Ralph Macchio Says a Jackie Chan Cobra Kai Cameo Wouldn't Work

Before Cobra Kai began stealing the hearts of fans with its continuation of the Karate Kid story, Sony tried to revive the beloved franchise with a modern take on the story that starred Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Chan's character, Mr. Han, followed the archetype of Pat Morita's Mr. Miyagi, the star of the original films. While the 2010 Karate Kid tried to capture the spirit of the previous films, it didn't take place in the same story as the one that Mr. Miyagi lived in, so don't expect to see its stars ever appear on Cobra Kai.

The popular Netflix series has been bringing back a lot of the characters from the first three Karate Kid films, with Thomas Ian Griffith's Terry Silver set to be the next movie name debuting on the show. Karate Kid and Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio recently appeared on Jake's Takes and said that, while the new series is in the business of returning characters, Jackie Chan won't be among them because his movie never had a connection to Mr. Miyagi.

"Anyone who knew Mr. Miyagi and interacted with Mr. Miyagi is canon for our show, for the Cobra Kai show," Macchio explained.

The series is all about the connection to Miyagi, so anyone who appeared in films with Morita's character could make a comeback on the show, even if they never shared the screen with Macchio's Daniel LaRusso or William Zabka's Johnny Lawrence. That includes the star of The Next Karate Kid, Hilary Swank.

The fourth film in the Karate Kid franchise, released in 1994, didn't feature Daniel as the main character, but it did continue the story of Mr. Miyagi. Morita's instructor took a new student under his wing, a young woman played by Swank. According to Macchio, Swank's character absolutely could appear on Cobra Kai, thanks to her connection to the late karate legend.

"To the flip side of that, someone like Julie Pierce, who is Hilary Swank's role, did know Miyagi," Macchio continued. "So there's always a chance for maybe that."

There's certainly time for Julie Pierce to appear on Cobra Kai, considering the end of the show is nowhere in sight. The fourth season of the series is being released on Netflix at the end of 2021 and a fifth season has already finished production. There is no shortage of Cobra Kai in the near future.