“I carried the torch of being the jerk”: Ralph Macchio’s Nemesis William Zabka Almost Didn’t Return for Cobra Kai Unless His 1 Condition Was Met

Ralph Macchio’s Nemesis William Zabka Almost Didn’t Return for Cobra Kai Unless His 1 Condition Was Met
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William Zabka and Ralph Macchio’s 1984 film The Karate Kid became a hit soon after it hit theatres. Made on a budget of $8 million, the movie grossed over $90 million at the box office and established a successful movie franchise that would later continue as the action thriller series Cobra Kai. The Netflix series brought back the original cast of the movies, including Macchio and Zabka as Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, respectively.

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The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid (1984)

However, the latter almost did not reprise his role as LaRusso’s nemesis in the series. During an interview with Page Six, the actor revealed that he agreed to join the series only on one condition, which was related to his character’s persona.

Read More: “There’s definitely an endgame”: Cobra Kai Star William Zabka Reveals Exciting Future For Series, Says He’s Open For Another Karate Kid Trilogy in Future

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William Zabka’s One Condition to Return Alongside Ralph Macchio

William Zabka portrayed Ralph Macchio‘s nemesis in the 1984 movie The Karate Kid. The character appears bullying and harassing Daniel LaRusso throughout the film after he grows close with his ex-girlfriend, Ali Mills. However, Zabka did not want his character to continue being the “jerk” he had been since the 1984 movie.

The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid

I carried the torch of being the jerk in the Karate Kid for 35 years,” he shared during an interview with Page Six. The Back to School actor shared that he wanted the series to explore his character’s humanity, instead of portraying him as a one-dimensional bad guy of the story.

He shared, “I wanted to make sure there were levels and humanity” rather than being credited as the “biggest villain of all time.” And to his surprise, the creators were also looking forward to doing something similar with the series, which was based 34 years after the first Karate Kid movie.

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William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence

“These writers are friends of mine when they came in with the pitch. It was just an instinct when I walked away from meeting them thinking, ‘There’s something really here,'” he said during the interview. Zabka shared that it was incredible to see the writers having the same vision as him.

Read More: “No smirk, just a simple smile”: Cobra Kai Star Ralph Macchio Had Real-Life Feud With William Zabka After Actor Actually Knocked Out the Karate Kid in Key Scene

How Did Cobra Kai Creators Come Up With the Show’s Concept?

During an interview with Rolling Stone, the creators of the Netflix series Cobra Kai shared how they came up with its concept. Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg shared that they have been intrigued by William Zabka’s character and Cobra Kais in the 1984 movie, primarily due to his conflicts as he gives Daniel the trophy for the tournament.

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

It led them to look at the whole story from Johnny Lawrence’s perspective. However, it seemed unlikely for Hollywood to work on an antagonistic character’s story at the time. While they did not give it much thought at the time, they later started thinking of Cobra Kai as a TV show and worked on a detailed storyline for a show based on Johnny Lawrence’s perspective.

We needed to set the table with people not hating him,” Josh Heald told Rolling Stone. The concept was also one of the things that intrigued Ralph Macchio to return as Daniel LaRusso, who rejected offers to reprise his Karate Kid character before Cobra Kai. The series premiered in 2018 and successfully ran for five seasons. Netflix renewed it for a sixth season earlier this year, which is also expected to be the final season of the series.

Cobra Kai is streaming on Netflix.

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Read More: William Zabka: Badass Facts About Cobra Kai’s Johnny Lawrence You Didn’t Know

Source: Page Six; Rolling Stone

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2232

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.