‘The Karate Kid’ Is Waxing on a Musical Adaptation in 2022


The Karate Kid is the latest film adaptation to become a musical, which is hoping to wax on to Broadway after its world premiere at Stages St. Louis in 2022. Announced today by Playbill, the musical’s book will be written by the original films’ screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen, with a score by It’s Kind of a Funny Story‘s Drew Gasparini. After premiering in St. Louis, the producers are eyeing a subsequent Broadway debut.

The musical adaptation will follow the same plotline of the 1984 original. The unexpected hit franchise stars Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso, a teenager who learns karate from Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita) to help defend himself against bullies, as well as compete and win in a tournament (with that famous Crane technique). The tiny film went on to be a huge critical and commercial success, spawning multiple sequels, a so-so remake, as well as a Netflix series called Cobra Kai.

Martin Kove, Pat Morita and Martin Kove in The Karate Kid

Image via Columbia Pictures

RELATED: ‘Cobra Kai’ Season 4: Release Date, Cast, the Return of Terry Silver, and Everything We Know So Far

Unfortunately, there have been no announcements in regards to casting, but the creative team behind the production looks great so far. Pacific OverturesAmon Miyamoto will serve as director, and combining the karate action with dance will be choreographers Keone Madrid and Mari Madrid. Rounding out the rest of the crew are costume designer Ayako Maeda, Moulin Rouge!‘s set designer Derek McLane, Hadestown‘s lighting designer Bradley King, The Band Visit‘s sound designer Kai Harada, Mean Girls‘ orchestrator John Clancy and The Cher Show‘s music director Andrew Resnick.

The Karate Kid musical is just one of many film adaptations that Broadway producers have funded, with good reason. IP isn’t just for the big studios, as audiences are more likely to watch their favorite film on stage. Recent musical adaptations include Beetlejuice, Pretty Woman, Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire. However, not all musical adaptations have been successful critically or commercially, but hopefully with Kamen on board The Karate Kid will be a success.

Additionally, director Miyamoto seems to really understand the draw and emotion behind the success of the original. In an official statement, he said,

“Karate teaches that if you treat people with inner strength, humility, and the spirit of harmony, there will be no conflict. My deepest hope is that our work resonates with audiences all over the world, spreading the ideas of acceptance and inclusion—which are the opposite of division.”

The Karate Kid will premiere at The Ross Family Theatre at The Kirkwood Performing Arts Center on May 25, 2022 until June 26, 2022. All three seasons of Cobra Kai are currently available to stream on Netflix, with Season 4 set to premiere later this year.

KEEP READING: ‘Cobra Kai’ Creators Tease the Series End Game and Discuss the Possibility of Spin-Offs

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