Ralph Macchio advocates for "The Karate Kid Cinematic Universe"

Ralph Macchio on the future of "The Karate Kid Cinematic Universe"
Ralph Macchio on the future of "The Karate Kid Cinematic Universe"

Ralph Macchio

The Cinematic Universe is all the rage these days (just ask film oracles Joe and Anthony Russo). So why shouldn’t The Karate Kid get in on the action? The film franchise already has a robust catalog of sequels, spin-off TV series, and a remake, with a new film and even a Broadway musical in the works. Cobra Kai star and OG Karate Kid Ralph Macchio looks upon all he has made and declares that it is good, and actually, let’s keep going while we’re at it!

“Listen, it has become a cinematic universe of its own. The Karate Kid Cinematic Universe? Yeah,” Macchio says in an interview with The A.V. Club’s own Gil Macias. “I mean—what characters would I like to see get spin-offs? Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg, who created the Cobra Kai series along with their writing staff, are the best of the best at understanding this world and where they see it going.”

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“But there’s so many wonderful young actors. They’re all turning into big stars now, but they’re all still good kids and I’m proud of them—and they don’t take it for granted that they’ve had this launchpad that was set up decades before they were born,” he continues. “It could go anywhere and I’m excited to see where it’s going to go.”

Macchio sees Creed as a great blueprint for the KCCU: “That was a big part of what led me to say yes to the Cobra Kai concept, because I had just seen the original Creed and I said, ‘This is a smart way to revisit the Rocky Balboa universe without making Rocky 7,’ and in essence, that’s what Cobra Kai was able to do.”

Other KCCU concepts that get Macchio excited is reincorporating Hillary Swank’s character Julie Pierce from The Next Karate Kid (he doesn’t know “what’s going on in her life, career, and where it would fit,” but “There’s a whole history you could have” between Julie and Daniel) and a possible origin story for Mr. Miyagi. “Would I’d like to be involved creatively? Yes, of course. I would love to at least have some input there just because I love the concept of who this man was as a teenager,” he says of the latter. “So we’ll see. Those cards have yet to be laid out. And who could play the part? I don’t know. I don’t know yet. Let’s see if they’re going to make it first, then we’ll figure out casting.”

As for the next Karate Kid film greenlit earlier this year, Macchio has one wish: “For anyone involved to care as much as the other people who have touched this universe. That’s the main thing for me,” he shares. “That it enhances the story going forward, whatever it might be. And whether I’m involved with it or not, it’s too early to tell, but it’s fun to see this Karate Kid universe and fandom continue to grow through the roof.”

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