With YouTube Originals’ Cobra Kai officially kicking down the door on its sophomore season today, series co-stars Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso) and William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence) have been making the rounds to promote the series’s return. Best part? Always a great time to learn the answers to questions you never thought to ask – but wish you had. Perfect example would be Macchio’s interview with Business Insider‘s Jason Guerrasio, where they discuss the series and why it was the one that convinced him to return to the role.
With Hollywood being Hollywood, it’s no surprise that Macchio was pitched a ton of ideas over the years – but which one was the worst? An idea so bad that it swung back around again to “favorite” for Macchio – probably because it involved “The Thunder From Down Under (South Philly)”:
“It’s my favorite. 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. 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.
This guy wanted to combine “Rocky” and “Karate Kid” in some way. Taking these two major hits — this guy thought it would be a huge movie. So the concept was to go back to the Balboa and LaRusso lineage in Italy and find that we were somehow related and that our kids would now team up in some way.
It was never pitched fully, but just the concept of someone coming up with that, it was crazy.”
Depending upon your perspective, you can rest assured/be ragingly disappointed that the idead was never seriously considered: “No. 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?’.”
To see for yourselves why Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg‘s Karate Kid sequel series concept was the one good enough to bring Macchio back to Miyagi-do, check out the following recap of season 1 as well as a trailer/overview for the recently premiered second season:
Season 2 brings fans back into the action with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) after the shocking Season 1 cliffhanger featuring the return of John Kreese (Martin Kove). When a new rivalry between opposing dojos is born in the aftermath of Cobra Kai’s controversial win at the All Valley Championships, Daniel realizes his next countermove is to open his own karate training school called Miyagi-Do, in honor of his mentor Mr. Miyagi.
What was once a personal feud between Daniel and Johnny escalates beyond their differences to engulf their students, who as teenagers, are already challenged to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Which path will they follow – Cobra Kai or Miyagi-Do?
In this previous preview, Cobra Kai proudly wore its Karate Kid love on its sleeve with a scene between Daniel and Robby (Tanner Buchanan), as Daniel flashes back to old friend and sensei Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) to explain the Miyagi-do dojo’s philosophy to Robby. Except by the end of the scene, Daniel has an expression on his face that tells us that maybe Robbie isn’t getting the point…
Meanwhile, Johnny has some matters from the tournament that still need to be settled – having no interest in seeing his dojo go the way of the old Cobra Kai and proving Daniel right – especially at the hands of John Kreese (Martin Kove):
Speaking of Kreese… looks like he’s making his intentions known to Johnny – but is that a good thing?
In the following behind-the-scenes feature, the cast takes us behind the scenes to show the production was able to imitate the important aspects from the original Karate Kid film: