A Musical Adaptation of The Karate Kid Is in the Works | Playbill

Industry News A Musical Adaptation of The Karate Kid Is in the Works Drew Gasparini and original screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen will collaborate on the Broadway-aimed take on the 1984 movie.
William Zabka, Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio, and Randee Heller in The Karate Kid Columbia Pictures

Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote the screenplay for The Karate Kid, is at work on a musical adaptation of the 1984 Columbia Pictures movie. Joining him on the creative team are composer Drew Gasparini (We Aren't Kids Anymore), director Amon Miyamoto (2004's Pacific Overtures), and husband-and-wife choreographers Keone and Mari Madrid (the upcoming Once Upon a One More Time).

Also on board is Tony-winning set designer Derek McLane. No word yet on casting or a production timeline for the Broadway-aimed project, about a new-in-town teenager who learns to defend himself with the help of Gōjū-ryū master Mr. Miyagi.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think this little movie would reach across generations the way it has," said Kamen. "And beyond my wildest dreams did I think what started out as a love letter to my devotion to Okinawan Karate and the man who taught me would become a full-blown Broadway musical. But here it is. Here I am. And here is hoping that what comes to the stage brings the same joy and relevance The Karate Kid has brought to countless kids and their parents for the past 35 years. Go figure."

The movie (and the franchise it ensued) has previously been explored on the New York stage—to an extent. An unauthorized parody titled It's Karate, Kid! The Musical played a brief run in 2004. The cast included Tony nominee Andrew Rannells—a month before his Broadway debut in Hairspray.

The musical will be produced by Kinoshita Group, Kumiko Yoshii, and Michael Wolk.

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