It is undeniable that Ralph Macchio gained major prominence with The Karate Kid franchise which has a significant impact in the cinematic world. Kicking off with 1984’s The Karate Kid, its success led the franchise to further extend into sequel and spin-off series. While it is almost unimaginable to imagine anyone else for the role, the contenders were as talented as the actor.
With the likes of Robert Downey Jr., and Charlie Sheen auditioning for the role of Daniel LaRusso, Tom Cruise’s Top Gun co-star, Anthony Edwards also tried to get his hands on the part but was unsuccessful.
Anthony Edwards Auditioned for Ralph Macchio’s Part in The Karate Kid
John G. Avildsen’s directorial, The Karate Kid is an absolute masterpiece that subsequently launched the franchise due to its immense success. With Ralph Macchio taking the leading role of Daniel LaRusso alongside Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi, the movie ended up becoming Hollywood’s biggest sleeper hit of the year.
However, this could have been entirely different had someone else been selected for the leading part. Given that the fandom is already well aware of the big names that were associated with the franchise, many might be surprised to know that Anthony Edwards also auditioned for the same role but left disappointed for one reason.
The ER actor played the role of Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw alongside Tom Cruise in 1986’s Top Gun. Goose was Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell’s best friend who died in an aviation accident in the movie.
Actor, William Zabka who played the role of Johnny Lawrence, shared that Edwards was one of the other notable actors who auditioned for the role but was rejected due to being “too tall” in the casting sheet via Sports Illustrated.
Eventually, it was The Outsiders star who impressed everyone with his talent, thus bagging the main role. After becoming a household name with his portrayal, he confessed that he was hesitant to return to the franchise but eventually reprised his role in its spin-off series, Cobra Kai.
Ralph Macchio Was Hesitant to Return to The Karate Kid Franchise
Given that the project rose him to major prominence, he would have easily gone to portray the role again especially when the franchise continued to attempt to replicate the success it attained in the 1980s. However, it was Macchio himself who was reluctant to return to its reboot. In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he acknowledged that he did not want to ‘mess’ with what the franchise built over the years.
“Over the years I was very hesitant to go back, I just felt the Karate Kid film and that franchise was so like I said beloved by fans that I didn’t want to mess with it. But yeah, over the years I would get, you know, you know what I think it came more from the perspective of people wanting to see more of it, less than how could we help that”
He continued to reject the reboots for decades before eventually portraying the character once again in its spin-off, Cobra Kai. Not only did the series revive the franchise, it further elevated the fans’ love leading to successful five seasons meanwhile a final season has been renewed.
The Cobra Kai series is available on Netflix.