Ralph Macchio Looks Back On Some Of The Most Terrible Karate Kid Sequel Ideas He Received Before Cobra Kai
Ralph Macchio’s career first took off way back in 1984 when he played Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid. The movie was a success and Machio’s performance was lauded by many. The success of the movie prompted 2 sequels, The Karate Kid: Part II in 1986 and The Karate Kid: Part III in 1989, after which Ralph Macchio finally decided to let the character go.
Another Karate Kid movie was made in 1994 but it didn’t feature Macchio, rather it starred Hilary Swank in the lead and was called, The Next Karate Kid. The film did feature the character of Mr. Miyagi played by Pat Morita who was Daniel’s mentor in all the previous films.
Ralph Macchio finally returned to the franchise in 2018 in Netflix’s Cobra Kai which follows Daniel LaRusso now that he has grown old and has children of his own. The show recently wrapped up its 5th season recently and is a big hit with the fans.
Cobra Kai is a success, but Ralph Macchio has revealed in his new memoir, Waxing On: The Karate Kid And Me, that some of the earlier pitches for reviving The Karate Kid franchise were not even close to as good as Cobra Kai.
Here is what his memoir reads:
“Now, in the early days — 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 when I was actively trying to separate from the typecasting. However, as time went on I would slowly open one ear at a time and attempt to be flexible enough to at least hear them out. I must admit on most occasions it was challenging to get past the first few sentences.
‘Miyagi dies tragically and comes back as a ghost to guide you.’
‘You have a kid that is a bully and you need to be the Miyagi to your troubled kid . . . who also has a drug problem.’
‘Ali is pregnant with Johnny’s child and you can’t deal even though you’re now married to Kumiko’
Then there was 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 basically a version of this:
‘What if Rocky Balboa had a kid and Daniel-san had a kid and they were both f—ups and you, Ralph and Stallone, come together between New Jersey and Philadelphia to join in a Miyagi/Mickey style of fight training. People would go nuts!'”