‘The Karate Kid’ Had the Worst Original Title, Ralph Macchio Says (Video)

But the alternate international title wasn’t so bad

Last Updated: January 6, 2021 @ 7:49 AM

“The Karate Kid” star Ralph Macchio hated the “Karate Kid” title, despite the fact that he himself was the titular karate kid. Could’ve been worse, though — like the 1984 movie’s original title.

During Jimmy Fallon’s “The Final Word: ‘Cobra Kai’ Edition,” Macchio said director John G. Avildsen considered calling the film “East Meets West in West.”

Wow, that’s bad.

“The Karate Kid” was alternately titled “The Moment of Truth” in countries “where karate had a negative connotation,” Macchio told Fallon on Tuesday.

Macchio also told Fallon that other actors originally considered for the Daniel LaRusso role included Charlie Sheen, Nicolas Cage and Robert Downey Jr.

Watch the video above.

“Karate Kid” sequel series “Cobra Kai” premiered its third season on Jan. 1 on Netflix. The series originally streamed Seasons 1 and 2 on YouTube’s paid platform.

Ahead of the Season 3 premiere, TheWrap got an update from the “Cobra Kai” teens on their evolving karate skills. It’s kind of a mixed bag.

Catch up here.

We also spoke with series star William Zabka about the biggest evolution in the series — the evolution of “Karate Kid” bully Johnny Lawrence. This reporter asked Zabka if he has any concerns about Johnny becoming a bit soft.

“At his core, he has a good heart, but he’s also — he can turn on a switch and be tough and badass,” Zabka said.

When series creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg pitched Zabka on the “Karate Kid” sequel series, the star (and co-executive producer) wanted to make sure that this Lawrence “would have depth and dimension and humor” and “would be trying to redeem himself.”

Also of importance to Zabka: “And he wouldn’t be set up for a crane kick at the end of this thing.” Good call.

“They assured me that he would be more of an antihero,” Zabka explained. “They said it’s like if there was no ‘Karate Kid’ and we wanted to create ‘Cobra Kai,’ we could call it ‘Bad Sensei,’ like ‘Bad Santa.’ But at the end of ‘Bad Santa,’ there’s a goodness in him.”

Read more here.