Why Ralph Macchio Refused To Be in the Karate Kid Remake

Ralph Macchio

Getty Ralph Macchio is photographed at 'The IMDb Show' in 2019.

Ralph Macchio starred in the first three installments of the Karate Kid film franchise. Since 2018, he has continued playing Daniel LaRusso in the acclaimed series Cobra Kai, which is available to watch on Netflix. However, the actor did not appear in the 1994 film The Next Karate Kid or the 2010 remake of the original film. 

Macchio Shared His Opinion About the Remake in a 2009 Interview

Jackie Chan Jaden Smith

Getty Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith pose together at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards.

In a 2009 interview with Page Six, Macchio shared his opinions regarding the Karate Kid reboot, starring Jackie Chan as Mr. Han and Jaden Smith as Dre Parker. 

The actor revealed that he believed it would be difficult to “[fill] the void of Mr. Miyagi” but thought “casting Jackie Chan [as a martial arts mentor] was a smart move.” 

He also noted that while “[t]he original is so quintessentially ’80s,” the story itself is timeless. 

Macchio went on to say that the film’s co-producer Will Smith contacted him to discuss the movie. He told the publication: 

[H]e called me because initially, he thought I was slamming the remake, which I wasn’t. Someone just asked me if I was pleased that fans were against the idea, which of course made me feel good. Why wouldn’t it? But that got twisted and Will called me up and he’s such a cool guy. He was like, ‘I know I’m messing with your baby but I want you to be happy, so we’ll do anything you want.’

Macchio then revealed that he had doubts about the Karate Kid remake because the original film was still relevant.  

“I still think they have a tough hurdle in front of them. I was happy to hear their goal wasn’t to do a copycat version, but the movie still airs all the time,” explained the actor. “The reason Ocean’s 11 worked was because no one had seen the original in 30 years! Karate Kid was on ABC Family last week. It should be interesting to see what happens, but I don’t know that we’ll still be talking about the remake, or doing their version of the crane kick, in 20 years. Time will tell.”

Macchio then disclosed he was offered to be involved with the film but refused “to do a drive-by cameo.”

“If they wrote a role for me that made sense, I’d be open to that, but I don’t think it makes sense to show Daniel as an adult since I think he represents so many people’s childhoods. I think seeing him as a grown man could sully that legacy and I just want the film to be what it was,” said the father-of-two.

Macchio Also Talked About the Remake a Year After Its Release

Ralph Macchio Gray Blazer

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

A year following the remake’s release, Macchio spoke about it while being interviewed on the Covino & Rich Show. In the 2011 interview, the actor complimented the reboot, stating he thought “they did a good job of reimagining that story in contemporary times.”

“I will say this though the remake that it did well, only enhanced the legacy of the pop culture of what the original was to the point where that movie is on — the original is on — all the time. Every generation, you know, revisits it,” asserted Macchio. 

READ NEXT: What Kind of Car Did Mr. Miyagi Gift Daniel in The Karate Kid?


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