Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio has never been a fan of the franchise’s third film, which pitted his Daniel LaRusso against John Kreese and a zany new villain named Terry Silver. The Karate Kid Part III has always been a sore spot for both fans and Macchio, so it may seem surprising that acclaimed sequel series Cobra Kai has looked back to that film to frame its fourth season. Thomas Ian Griffith reprised the role of Terry Silver for Cobra Kai Season 4, and the result was actually wonderful, fans have been loving his return decades after they dismissed the character’s initial debut.
Macchio starred in the first three Karate Kid films and now leads Cobra Kai alongside William Zabka. He’s as connected to the franchise as any one person could be. While he has never been a big fan of Karate Kid III, Macchio does appreciate how Cobra Kai has been able to use the story for good, turning it into something people love.
“I was not a fan of how the Karate Kid III came out,” Macchio told The Hollywood Reporter. “I felt the story was only repeating itself and was not character forwarding for the end of LaRusso. And production-wise, it was being written one way and then changed another way. It was not a smooth ride. In the end, there were parts of the character that I didn’t embrace as well as I did with the original and the first sequel. I don’t put it on the top of my résumé.
“However, it informs Cobra Kai going forward, clearly with season four. It gives us so much story. And what is so wonderful about doing the Cobra Kai series, the creators find ways to take that story and let it evolve and find backstories for characters who might have been thinly written.”
Macchio went on to talk about how the change in tone from the Karate Kid movies to Cobra Kai helped make the entire Terry Silver story work. Terry’s over-the-top demeanor didn’t work in the Karate Kid III, but it’s perfect for Cobra Kai‘s approach.
“There is a larger-than-life element to Cobra Kai. When you break it down, it is kind of ridiculous – but that is why it is so much fun,” Macchio continued. “So, you take a character like Terry Silver for this show, with those larger-than-life elements and his relationship with Daniel, then add those layers of complexity to his evilness. And now it becomes a refined performance. On top of that, from the perspective of Daniel as an adult, now we are adding other stakes and elements about his own kids and students. It is remarkable that what I would call the shortcomings of the original franchise are now bearing fruit 36 years later.”
What did you think of Terry Silver’s return in Cobra Kai Season 4? Let us know in the comments!