Ralph Macchio shares the worst karate kid follow-up pitches he heard. The actor played Daniel LaRusso, the titular karate kid, first in 1984, starring alongside the late Pat Morita, who played his mentor. Macchio continued to play in The Karate Kid: Part II in 1986 and The Karate Kid: Part III in 1989, before hanging up his gi for decades to come. Morita played together karate kid film in 1994 after Macchio moved on, titled The next karate kid, which featured Hilary Swank. Macchio returned as Daniel in the hit Netflix series Cobra Kai, reprising the role more than three decades later.
Cobra Kai, which heralded its fifth season in September of this year, also plays Macchio’s original karate kid nemesis William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, and has made a point to play many of the franchise’s original actors in an effort to create a satisfying legacy sequel. Although Daniel starts in Cobra Kai as one of protagonist Johnny’s main enemies, the show has put a riveting arc for both characters, making fans happy that both actors have waited so long to reprise their iconic roles. However, Macchio has revealed that in the decades before he accepted, he had to pass on many sequels, some of them terrible. Cobra Kai.
Weekly entertainment shared an exclusive excerpt from Macchio’s new memoir, Resins on: The Karate Kid And Me, which is set for release on October 18. In the clip, Macchio shares some of the most bizarre pitches he’s heard in a while karate kid continuation. The actor admits he has feelings “extremely protective” about his role as Daniel and with a “high personal standard” for possible prosecutions. While he expresses a great appreciation for those hoping to catch up with Daniel again one day, that appreciation didn’t stop him from passing on some really wild follow-up pitches. Check out what he had to say below:
“Now, in the early days — let’s say the late 1990s, when I first started hearing ideas — I was pretty much at a point where I wasn’t willing to listen. This was a period in my career where I was actively trying to separated from the typecasting.But as time went on I slowly opened one ear at a time and tried to be flexible enough to at least hear them.I must admit on most occasions it was a challenge to get past the first few to come sentences.
“Miyagi dies tragically and comes back as a ghost to guide you.”
“You have a child who is a bully and you have to be the Miyagi for your child in trouble. . . who also has a drug problem.’
‘Ali is pregnant with Johnny’s child and you can’t handle it, even though you are now married to Kumiko’
Then there was another one of my favorites… This was after the Hilary Swank version, The Next Karate Kid, had come and gone. I remember the enthusiasm with which the writer gave his “elevator pitch” to John [Avildsen], me, and the studio execs. John had directed both Rocky and The Karate Kid, so that lent itself to this writer’s conceptual idea. It was actually a version of this:
“What if Rocky Balboa had a kid and Daniel-san had a kid and they were both assholes and you, Ralph and Stallone, get together between New Jersey and Philadelphia to do some Miyagi/Mickey-style combat training. People would go crazy!'”
How Cobra Kai Created the Perfect Karate Kid Sequel
The pitches Macchio lists, while funny to hear, now sound a little more likely in the age of sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and reboots. The one with Rocky Balboa even sounds like a… avengers-type crossover in miniature, combining two iconic fighters from different backgrounds to create a movie packed with fan service. Fortunately for fans, Macchio’s patronage over the original trilogy of movies paid off, and the franchise wasn’t marred by any of the melodramatic, overly nostalgic sequels the actor calls hearing. Unlike those places, Cobra Kai managed to strike a unique and effective balance between nostalgia, comedy and drama, creating equally captivating stories for both the original franchise actors and the teen cast of newcomers.
Cobra Kai has achieved success by paying tribute to the stories that preceded it without being hemmed in by those stories. The series is a natural extension of The karate kid; allowing the characters to grow and change in unexpected ways without constantly reminding viewers who they once were. In addition, the younger cast allows for the themes of the 80s movies to be explored in a modern setting, leaning on both the impactful parts of The karate kid and the cheesier parts of the 80s movies. While it’s unlikely any of the sequel ideas Macchio mentions will be present in Cobra Kai season 6, it’s funny to imagine what could have been.
Next: A Deleted Scene Of A Karate Kid Explains So Much Of Cobra Kai .’s Story