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Playbill announced yesterday that 'The Karate Kid' will join the ranks of movies made into musicals. Get your black belt and dive into this development!

Could the ‘The Karate Kid’ musical be better than the movies?

Movie musicals are becoming a lot more popular for better . . . . or for worse. Playbill announced yesterday that the 80s classic The Karate Kid will join the ranks of movies made into musicals, debuting on Broadway after its world premiere at Stages St. Louis in 2022. 

The Karate Kid musical will follow the plot of the first of the movies, where young Daniel LaRusso learns the ways of karate from Mr. Miyagi in order to defend himself from bullies, learning more about himself and his own inner strength along the way. This film spawned quite the franchise, with many The Karate Kid movies and shows arising after the first in the form of sequels, spin-offs and reboots. 

Naturally, Twitter is divided on the news of The Karate Kid becoming the next on the list of movies made into a musical. We kicked through the threads to find more information and the best reactions to the news. Get your black belt as we dive into the news of The Karate Kid musical. 

Regards to Broadway 

While no announcement has been made currently in regards to the casting, the crew is already filled with butt-kicking names that will definitely help the adaptation.  Pacific Overtures’ Amon Miyamoto will serve as director, leading other notable names including Moulin Rouge!’s set designer Derek McLane, Hadestown’s lighting designer Bradley King, and Mean Girls’ orchestrator John Clancy. 

“Karate teaches that if you treat people with inner strength, humility, and the spirit of harmony, there will be no conflict,” Miyamoto said in an official statement, “My deepest hope is that our work resonates with audiences all over the world, spreading the ideas of acceptance and inclusion—which are the opposite of division.” 

The musical is set to premiere at The Ross Family Theatre at The Kirkwood Performing Arts Center on May 25, 2022 until June 26, 2022. But before the curtain goes up, we have to ask: why so many movie musicals? 

Showstoppers? 

Generally, IP’s are not exclusive to big movie companies. These properties can be used in anything, from novels to even musicals. But sometimes just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Some movie musicals have seen smashing success due to the timelessness of the story. The many Disney musicals and Beetlejuice work because their stories were fun, fictional romps that everyone knew in some capacity. 

Obviously, a fun & fictional setting isn’t the only part of success. Many movie musicals, like Mean Girls, are grounded yet still have a timeless feel. But sometimes, these musicals only showcase how poorly the movie has aged or tries to reconstruct the plot to fit the new medium, losing some of its charm. The Tootsie controversy reminded us of that as well as the Rocky musical (yeah, remember that one?) 

Movie musicals can be a great way to re-experience these classics, but only when those classics are translated well. In the case of The Karate Kid, we’ll have to wait and see if it can Crane kick it’s way into the audience’s hearts or if it’ll collapse on the mat. 

Twitter is skeptical 

Many Twitter users are scratching their heads over the news, with some wondering why fewer new musicals are being announced nowadays. Reactions to the news include: 

It’s real, alright, and be careful cause it’ll kick hard. 

We see what you did there . . . . 

We’re crossing our fingers on that front, dude. 

One does not simply insult Rodgers and Hammerstein . . . . 

Aka some people’s reaction in a nutshell. 

What are your thoughts on The Karate Kid joining the list of movies made into musicals? Drop them below in the comments before the curtain rises! 

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