One of the reasons fans of the Karate Kid film franchise are drawn to Cobra Kai is the show’s reintroduction of popular characters. For instance, in Season 2 Episode 6, titled “Take The Right,” Rob Garrison, Tony O’Dell, and Ron Thomas reprised their roles as Cobra Kai team members, Tommy, Jimmy, and Bobby.
Many viewers noticed, however, the characters’ fellow Cobra Kai, Dutch, portrayed by Chad McQueen, was absent. In the episode, his friends reference that he was at a federal prison and therefore, unable to spend time with them in Big Bear.
Martin Kove Discussed Why McQueen Has Not Been in ‘Cobra Kai’
In a March 2019 interview with Collider Live, Martin Kove, who plays John Kreese in Cobra Kai and the first three Karate Kid films, revealed that he had reached out to McQueen to join the show’s cast. The actor acknowledged that the racecar driver, who is Steve McQueen’s son, has not professionally acted over the past few decades. Instead, he pivoted his career to focus on his passion for automobiles.
“He’s been out of the business for 30 years, you know, and I called him, and I said ‘listen, you got to talk to these guys, I mean, they have a part for you and all that,’” recalled Kove. “And you know, he races cars, so he’s involved in a race team and lives in, you know, in Palm Desert, and it never worked out. And they had a part for him and for whatever reason he hasn’t been in show business.”
He also noted that William “Billy” Zabka, who stars as Johnny Lawrence, also “kept calling” McQueen about making an appearance on the acclaimed series.
Cobra Kai co-creator and executive producer, Josh Heald, shared similar information during an interview with Entertainment Weekly in April 2019. He told the publication:
We actually talked to Chad. Schedules were such that it wasn’t feasible for him to join us this time around, but we certainly mentioned his character being alive and in a very particular place on purpose. We could perhaps visit that story another time.
McQueen No Longer Acts but Has His Own Company
As previously mentioned, McQueen had an impressive career as a racecar driver. During a September 2019 interview with Barbour International, he disclosed that he had began riding motorcycles when he was a child. He went on to say the hobby was encouraged by his father. The father-of-three also noted when he was not on his motorcycle, he “was off to car races.”
McQueen had to put racecar driving on hold following a 2006 accident. In a 2017 interview, uploaded on Irish writer and director Simon O’Neill’s Vimeo account, the Karate Kid star recounted the harrowing incident.
“I ate the back wall at Daytona and got pretty messed up and was in a coma for three and a half weeks. I punctured a lung. I broke all these ribs. I broke everything in my body. Thank god I’m not paralyzed, and you know, I feel good,” said McQueen.
Over ten years ago, the 60-year-old started the company McQueen Racing. According to its website, the business focuses on the “development of high performance, limited edition custom cars, motorcycles, and accessories.” McQueen Racing also has official merchandise, ranging from baseball hats to hooded sweatshirts that are available to purchase.