Ralph Macchio Turned Down $961M Cult-Classic Franchise After Karate Kid Fame, Killed His Own Career to be Revived by Cobra Kai 34 Years Later

Ralph Macchio Turned Down $961M Cult-Classic Franchise After Karate Kid Fame, Killed His Own Career to be Revived by Cobra Kai 34 Years Later
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Ralph Macchio made his mark on the industry by starring in The Karate Kid when he was still in his early 20s. After featuring in the 1984 film, fans were expectant that they would get to witness a quite bright career unfold before their eyes. But that was far from the case as his career stagnated eventually. Though it could have been a different story altogether if he had accepted a role in another 1980s cult classic.


Back to the Future came knocking on the door

THE KARATE KID, Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio, 1984.
Ralph Macchio of The Karate Kid fame was offered another role

After starring as Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio’s reputation took a shot in the arm. He was labeled as the next big thing in the industry. As a recognition of the potential he had, he was offered the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future. 

Back to the Future is hailed as one of the greatest movies of its time, a movie which transcended boundaries and went on to define an era, and also to have two sequels and countless video games made under its banner.


Also Read: “It’s the ability to come in and out of it in a snap”: The Karate Kid Star Ralph Macchio Claims Cobra Kai’s Hawk Actor Reminds Him of Mr. Miyagi

Cobra Kai FandomWire
Ralph Macchio turned down the role

Despite all the success the movie made, it wasn’t expected to make the profits it did. The movie was rejected by over 40 studios while in production itself. But that was not the only refusal it had to face. The 61-year-old also turned down the opportunity to star in the movie.

At the time Macchio was under the impression that the movie would not turn out to be a major hit, believing it to be a movie about “a kid, a car, and plutonium pills.” Only time would tell how wrong the decision turned out to be.


Also Read: “Keep watching, keep those numbers going”: The Karate Kid Star Ralph Macchio Reveals Cobra Kai Season 6 Depends on Viewership, Might Get Canceled at Netflix as Actor Asks Fans to Keep Streaming

A decision Ralph Macchio must have been regretting

Cobra Kai
Ralph Macchio would have to wait it out for reliving his glory days

Back to the Future would eventually star Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly. It is arguable that the Doc Hollywood star was a better fit for the role, doing justice to the meek character who was not afraid to take action.

The movie also went on to prove its detractors wrong, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year, amassing $388 million in the course of its run. In stark contrast, the Beer League star was not able to restore his glory days, remaining under the radar for approximately 34 years, before starring in Cobra Kai.


A long wait indeed.

Also Read: “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

Source: Business Insider


Written by Smriti Sneh

Articles Published: 242

Smriti Sneh is a Content Writer at Fandom Wire specializing in celebrities and everything pop-culture. Being a literature research scholar, she is cashing in on her writing skills by working in the entertainment news sector - studying literary theories by day, and navigating celebrity net worth through the night. Although you can find her writing poems at any and all hours.