Karate Kid returns on YouTube

NEW YORK • The Karate Kid hopes to land another knockout, this time with YouTube.

Keen to tackle other streaming rivals, it is rolling out its first major original content series, Cobra Kai - a revival of the 1980s saga with a twist.

With the first 10-episode series going online on Wednesday, Google-owned YouTube is also hoping to draw new customers to its US$10 (S$13) monthly streaming service, YouTube Red, which was launched in 2015. YouTube Red is now available in five countries - the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea - but YouTube has said that it will reach dozens more by the year's end.

The Karate Kid (1984) led to three sequels and even a reboot in 2010 starring Will Smith's son, Jaden. Overall, the films have taken in more than US$500 million worldwide.

The star of the first film, Ralph Macchio, and the creative team behind raunchy comedies such as the Harold And Kumar films are on board for Cobra Kai. The twist? The series - still set in the Los Angeles suburbs - is a comedy and is told not from the perspective of Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), the bullied teen hero who learns karate from a martial arts master, but that of his nemesis Johnny Lawrence.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2018, with the headline 'Karate Kid returns on YouTube'. Print Edition | Subscribe