Ben Wang, best known as the star of the recent Disney+ series “American Born Chinese” and a role in the recent “Mean Girls” musical, will take on the titular role in the new update of “The Karate Kid” at Sony Pictures.
The casting follows a global search that saw countless submissions, including 10,000 entries reported in the first 24 hours alone.
According to sources for THR, Wang delivered “a standout audition that demonstrated his deep connection to the character”.
Wang is fluent in Mandarin and highly skilled in many forms of martial arts including karate, wing chun/kung fu, gumdo, kempo and taekwondo.
Both Jackie Chan and Ralph Macchio will reprise their iconic characters from previous “Karate Kid” films in the new entry set on the U.S. East Coast. It follows a teen from China who finds strength and direction via martial arts and a tough but wise mentor.
Jonathan Entwistle (“I’m Not Okay with This”) is directing from a script by Rob Lieber. Karen Rosenfelt is producing and the film is slated to open December 13th this year.