“It hasn’t officially been picked up. I need to say that because that is the truth,” Macchio, 60, exclusively shared with Us Weekly while promoting his upcoming memoir, Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me, on Thursday, September 29. “[But] we’re feeling pretty good that we’ll get to continue the show and let it evolve and land when it needs to. These guys, Jon [Hurwitz], Josh [Heald] and Hayden [Schlossberg], who write this show, are just so great at [having] their finger on the pulse of what the fans want. They are the fans themselves.”
While the New York native — who portrayed Daniel LaRusso in the first three Karate Kid films from 1984 to 1989 before reprising the role on Cobra Kai — admitted that there are “some butterflies” about whether or not the martial-arts drama will be picked up for another season, he did share some insight into what the future of the series could hold.
Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix
“There’s more meat on the bones there. But it’s gotta be entertaining and organic and I think there’s plenty of places to go every season,” Macchio explained. “Whether you bring in Tamlyn Tomita as Kumiko [in season 5 or] Elizabeth Shue in season 3. You [also] have Thomas Ian Griffith – what a great job he’s doing. Karate Kid 3 was never, ever my favorite of those three movies. Now it’s bearing such great fruit and storytelling and refined versions of characters.”
The martial arts dramedy, which initially picks up 34 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, features a down-and-out Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) seeking redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai dojo and reigniting his rivalry with a now successful Daniel LaRusso (Macchio).
While the Outsiders actor and Zabka, 56, carry a majority of the emotional and nostalgic weight of the series, Macchio noted the younger cast, who have “just exploded” since the series premiered in 2018, have helped add fresh drama.
“It’s a karate soap opera. I mean, let’s be honest, you know, people are fighting in the valley of the San Fernando Valley of California like it’s world peace. But that’s kind of the fun of it,” the My Cousin Vinny star joked of the show’s two rivalry dojos, Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do, facing off in various showdowns over the years.
Macchio, for his part, plays more of the “mentor” role to the new generation of karate kids. For the Ugly Betty alum, it’s a 180 shift from his role as Daniel LaRusso in the original films, which debuted almost four decades prior — something he discusses in his new memoir.
“Some of the most iconic things from that film happened and from my perspective,” he explained to Us about his experience on The Karate Kid. “'[My book is] kind of a celebratory look at the making of the original film and the sort of afterlife of the film. … And then how the lessons of the experience and the movie itself has given what it’s given to the world and my life.”
Waking On: The Karate Kid and Me comes out on Tuesday, October 18.
With reporting by Leanne Aciz Stanton
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