New ‘Karate Kid’ Movie Sets ‘American Born Chinese’ Star Ben Wang as Lead

The actor will star opposite Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio in the Sony film

Karate Kid Ben Wang
Ben Wang (Credit: Mihn Nguyen)

After a global search that received thousands of submissions, Sony Pictures has found the next “Karate Kid” in 17-year-old Chinese American actor Ben Wang, the studio announced on Monday.

Wang recently starred in the acclaimed Disney+ series “American Born Chinese” alongside Michelle Yeoh.

Wang will star opposite Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio, who will reprise their respective roles from the original franchise and its reboot, in the new “Karate Kid” film set for release on Dec. 13.

Fluent in Mandarin and highly skilled in various martial arts, Wang impressed producers with his screen test showcasing his acting talent and deep connection to the role.

Helming the project is director Jonathan Entwistle, known for his work on Netflix’s acclaimed series “I Am Not Okay With This” and “The End of the F***ing World.” The screenplay comes from Rob Lieber, writer of the popular children’s film “Peter Rabbit.”

Veteran producer Karen Rosenfelt, whose credits include the “Twilight” saga and the “Percy Jackson” films, will produce.

Over its 40-year lifespan, the massively popular “Karate Kid” franchise has earned over $618 million at the global box office. Its hit spin-off series “Cobra Kai” has introduced the property to a new generation and earned an Emmy nomination in the process.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.


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