Cobra Kai: Ralph Macchio Explains Why Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan Will Never Join the Show
Cobra Kai’s Ralph Macchio explains why Jackie Chan and Jayden Smith’s Karate Kid characters will never have cameos in the hit Netflix series.
Ralph Macchio explained why Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith will never have cameos in Netflix’s Karate Kid spinoff series Cobra Kai.
“Anyone who knew Mr. Miyagi and interacted with Mr. Miyagi is canon for our show, for the Cobra Kai show,” Macchio said on Jake’s Takes. Since Chan and Smith’s Karate Kid was a modern-day remake of the 1984 original film, Macchio concluded that their characters would not be able to associate with those from Cobra Kai because “They were not in that [Cobra Kai] world.”
Cobra Kai features a number of characters from the original film series and takes place in what creators Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald and Hayden Schlossberg call the “Miyagi-verse.” Mr. Miyagi, of course, mentored several karate students, including Macchio’s teenage Danny in the first Karate Kid film.
Macchio went on to contrast the canon of Chan and Smith’s film with another person from the Miyagi-verse. “To the flip side of that, someone like Julie Pierce, who is Hilary Swank’s role, did know Miyagi,” he said. “So there’s always a chance for maybe that.”
Regarding Mr. Miyagi’s legacy and lasting impact on Cobra Kai, Macchio and Johnny Lawrence actor William Zabka agreed that praise belonged to actor Pat Morita. “What was so beautiful about his performance as Miyagi is the ability to have that heart, soul and those emotions,” Macchio said. Zabka also paid tribute to Morita, saying, “He was such a big part of our lives.” Although Morita passed away in 2005, the Cobra Kai stars described how he still inspires and influences the series, with Zabka stating, “I feel him you know and he’s integrated in the show.”
Cobra Kai premiered on YouTube Red in 2018 and was acquired the following year by Netflix, where the comedy-drama series became an instant hit. The show takes place three decades after Danny defeated Johnny during Karate Kid‘s 1984 All-Valley Karate Tournament. Now in his 50s, Johnny finds himself jobless, divorced and estranged from his son. With the hope of recapturing his past as a popular martial arts athlete, Johnny decides to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo. As local bullied outcasts quickly join, Johnny suddenly becomes a mentor and sensei, but his actions reawaken his teenage rivalry, leading Danny to create his own dojo styled in Mr. Miyagi’s teachings.
Cobra Kai Season 5 premieres Dec. 31 on Netflix.
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