Ralph Macchio Keeps Hinting About a Mr. Miyagi Origin Story`

Ralph Macchio is on a publicity tour for his new book Waxing On, about an acting career that has spanned from The Outsiders to The Karate Kid films to the surprise smash success of Cobra Kai. He’s talked about everything from his Elisabeth Shue regrets to how Creed helped get Cobra Kai made. And while the Netflix series has added dimension to almost every character in the Karate Kid universe, Macchio says one mystery remains: The origin of Mr. Miyagi, the karate master and mentor played by Pat Morita.

“I wanna see the Miyagi origin story,” Macchio said Monday in an interview with Marc Maron for the WTF podcast. He said almost exactly the same thing in a recent interview with GQ: “I would love to see the Miyagi origin story. What was life like for him? Where does that go? What happened in World War II and when he wound up in the U.S. and ended up a maintenance guy in a San Fernando Valley apartment building until this kid knocked on the door?”

Also Read: Reckless Karate Kid Speculation

“This kid,” of course, was Daniel LaRusso, who Macchio has played since the original 1984 Karate Kid. He and Morita subsequently starred in two sequels, prior to Morita’s death in 2005.

Given that there’s a mysterious new Karate Kid film on the way from Sony’s Columbia Pictures in 2024, we can’t help but recklessly speculate that the new film — billed as “the return to the original Karate Kid franchise” — will be the Miyagi origin story. Is Ralph Macchio just wishing aloud for the story of Miyagi’s life? Or priming the pump to build up audience expectations? Or both? We’re fine with whatever. But we strongly suspect that the film won’t be another chapter in the life of Daniel LaRusso, because Cobra Kai has already done a quite successful job of carrying on the saga of Daniel-san and his rival-turned-friend Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka). It feels like the only place for the Karate Kid franchise to go is back to Miyagi. (Unless he has a secret daughter or something.)

Cobra Kai is now streaming on Netflix.

Main image: Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi and Ralph Macchio as Daniel-san in The Karate Kid.