Ralph Macchio Reveals Why He Agreed to ‘Karate Kid’ Revival After Three Decades

Radio.com

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- It was 34 years ago when Daniel Larusso and Johnny Lawrence became martial arts icons thanks to the film "Karate Kid." Now, 34 years later, Ralph Macchio and William Zabka are taking their characters back into the dojo in "Cobra Kai" on YouTube Red.

"The groundswell of attention, it's been awesome for us", Macchio said to Rebecca Granet on The Trend.

"It's just amazing to see the fan base and beyond excited about this show and excited about a continuation, and to see where these two characters and the entire Karate Kid universe 34 years later, where that is."

The original film set back in 1984 told the story mostly through the lens of Daniel Larusso, but this time Johnny Lawrence moves into the forefront.

"I wanted to make sure that Johnny wasn't going to repeat what happened the first time so much", Zabka said. "We're going to get layers of him and understand him."

"Cobra Kai" picks up thirty years after the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament that Larusso won so famously with the crane kick. Lawrence’s life, however, has taken a rocky turn as he tries to forget the past and find redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo.

"The Cobra Kai dojo being brought back and Johnny Lawrence and his life, which is, the worst, a nightmare," Macchio joked.  "But it actually turns out to be something that informs him to straighten some of the stuff in his life."

The one obvious absence from the series is Mr. Miyagi, played by Pat Morita, who died in 2005. Macchio reflected on one of his favorite moments he shared with the late actor.

"It's a Larusso line, but it's in a Miyagi scene. When he talks about karate isn't just for fighting, just for now, it's for your whole life, and Larusso just turns to him and says you're the best friend I ever had. It's just a sweet, pure moment. It's one of my favorites in the entire film."

And as for that famous crane kick to the face that defeated Lawrence in the film, there's some debate. Fan forums are flooded with comments over the legality of the move.

To find out what Ralph and William think, and to watch the full interview, check out the video HERE.