‘The Karate Kid’ star Ralph Macchio says Will Smith reboot should have been called ‘The Kung Fu Kid’

The iconic actor reflects on the divisive reboot

The Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio says the 2010 reboot, produced by Will Smith, should have been called The Kung Fu Kid.

Macchio, who played Daniel LaRusso in the original 1984 film, explained to The Guardian why the modern remake should have had a different title in keeping with the location change.

The revival, which moves from Los Angeles to China, should have been renamed The Kung Fu Kid because, as Macchio points out, “there’s no such thing as karate in China”.


The film received mixed reviews at the time of release, but Macchio said that the remake “enhanced the legacy of the original.”

On his own experience within the franchise, the actor has said he is reminded of his role in the film almost every day. “It’s a rare sporting event I go to when I don’t hear [the Joe Esposito song] You’re the Best Around,” he said.

“And if I’m in a Japanese restaurant and a fly is in the building, I have about nine seconds to get out,” referring to a scene in the film in which his character catches a fly with chopsticks.

The Karate Kid universe expands as Cobra Kai was released on Netflix today (August 28), a series created by superfans Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, which places Daniel 34 years on from the events of the first film, opposite his nemesis Johnny.

Watch the trailer for Cobra Kai here:


On the filmmakers, Macchio said, “Jon, Josh and Hayden know way more about the films than I ever did. We’ll be shooting a scene and they’ll say: ‘Remember that time you lifted your left arm? The way you pointed that finger was definitive to my childhood!’ I’m like: ‘Dude, I was just saying a line!’ Oh, it’s really wonderful.”

Cobra Kai is available to stream on Netflix now.