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The Bizarre Karate Kid Crossover We Could Have Gotten In The '90s

For a movie about a kid who learns karate and beats up his high school bully, 1984's The Karate Kid has certainly endured over the last few decades. In addition to three sequels, a cartoon series, and a 2010 reboot, the franchise is more popular now than ever before thanks to rejuvenated interest from the Netflix original series, Cobra Kai, which actually puts antagonist Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) from the first film in the protagonist role while Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) serves somewhat of an antagonistic role. 

It's a bit of an odd idea for a Karate Kid TV show, but surprisingly, it works. Fans should just be grateful those in charge of such decisions landed on Cobra Kai as opposed to the litany of other ideas to cash in on the Karate Kid legacy that have allegedly been floating around for a while. As Macchio tells The Sydney Morning Herald, "For 30 years, I heard many, many ideas. And they were all short-sighted, either one joke ideas or big eye rolls." We'd love to read a book centering on all of the ridiculous ideas people have come up with to keep the franchise going. For now, we'll just have to settle for what sounds like the singular weirdest idea to bring Daniel LaRusso back to his martial arts roots. 

OneKarate Kid pitch involved Daniel LaRusso teaming up with Rocky Balboa

In an interview with Business Insider, Macchio talks about how a ton of people wanted him to come back to the franchise. "Everyone would come up with the pitch of, 'You have a kid, and you become the Miyagi to your kid.' Everyone thought that was the brilliant continuation." This element does come into play with Cobra Kai, as Daniel LaRusso serves as a sensei for his daughter, Samantha (Mary Mouser), who becomes proficient with fighting in the same vein as her father. While she fights alongside some of the geeky kids at her school, one pitch would've taken this idea in an entirely different direction with Daniel's child teaming up with Rocky Balboa's (Sylvester Stallone) kid. 

That's right: we could've essentially gotten a sports movie cinematic universe, although it's unclear if the kids would've learned karate, boxing, or some kind of MMA-style fighting technique all their own. "An executive once came up to me and John Avildsen, the director of Karate Kid, and took it a step further," Macchio said. "It was very off the cuff, but he said, 'Hey, what if Rocky Balboa and LaRusso had kids and they are related in some way?' Because Avildsen directed Rocky, so that's the connection." Macchio went on to explain how the idea was that the two protagonists would be related in some way because they're both Italian. So we guess there could've been a scenario in which Daniel moves back to Newark, New Jersey, which is only a two-hour drive from Philadelphia, so that's... kind of close for them to meet up? Or maybe Rocky would have just run the entire way there as part of his training.

Naturally, the pitch never got past the idea phase. "Me and Avildsen just looked at each other and went to the guy: 'Well, you get back to us.' But inside you're like, 'How is this even possible?'" Macchio told Business Insider. It's ultimately for the best, as both characters ended up getting much better continuations with Cobra Kai and the Creed movies, respectively. Granted, we would pay any amount of money to see an Avengers-esque team-up film featuring Daniel, Rocky, Crash Davis, Sydney Deane, and Happy Gilmore.