Ralph Macchio’s One Issue with The Karate Kid Reboot

Ralph Macchio

Getty Ralph Macchio talks during San Diego Comic-Con 2019: Day Two.

As fans are aware, Ralph Macchio starred as Daniel LaRusso in the first three installments of the Karate Kid film franchise. Since its premiere in 2018, he has also played the iconic character on Cobra Kai.

However, he was not involved with the 2010 reboot of The Karate Kid. The movie, which takes place in Beijing, China, follows a similar plot to the 1984 film. Jaden Smith’s character Dre Parker is bullied after moving to a new place and is taught martial arts by a maintenance man, named Mr. Han, played by Jackie Chan. 

In 2020, Ralph Macchio Shared His Opinion About the Movie

Ralph Macchio

GettyRalph Macchio is photographed at ‘The IMDb Show’ in 2019.

In an August 2020 interview with The Guardian, Macchio shared his opinion on the film, which was co-produced by Will Smith. He suggested that he was overall pleased with the movie, stating that “it enhanced the legacy of the original.”

He noted, however, that he had one small qualm with the film. He pointed to the fact that Dre is trained in Kung Fu, not karate. Therefore, the actor was unhappy with its title. 

“There’s no such thing as karate in China, so it should have been called The Kung Fu Kid,” asserted the 59-year-old.  

Throughout all three of its seasonsCobra Kai has included numerous characters from the Karate Kid films. This has led members of the fandom to question whether Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith will join the show’s cast, as reported by Showbiz Cheat Sheet

The publication noted that the continuation of Dre and Mr. Han’s storylines could be possible, as Will Smith is “an executive producer on Cobra Kai.”

The Show’s Co-Creator Commented on Chan & Smith Appearing on ‘Cobra Kai’

Jackie Chan & Jaden Smith

YouTubeJackie Chan and Jaden Smith star alongside each other in ‘The Karate Kid’ (2010).

However, Showbiz Cheat Sheet also reported Cobra Kai’s co-creator and executive producer Jon Hurwitz seems to have shut down that theory. 

In 2019, film critic and comedian Sarah O’Connell tweeted Hurwitz about the characters being featured on the show. 

“Wow, you really went for it, Sarah! Bold move that will go unrewarded. But I will say that the Jaden Smith/Jackie Chan universe is a different one than what you see on Cobra Kai. #CobraKai,” responded the producer. 

Hurwitz shared similar sentiments during a January 2021 interview with /Films, alongside the show’s other co-creators Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald. The interviewer referenced Hurwitz’s 2019 tweet, causing him to comment on the likelihood of the characters eventually making their way to Encino, California.

“We’ve ruled that out completely,’ stated Hurwitz. “Jackie Chan is mentioned in season 1 of the show as a human, so I think in our world, Jackie Chan is an actor and a performer. If the characters on our show have seen a movie called The Karate Kid, they’ve seen that one.”

During the same interview, Hurwitz and Heald also briefly talked about the possibility of an antagonist returning to the Karate Kid franchise. During Season 3, Terry Silver, from The Karate Kid Part III, was seen in various flashbacks, which took place during the Vietnam War. That being said, the actor, Thomas Ian Griffith, who originally played the character, has not yet made an appearance on the show. Hurwitz and Heald implied, however, Griffith is open to reprising Silver in future seasons.

Cobra Kai Season 3 is currently available to stream on Netflix.

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