YouTube Red Hopes This Karate Kid Revival Series Becomes Its Own House of Cards

With Cobra Kai, the feisty service shows it's ready to take on its streaming rivals

In the iconic 1984 film The Karate Kid, Daniel LaRusso’s sensei, Mr. Miyagi, tells his protégé, “man who catch fly with chopsticks, accomplish anything.” Well, perhaps anything except convince Ralph Macchio, who played LaRusso in three Karate Kid films, or William Zabka, who portrayed his nemesis Johnny Lawrence in two movies, to return to the franchise. “I’ve always been very protective of this franchise and this role. I said no for 30 years because it was always easier to let the legacy stand as what it was, as opposed to try to go back to the well and fall short,” says Macchio. Or as Zabka puts it: “There’s the danger of you tip your hat too much in that way, and there’s no way to get out of it. I always joke that my career’s over the day I do a flying sidekick to a potato chip in a headband as a commercial. That was the thing I feared the most.”

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This story first appeared in the April 30, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.