‘Cobra Kai’ star Ralph Macchio explains why he turned down Will Smith’s ‘Karate Kid’ remake: ‘Door was open’

Will Smith asked Ralph Macchio to be involved with his remake of “The Karate Kid” – but the actor who famously played Daniel LaRusso turned down the offer.

The “Cobra Kai” star shared his account in a new memoir titled “Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me,” which details his rise to stardom with the beloved film franchise. The book is out on Tuesday.

“Listen, he didn’t offer like, ‘I’m gonna write you a big role in this remake,’” the 60-year-old explained to Fox News Digital. “He just said, ‘Any involvement you want, we could figure it out.’ He wanted me to feel comfortable with it going forward.’”

It was 2008 when Macchio learned that a remake of the 1984 film was in the works with the Oscar winner serving as a producer. The 2010 movie starred Smith’s son Jaden Smith, as well as Jackie Chan and Taraji P. Henson. In his book, Macchio described how it was “a jarring moment” to learn that a new version was being developed without any of the original stars.

“I spent 20 years trying to prove I’m not a kid anymore, and then when I heard they were remaking my biggest movie, all of a sudden, I was like, ‘Hey, why are they rushing everything!’” Macchio wrote.

Macchio said he was “caught off guard” when a reporter approached him on the street and asked how he felt about the announcement. Macchio replied that he “was hoping there would be more original content coming out of Hollywood soon.” Still, he “wished everyone good luck and success and thought it was cool to know the story still had great relevance.”

But the following day, a headline read: “Macchio Slams Remake,” which led to a call from Smith 48 hours later. Macchio said he wanted to clear the air about “the sensationalized tabloid-like headline.” That’s when Smith offered to involve him “in any way I wanted and said that the door was open.”

“I just said, ‘You know what, I’m going to stand back, be a fan and see what you guys come up with,’” Macchio recalled. “I think the legacy stands on its own, and I didn’t have any great desire to fit a square peg in a round hole if you will. I just didn’t know enough about it and what they wanted to do for me to really participate. They reimagined it and made a film that turned out to be quite successful and fairly well-crafted. It did well, but only in my view, it enhanced the legacy of the original.”

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