Top 15 Most Anticipated Martial Arts Movies of 2024

We’re a month into the new year of 2024 already, KFK readers, and naturally, that particular spot on the calendar year lends itself to both reflection and anticipation.

In the case of martial arts movie lovers, that often takes the form of looking back with delight on all the amazing, action-packed cinematic and streaming fun the preceding year gave us, and what the new year unfolding has in store in exactly that arena. Going into 2024, it’s safe to say we could be heading into a banner year indeed!

Looking over 2024’s calendar, martial arts fans have tons to look forward to on the big and small-screens.

B-movies, Bollywood action flicks, streaming shows, and big-screen battles of indomitable warriors – you name it, 2024 has something to bring a smile to the faces of martial arts aficionados around the world.

Of course, the fickle nature of our particular genre does tend to lead to the release calendar shifting around a bit more than others, and 2024 has numerous holdovers from the 2023 martial arts movie rundown confirmed to be dropping this year:

“Walled In: Twilight of the Warrior”, “Boy Kills World”, “Hellfire”, “Hounds of War” and “Ballerina”.

As for the rest of 2024, there’s nothing else to say but fasten your seat belts for another electrifying year, dear followers – as here, in descending order, are KFK’s Top 15 Most Anticipated Martial Arts Movies of 2024!

15. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan

Buddy action movies just never get old, and Bollywood has a big one in the way in the form of the upcoming “Bade Miyan Chote Miyan”, which teams Akshay Kumar up with Tiger Shroff.

Not many plot details are available at present, but with the trailers selling two martial arts masters engaging in plenty of explosive gun fu and martial arts fights, the movie’s marketing gets the job done in spades.

“Bade Miyan Chote Miyan” is set to hit theaters in India on April 10, and it should find its theatrical and streaming home in the West shortly thereafter.

14. Kung Fu Panda 4

It’s been a few years since the world last saw Po the Panda on the big-screen, and that hiatus is finally coming to an end with the upcoming “Kung Fu Panda 4”.

This time, Po is on the search to pick his successor as the Dragon Warrior, while a new adversary known as the Chameleon arises.

The “Kung Fu Panda” franchise has won the world’s heart with its combination of slapstick humor and martial arts wisdom, and it’ll surely be a joy to see Po and his fellow animal kung fu warriors reunite on the big-screen when “Kung Fu Panda 4” arrives on March 8th, no doubt with plenty of Jack Black’s patented comedic flair bringing Po to life once more.

13. Crakk

Bollywood never fails to come out swinging with some of the wildest action movies of every calendar year, and 2024 is no different, with Vidyut Jammwal leaping into action again in the upcoming “Crakk”.

In “Crakk”, Vidyut portrays a young man who rises from poverty in Mumbai through his adventures in the world of underground sports.

The trailer for “Crakk” gives the impression of a distinctly “Fast & Furious” or “xXx”-style action movie, and Vidyut’s master of Kalaripayattu and predilection for doing his own stunts most certainly lend themselves to those kinds of extreme sports stakes.

“Crakk” hits theaters in India on February 24th, and hopefully, its international release should be near thereabouts.

12. The Last Kumite

Fan of the “Bloodsport” franchise, are ya? Well, then you’ll definitely want to keep the upcoming crowdfunded indie tournament flick “The Last Kumite” on your radar.

Directed by long-time cinematographer Ross W. Clarkson, “The Last Kumite” will follow a cluster of martial artists stepping into the mysterious undergrounder martial arts tournament known as the Kumite.

While newcomer Mathias Landwehr will tackle the role of the movie’s protagonist (with Germany’s martial arts whirlwind Mike Moeller serving as fight choreographer), “The Last Kumite” includes a who’s who of ‘80s and ‘90s martial arts legends from the secret tournament and B-movie scene.

It includes Cynthia Rothrock, Billy Blanks, Matthias Hues, Kurt McKinney, and Abdel Qissi, along with David Yeung, the son of “Bloodsport” heavy Bolo Yeung.

To top it off, none other than Stan Bush and Paul Hertzog are bringing the ‘80s martial arts movie scoring sensibilities to the soundtrack of “The Last Kumite”, with a sample of the duo’s latest single “No Surrender” already out for the world to hear ahead of the “Bloodsport” and “Kickboxer” throwdown’s arrival later this year!

11. The Killer’s Game

Veteran stunt man and fight choreographer J.J. “Loco” Perry made his directorial debut with the 2022 vampire action-comedy “Day Shift”, and “The Killer’s Game” is set to bring an even bigger ensemble together.

In “The Killer’s Game”, an assassin discovers that he is not dying of a terminal illness as he’d believed, and he finds himself in the odd position of having to stand his ground against a hit he commissioned on himself.

The premise of “The Killer’s Game” sets up an assuredly action-packed time, while the movie’s vast ensemble includes Dave Bautista, Sofia Boutella, Scott Adkins, Daniel Bernhardt, and Marko Zaror – as clear a sign as any of how much J.J. Perry means business for his sophomore directorial outing.

10. Road House

When it comes to ‘80s cult classics built upon pure adrenaline, testosterone, and a good helping of cheese, few can ever hope to rival the ‘80s action hallmark “Road House”. And surprise surprise, Amazon’s upcoming remake looks like quite the loving and worthy send-up to its predecessor.

The new “Road House” sees a very ripped Jake Gyllenhaal assuming the legendary bouncer role of Dalton that Patrick Swayze made famous, with Gyllenhaal’s Dalton being a former MMA champ who has fallen on hard times and takes a bouncing gig at a Florida Keys road house.

His fighting skills haven’t diminished at all though, and he’ll certainly need them going up against the new villain of the “Road House” remake, with none other than MMA great Conor McGregor as the movie’s fittingly animated heavy Knox.

In all, “Road House” looks like a remake that will surely bring the thunder when it hits Amazon Prime on March 21.

9. Legend of the White Dragon

The upcoming “Legend of the White Dragon” would easily make any list of most anticipated martial arts films in any given year just for the ensemble cast it brings together.

Here it includes martial artists like Mark Dacascos, David Ramsey, and Mayling Ng, along with the movie acting as a somewhat more mature re-imaging of the “Power Rangers” franchise.

However, fans also have a more melancholy reason to anticipate “Legend of the White Dragon” with the movie marking the final on-screen appearance of Jason David Frank, following his unexpected death in late 2022.

From his time as Tommy Oliver in the “Power Rangers” franchise to his rise as an MMA fighter, Jason David Frank inspired millions of superhero fans and martial artists around the world.

With “Legend of the White Dragon” releasing in 2024, Sensei Frank’s fans will get to see him in action one last time as they bid farewell to a martial arts legend who truly embodied the strength of a dragon.

8. Take Cover

Scott Adkins continues to do what he does best in multiple upcoming projects, and one of 2024’s upcoming action highlights with Scott also happens to be another notch in the ever-growing roster of stunt people making the leap to directing action films in “Take Cover”.

Under the direction of stunt veteran Nick McKinless, “Take Cover” follows Scott as disillusioned snip Sam, who finds himself stuck in a glass house with a rival sniper and is forced to fight back in an environment that affords him little to no chances for the element of surprise.

The identity of Sam’s adversary remains a mystery at the moment, but “Take Cover” nonetheless sounds like plenty of action-heavy fun in an extremely novel setting.

7. Cobra Kai: Season 6

Even the greatest of TV shows must eventually conclude its story, and the time has finally come for the Netflix phenomenon “Cobra Kai” to deliver its finale.

What makes “Cobra Kai” season 6 even more intriguing is how different it will be from when the show began.

Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso have finally mended fences both as individuals and as karate instructors, the ruthless Terry Silver has been defeated, and the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do karate students have finally settled differences and become friends and allies at last.

Of course, the lingering threat of John Kreese escaping from prison at the end of “Cobra Kai” season 5 provides all the set up “Cobra Kai” season 6 needs to end the show on the highest of notes.

The 2023 SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes postponed the production start dates for many movies and shows, including “Cobra Kai”, so season 6 likely won’t arrive until late 2024, but it’ll surely be well worth the wait!

6. The Karate Kid reboot crossover

And speaking of Daniel-san and Miyagi-Do karate, talk about an unexpected development!

With the final season of Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” on the way, news has also emerged that Sony has a “Karate Kid” franchise crossover in the works bridging the original “Karate Kid” franchise and the eponymous 2010 reboot with Jackie Chan.

Considering that the Jackie Chan-Jaden Smith “Karate Kid” movie was ostensibly in a completely different universe from the original “Karate Kid, the idea of Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso and Jackie Chan’s Mr. Han actually meeting has certainly come out of left field.

However, it’s unequivocally a crossover of martial arts legends, and should be quite the intriguing “Karate Kid” continuation when it hits theaters on December 13.

5. The Crazy Dad

Yue Song is a wildcard among both martial arts movie stars and filmmakers, springing up like clockwork every four years with a new kung fu smackdown he both leads and directs, and absorbs an insane amount of punishment for.

Song’s latest martial arts beatdown “The Crazy Dad” sees him as a father protecting his daughter from a criminal gang, with fitting wild and powerful martial arts fights via which the viewer is prodded to wince roughly every five seconds.

“The Crazy Dad” has already made its streaming debut in China, and news should hopefully follow soon of its Western release.

One thing’s for sure – with Yue Song consistently taking as good as he gives, “The Crazy Dad” already clearly deserves as much respect as his previous martial arts epics, and indeed any being produced anywhere else in the four corners of the Earth.

4. Life After Fighting

Bren Foster has brought his extremely versatile skills as a martial artist to both action movie roles and martial arts documentaries like National Geographic’s “Fight Science” series, and the upcoming “Life After Fighting” will see him put all of that to use as both director, writer, and leading man.

In “Life After Fighting”, Bren portrays martial arts teacher Alex Faulker, who finds himself fighting to save both his school and his students from a human trafficker syndicate.

The early trailer has mysteriously vanished from YouTube, so the smaller partial snippet above will have to suffice, but the action scenes showcased in it already make “Life After Fighting” a contender for 2024’s Best Of list.

Bren previously mentioned on Scott Adkins’ YouTube series “The Art of Action” that he’s striving to deliver fight scenes on the level of “The Raid” movies, and “Life After Fighting” certainly seems poised to hit that mark.

There’s no release info yet, but in Bren’s interview with Scott he pulls back the curtain on “Life After Fighting”.

3. One-Percenter

Tak Sakaguchi has headlined some of the best martial arts films in Japanese history, and his latest “One-Percenter” could be the pinnacle of all of them rolled into one.

In “One-Percenter”, Tak plays Japanese action star Toshiro Takuma, whose latest movie finds itself in the crossfire of a Yakuza gang war and Toshiro is called upon to stop both gang factions.

“One-Percenter” has already earned rave reviews from its early showings on the festival circuit, and thankfully, Western audiences won’t have to wait too much longer to see it.

“One-Percenter” is set to debut in the U.S. and U.K. on March 12 (albeit with the title of “One-Percent Warrior” for the former), and judging from the trailer, it’s definitely got everything at its disposal to amaze audiences around the world as one of the best martial arts films of 2024.

2. Monkey Man

The award for 2024’s Most Unexpected & Insane Trailer is one that Dev Patel’s “Monkey Man” already seems to have a deadlock on.

Described as “John Wick in Mumbai”, “Monkey Man” sees Dev Patel both make his directorial debut and portray the movie’s protagonist, known only as “Kid”, who dons a simian disguise for his battles in the ring while secretly carrying out a mission to clean up the streets of Mumbai.

There’s no other way to describe the trailer for “Monkey Man” than just plain wild, with the martial arts fight scenes (orchestrated by Brahim Chab) and stunts it teases are just a breathtaking blast. “Monkey Man” will swing into theaters on April 5, and it’s clearly not monkeying around!

…And in at no.1 is…

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Sometimes, a live-action adaptation doesn’t strike gold on the first try, but then there’s 2010’s “The Last Airbender”, which completely crashed and burned as a massive disservice to Nickelodeon’s acclaimed anime-inspired series “Avatar: The Last Airbender”.

Fast-forward fourteen years, and “Avatar” is getting a well-deserved second shot to jump into live-action with Netflix’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series, and from the trailers alone, it’s already leaps and bounds above the shortcomings of its 2010 predecessor.

As in the original Nickelodeon series, “Avatar” will follow the young Airbender monk Aang (Gordon Cormier), as he trains to master the other elements in order to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar and stop the Fire Nation’s conquest of the Four Nations.

“Avatar” is a fantasy martial arts epic in every sense of the term, and Netflix’s “Avatar” looks to be carrying over just about everything that made the original series great, from the chemistry of Aang and his young friends, the parallel story of troubled Prince Zuko (Dallas Liu) determined to reclaim his honor, and the astounding bending action based around different forms of Chinese martial arts.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” arrives on Netflix on February 22 – hopefully, not only will it finally deliver the live-action version of Aang and Team Avatar’s battle with the Fire Nation the world has awaited for years, but with any luck, it could even open up the show’s sequel series “The Legend of Korra” as the next Avatar tale at bat for Netflix.

So there we have it folks, KFK’s countdown of the Top 15 Most Anticipated Martial Arts Movies of 2024!

Which of your picks made the cut? Are you excited to see all the astonishing action on the way in 2024? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation, and share this on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

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Brad Curran

From the earliest days of childhood, Brad Curran was utterly fascinated by martial arts, his passion only growing stronger after spending time living in the melting pot of Asian cultures that is Hawaii. His early exposure developed into a lifelong passion and fascination with all forms of martial arts and tremendous passion for action and martial arts films. He would go on to take a number of different martial arts forms, including Shaolin Ch'uan fa, Taekwondo, Shotokan Karate and remains a devoted student, avid and eager to continue his martial arts studies. Brad is also an aspiring writer and deeply desires to share his love for martial arts and martial arts movies with the world!

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