As fans are aware, Cobra Kai is a continuation of Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence’s (William “Billy” Zabka) storylines. The rivaling characters were first introduced in the 1984 martial arts movie The Karate Kid.
Ralph Macchio Recounted Two ‘Karate Kid’ Sequel Ideas in a Recent Interview
Prior to being pitched Cobra Kai, which premiered in 2018 as a YouTube Red series, Macchio was approached with a few movie pitches involving Daniel LaRusso. While being interviewed on the Sway podcast, hosted by journalist Kara Swisher, the actor recounted two separate sequel proposals that he received following the release of The Karate Kid III.
He explained that one individual mentioned that John Travolta had a resurgence in his popularity after starring in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction. The person then told him that he should consider doing something along those lines, specifically “the David Lynch version of Daniel LaRusso.”
Macchio then detailed an “elevator pitch” about Daniel LaRusso’s offspring interacting with the child of Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, in the Rocky film franchise.
“My favorite… was pitched to John Avildsen, the director in The Karate Kid film. Someone said, ‘you know I always thought what if Rocky Balboa had a kid and Daniel LaRusso had a kid, and they met between Philadelphia and Newark,” stated the actor.
Swisher began laughing at the revelation, which caused Macchio to disclose:
It’s kind of like you’re reaction was exactly ours, and you know we all just laughed and like that will never work.
Swisher then asked how the actor felt about the pitches at the time he was “hearing” them. He explained when he was approached with the ideas it was “probably mid-late 90s” and his career as an actor had taken a decline.
“Outside of My Cousin Vinny at that time [things] were starting to slow down for me. You know, I was probably more ‘okay things have gotten a little tougher, thinner, leaner I need to I need to shift you know into a different direction as opposed to okay let’s do that again,'” said the actor.
Macchio Previously Talked About the ‘Rocky’ Pitch in 2019
This is not the first time that Macchio has publicly spoken about the Rocky Balboa pitch. While speaking to Business Insider in August 2019, he provided more context to the story.
“Everyone would come up with the pitch of, ‘You have a kid, and you become the Miyagi to your kid.’ Everyone thought that was the brilliant continuation. But an executive once came up to me and John Avildsen, the director of Karate Kid, and took it a step further. It was very off the cuff, but he said, ‘Hey, what if Rocky Balboa and LaRusso had kids and they are related in some way?’ Because Avildsen directed Rocky, so that’s the connection,” stated the father-of-two.
Macchio revealed to the publication that neither he nor Avildsen was impressed by the pitch.
“Me and Avildsen just looked at each other and went to the guy: ‘Well, you get back to us.’ But inside you’re like, ‘How is this even possible?'” recalled the actor.
To see more of Ralph Macchio, be sure to check out Cobra Kai Season 3, available on Netflix.
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