Star Ben Wang in Title Role

Ben Wang is the next Karate Kid.

Wang, who previously starred opposite Michelle Yeoh in the Disney+ series “American Born Chinese,” landed the sought-after role after a worldwide search that saw thousands of young actors from around the globe vie for the title role in Sony’s new “Karate Kid” movie, which unites Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio. Per studio insiders, Wang delivered a standout audition performance that demonstrated his deep connection to the character.

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The actor, who is also fluent in Mandarin, is skilled across many forms of martial arts, including Karate, Wing Chun/Kung Fu, Gumdo, Kempo and Taekwando.

Chan and Macchio, who announced the casting search via a video in November, will reprise their iconic “Karate Kid” franchise characters in the latest entry to the series from Sony Pictures.

Plot details are still under wraps on the new movie, but Macchio will once again play Daniel LaRusso from the original “Karate Kid” film trilogy and the series “Cobra Kai,” while Chan will return to the role of Mr. Han, a Kung Fu master from the 2010 remake movie starring Jaden Smith.

The film will be directed by Jonathan Entwistle, the creator and director of Netflix’s “I Am Not Okay With This” and “The End of the F—ing World.” “Peter Rabbit” scribe Rob Lieber will pen the screenplay, and Karen Rosenfelt will produce.

Sony Pictures will release the film in theaters on Dec. 13, 2024.

The “Karate Kid” films have earned $618 million globally, and spawned the Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Cobra Kai.” The series, created by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, takes place decades after the events of the original movies, reigniting a rivalry between Daniel and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka).

The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news.

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