'The Karate Kid' star Ralph Macchio reveals the worst pitch he heard to continue the franchise, and it involves Rocky Balboa

Columbia Pictures
  • Before starring in the YouTube hit, “Cobra Kai,” Ralph Macchio said no to every idea sent to him on how to continue “The Karate Kid” franchise.
  • He said the worst idea he heard was when an executive wanted to do a movie where the kids of Daniel LaRusso and Rocky Balboa would team up.
  • “It was very off the cuff, but he said, ‘Hey, what if Rocky Balboa and LaRusso had kids and they are related in some way?” Macchio told Business Insider.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Since “The Karate Kid” – which tells the story of teenager Daniel LaRusso, who defeats his bullies through the karate teachings of his sensei Mr. Miyagi – opened in theatres 35 years ago and became a sensation, the star of the movie, Ralph Macchio, has been forever linked to the character.

That has meant three decades of being pitched ideas on how to continue the franchise.

Macchio starred in two sequels following the original, but since then has said no to every offer until recently when he finally reprised the role in the YouTube hit series, “Cobra Kai” (season two is currently available).

But out of all those years, what was the worst pitch he ever heard? Macchio can instantly recall it, and admits it’s also his favourite.

“Everyone would come up with the pitch of, ‘You have a kid, and you become the Miyagi to your kid.’ Everyone thought that was the brilliant continuation,” Macchio told Business Insider. “But an executive once came up to me and John Avildsen, the director of ‘Karate Kid,’ and took it a step further. It was very off the cuff, but he said, ‘Hey, what if Rocky Balboa and LaRusso had kids and they are related in some way?’ Because Avildsen directed ‘Rocky,’ so that’s the connection. “

Rocky looking for a shotMGM/NetflixSylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa.

Macchio said the idea was never fully pitched around town, but basically the executive wanted to come up with a way to reveal that Balboa and LaRusso were related – going back to their families’ lineage in Italy. And then their kids would team up to kick butt.

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You can think of it as “Creed” but terrible. Though Macchio said, “This guy thought it would be a huge movie.”

But the actor said the elevator pitch never grabbed him and Avildsen.

“Me and Avildsen just looked at each other and went to the guy: ‘Well, you get back to us.’ But inside you’re like, ‘How is this even possible?'” Macchio said.

Cobra Kai 2 Season 2 YouTubeYouTube(L-R) William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence and Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso in season 2 of ‘Cobra Kai.’

Macchio said what finally got him to agree to bring back the LaRusso character for “Cobra Kai” was that the show’s creators – Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg – had come up with an idea that was fresh.

“These guys really had a very well-thought-out pitch by coming in through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence – basically turning the prism view in the universe,” said Macchio, who loves how in season two the show also delves deeper into LaRusso’s insecurities.

“This is really the fan’s show,” Macchio said of “Cobra Kai.” “It’s become bigger than all of us.”

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