The 1984’s The Karate Kid starring Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso laid the foundation of the much-acclaimed franchise which continues to stay close to fans’ hearts. The classic film was a critical and commercial success leading to its sequels which further continued the story of teenagers who had links with martial arts. Given that Macchio was the first Karate Kid who reprised his role in its sequel TV series, Cobra Kai, many fans would not know that he turned down a potential franchise crossover with Sylvester Stallone.
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When it comes to the action genre, Sylvester Stallone is one of the widely regarded actors in the Hollywood industry. He gained recognition with his Rocky series which continued to stay prevalent with its spinoff, the Creed series. Given that his character was also a strong fighter, there was an idea that pitched the ultimate crossover between Karate Kid and Rocky!
Ralph Macchio Turned Down Karate Kid X Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Crossover!
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Ralph Macchio in his memoir, Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me (via EW), opened up about the potential ideas that many brought up when he took a step back from the Karate Kid franchise. For the unversed, John G. Avildsen was associated with Macchio’s project and Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky series. Given the common link between the two different projects, a screenwriter pitched an idea to both the film director and Macchio while they were having lunch with two other studio executives at the time.
The incident happened after the release of Hilary Swank’s The Next Karate Kid as he remembered that the writer was enthusiastic about his pitch. The version went like this,
“What if Rocky Balboa had a kid and Daniel-san had a kid and they were both f—ups and you, Ralph and Stallone, come together between New Jersey and Philadelphia to join in a Miyagi/Mickey style of fight training. People would go nuts!”
He recalled that the film director gave a clear “no” as a response to the dreamy crossover that the writer wished for at the time. While it was a great attempt at franchise crossover, it was still a half-baked idea that never got a green light.
Ralph Macchio Turned Down Karate Kid Reboots for Three Decades
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The actor became a household name with his titular role in The Karate Kid in the 1980s. It continued to stay a significant classic film in the franchise’s history but the actor was initially unsure about coming back to the popular film series.
He further added how he “basically said ‘No’ for 30 years” after getting superstardom by playing the titular role in three films of the franchise. He opened up that he wanted the franchise to remain pure with its plot without tainting “the legacy with a short-sighted idea or cash grab.”
He eventually returned to the franchise by participating in the Cobra Kai television series which continued its legacy.
The Cobra Kai series is available on Netflix.