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SYFY WIRE The Karate Kid

WIRE Buzz: The Karate Kid kicks to Broadway; Werewolves Within bites into Veep star; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita in The Karate Kid

We can pretty much all agree that it was a thing of real beauty, back in the day, to see Daniel crane-kick Johnny into shocked submission as The Karate Kid introduced a generation of ‘80s kids to their first true taste of big-screen martial arts. But now Broadway has its sights set on elevating The Karate Kid into the realm of actual art — in the form of a just-announced, coming-of-age musical.

Deadline reports that original Karate Kid screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen is on board to adapt the 1984 classic for the musical theater stage, with scoring and lyrics from contemporary composer Drew Gasparini. Casting is yet to be announced — but you can bet your headband we’re already letting our imaginations run wild on who might reprise iconic movie characters like Mister Miyagi (the late Pat Morita), Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue). 

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think this little movie would reach across generations the way it has,” said Kamen in a statement (via Deadline). “And [never] 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... [H]ere 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.”

Japanese stage director Amon Miyamoto will reportedly direct the Broadway version, with production by Japanese company Kinoshita Group, alongside Be More Chill stage producer Kumiko Yoshii, and Gorgeous Entertainment’s Michael Wolk. There’s no word on a premiere date, so for now we’ll just be over here looping Joe Esposito’s "You're the Best," while repeat binging on Macchio and Zabka in their grown-up Karate Kid roles on YouTube’s Cobra Kai

It’s taken a little while, but game developer Ubisoft’s push into the world of television is beginning to take shape — just like an afflicted lupine-man howling in the light of a full moon. Deadline reports that Werewolves Within, the long-percolating TV series spawned from Ubisoft’s 2016 virtual reality game of the same name, has cast its big bad werewolf (or at least its first big name) with the pickup of Veep and Detroiters star Sam Richardson. 

Sam Richardson Veep

First announced back in 2018, Werewolves Within is one of two live action TV shows based on Ubisoft games (Child of Light is the other), and it’s part of the developer’s "Women’s Film and Television Fellowship" initiative. Aptly-named writer Mishna Wolff is still on board to script the horror-comedy, which in the game explores a whodunnit mystery to uncover the real werewolf walking among (and attacking) the citizens of a fictional medieval town.

There’s no word yet on where or when Werewolves Within will land on TV, but Richardson, who gleefully admitted to SYFY WIRE a couple of years back to being a lifelong nerd, is set to appear alongside Chris Pratt later this year in Paramount’s big-budget sci-fi action movie The Tomorrow War, which releases on Dec. 25.

What if the whole planet were nothing more than a Truman Show-style simulation, and all its inhabitants merely the unwitting performers for an alien race addicted to reality TV? 

While it may not be a perfect comparison, it’s the gist of the setup behind Channel Blue, the well-reviewed comedic sci-fi novel from Key & Peele showrunner and author Jay Martel. Now, Channel Blue is reportedly getting the full-length feature film treatment, with Martel himself set to adapt his original story for the big screen. 

Via The Hollywood Reporter, the plot hinges on a dreadful discovery made by (who else?) an out-of-work screenwriter, who comes across a mind-warping truth: Earth is “actually an ongoing reality show for an advanced race of aliens...and it's about to be blown up because of bad ratings.” 

Bad ratings, huh? C’mon. We don’t know what it takes to keep aliens entertained in 2020, but have they seen what we lunatics are up to down here? There’s no early word on casting or a release date, but hopefully humanity can stick around long enough to find out why we bore the extraterrestrials so thoroughly out of their ever-lovin' minds, when Channel Blue finally beams into in theaters.