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Clint Eastwood Tried to Financially Ruin Major Studio for Choosing Ralph Macchio Over His Son in $612M Franchise

The star of Western cinema (most known for the widely popularized Spaghetti Westerns) aka Clint Eastwood shared his love for films just as much as any other artist and actor but when it comes to family, he could give Dom Toretto a run for his money. The Hollywood icon who made a name for himself during the 60s as an actor and filmmaker was at the time considered inimitable and an undefeated champion in the realm of cinema. 

But when his son was snubbed for an essentially unknown actor in one of the greatest films in the making, the measures Eastwood took as retribution for the loss (or perhaps, perceived insult) were a bit drastic. 

Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood

Also read: “He wants to go out in a blazing sunset”: Clint Eastwood Feels Betrayed by WB After $33M Box-Office Bomb That Nearly Starred Arnold Schwarzenegger

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 Clint Eastwood Makes It Personal After Son’s Rejection

Throughout the 70s and 80s, action was beginning to gain a new face and gather more traction than ever before. The arrival of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Bruce Lee had given the industry a cause to rally behind – action and martial arts. As such, when Karate Kid came along, the script presented was an iconic one for bringing a story that was not simply a hero going up against a villain but essentially coming-of-age and finding faith, love, and friendship in the rarest place one would look in. 

Of the many who auditioned, Clint Eastwood’s son, Kyle, was among the numerous other familiar faces. Years later, Ralph Macchio would go on to recall a few of them – Robert Downey Jr. and Charlie Sheen – and thought to himself how Sheen didn’t even look the part, i.e. an “Italian guy from Jersey.” However, while the other actors took the rejection in stride, Clint Eastwood was hardly someone to let it go. 

The Karate Kid (1984)
The Karate Kid (1984)

Also read: “The film was ahead of its time”: Ralph Macchio Slammed Critics for Calling The Karate Kid “Too White” Despite Japanese Co-Star Pat Morita Getting an Oscar Nomination

In the years that followed, the filmmaker banned all Coca-Cola products from his sets. The reason: the studio that produced The Karate Kid, i.e. Columbia Pictures was owned by the soft drink beverage company. Eastwood perhaps took the saying revenge is a dish (or a drink, in this case) best served cold a bit too literally. The film went on to make $130.8 million worldwide and generate subsequent sequels and a highly successful spin-off, Cobra Kai, on Netflix.

Clint Eastwood’s Legacy Stays Durable in Hollywood

The Spaghetti Western star had stayed relevant throughout his years in front of the lens as a gun-slinging action hero as long as his knees allowed him the honor. Later, Eastwood hung his cowboy hats and pistols and retired his horses to the stables in exchange for a life behind the lens. As a director, the legend and auteur made great contributions to the artistic canon of cinema. 

Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby

Also read: “I’m probably more apt to direct something”: Clint Eastwood Refused to Star in Sylvester Stallone’s $214M Movie, Preferred to Become Director Instead

As a director, he has led actors in numerous Academy Award-winning projects, including Unforgiven (1992), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Mystic River (2003), and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006). Among other well-known films released under his directorial venture are Changeling (2008) starring Angelina Jolie, Invictus (2009) starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, American Sniper (2014) starring Bradley Cooper, and Sully (2016) starring Tom Hanks. 

Source: The Game of Nerds

Written by Diya Majumdar

With a degree in Literature from Miranda House, Diya Majumdar now has nearly 1500 published articles on FandomWire. Her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema while being a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh. Other skills include being the proud owner of an obsessive collection of Spotify playlists.