The New Karate Kid Movie’s Setting Makes Those Cobra Kai Connection Theories Way Less Likely


  • New Karate Kid movie in 2024 will feature Ben Wang as the new karate kid, showcasing his martial arts skills and a story of finding strength through martial arts and wise instructors.
  • The movie will take place on the East Coast, departing from the original Los Angeles setting, continuing the franchise’s tradition of exploring different locations.
  • The East Coast setting decreases the likelihood of Cobra Kai connections, as the original series is based in Los Angeles, allowing the new movie to establish its own characters and story before any potential crossovers.

When it was announced that there would be a brand-new Karate Kid movie coming in 2024, many were excited by the prospect of connecting this new film with previous Karate Kid properties, however, a recent update about the new Karate Kid makes those potential connections much less likely. In August 2023, the news was released that a new Karate Kid was in development, with Ralph Macchio and Jackie Chan returning to their roles as Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Han. The film was still in search of its titular Karate Kid, but now, they have both a lead and a location.

It was recently revealed that Chinese-American actor Ben Wang will become the new karate kid in 2024’s Karate Kid. Wang is best known for playing the lead role of Jin Wang in 2023’s American Born Chinese, and more recently, played the role of Justin Cheng in 2024’s Mean Girls. Considering Wang’s skills in martial arts such as karate, wing chun/kung fu, gumdo, kempo and taekwondo, he is certainly prepared to be the next karate kid. Wang will portray a teenager from China who finds strength in America via martial arts and his two wise instructors.


Jackie Chan’s 2010 Karate Kid Remake Being In The Same Universe Isn’t That Weird

The Karate Kid franchise is set to retroactively make Jackie Chan’s 2010 remake part of the main canon, and it can make perfect sense.

The New Karate Kid Movie Will Take Place On The East Coast

Along with casting Ben Wang as the new Karate Kid, the movie also settled on a location. While the original Karate Kid was firmly rooted in Daniel LaRusso’s and Mr. Miyagi’s Los Angeles neighborhood, the 2024 film will take place on the East Coast. It isn’t entirely clear yet which part of the East Coast will be explored, but the new Karate Kid will definitely be leaving LaRusso’s Los Angeles behind. This isn’t entirely new for the Karate Kid franchise either. Over the course of five movies, the franchise has traveled to many different places.

Though Daniel and Mr. Miyagi’s home was located in Los Angeles, The Karate Kid Part II notably brought the pair to Okinawa Island when Mr. Miyagi’s father grew ill. And though Daniel grew to be a Los Angeles kid, his first home was in New Jersey, where his mother returned to The Karate Kid Part III. Furthermore, when Mr. Miyagi came back in The Next Karate Kid, he traveled across the country to Boston, where he met his next mentee, Julie. Finally, the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid settled its new duo in China rather than America.

What The Karate Kid Movie’s Setting Means For The Movie’s Cobra Kai Connections

Robby with Friends in Cobra Kai's Mall Fight

Although 2024’s Karate Kid being set on the East Coast seems like an arbitrary detail, it actually has a major effect on its relation to other Karate Kid entities. In particular, Karate Kid’s East Coast setting means that the chances of the movie having any Cobra Kai connections are much lower. Though 2024’s Karate Kid is the first movie in the franchise in over a decade, the franchise has not been completely forgotten. Netflix’s drama series Cobra Kai has maintained the legacy of The Karate Kid with new and old characters alike at the original Cobra Kai studio in LA.

Therein lies the problem. With Cobra Kai being located in Los Angeles like the original The Karate Kid, and the new Karate Kid being set on the East Coast, it seems unlikely that the two will cross over. While Ralph Macchio’s Daniel plays an integral role in Cobra Kai, it seems likely that, when he appears in 2024’s Karate Kid, his focus will have to stay firmly on his new student. In fact, if too much cross over occurred, it could easily take away from Ben Wang’s character. Therefore, the location will likely put a wedge between the two.

The new
Karate Kid
movie is slated for release on December 13, 2024.

Why You Shouldn’t Expect Many Cobra Kai Cameos In The New Karate Kid Film

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka posing confrontationally in a dramatic scene from Cobra Kai season 5

Ultimately, attention and focus is a main reason why Cobra Kai will likely not have many cameos in the new Karate Kid.

While having some cross over could be fun for fans, it is a risky move because it could take away from the new story the franchise is trying to tell.

Although having an interconnected Karate Kid universe is fun, Ben Wang’s character needs to be established first before any cross over can happen. Otherwise, he will be overshadowed by characters that fans already know and love.

In this way, 2024’s Karate Kid needs to focus on its own characters and story before including Cobra Kai or any other Karate Kid characters. By focusing all the attention on Ben Wang, Jackie Chan, and Ralph Macchio, the movie will be able to lay down the foundation for a fresh and new story. Then, if the film can stand on its own, then the characters could certainly come together for one big Karate Kid reunion.

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