How ‘Deadpool’ Star Ryan Reynolds Is Connected to ‘The Karate Kid’ Series

From early roles such as National Lampoon’s Van Wilder to the upcoming Deadpool 3, Ryan Reynolds has led a wild career. The actor has touched just about every genre. Besides his hits, he also starred in infamous bombs Green Lantern and R.I.P.D. Although Reynolds doesn’t appear in The Karate Kid movies, he does have a connection many fans might now know.

Ryan Reynolds on 'Today' in 2019
Ryan Reynolds on ‘Today’ in 2019 | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It’s no surprise for any Reynolds fan that his two appearances as Deadpool are hit biggest hits. 2016’s Deadpool and its 2018 sequel both earned roughly $785 million worldwide. That success is likely a huge reason why Reynolds will stay in the role, even as the X-Men franchise transfers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s perhaps the only one to carry over into the MCU.

Reynolds’ other blockbuster hits mostly consist of voice work. The actor stars in 2013’s animated hit The Croods, which he reprised in the 2020 sequel. And he voices the titular CGI cutie in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. Those movies earned $573 million and $432 million, respectively, according to The-Numbers.com. But Reynolds’ connection to The Karate Kid is more personal than business.

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Ryan Reynolds’ wife, actor Blake Lively, is the key

Rather than having anything to do with his film career, Reynolds’ connection to The Karate Kid stems from his wife, Blake Lively. The Hollywood power couple married in 2012 after meeting on the set of 2011’s Green Lantern. Lively, of course, has her own successful career, in which she balanced TV’s Gossip Girl with movies such as The Town, The Shallows, and A Simple Favor.

The 33-year-old star is also the half-sister of actor Robyn Lively. She is known mostly these days for her TV work, which includes The WB drama Savannah and Hulu’s Light as a Feather. But in the late 1980s, Lively was a teen star. Her most notable role from that period is perhaps  Louise Miller in the 1989 cult classic Teen Witch. But that same year, Lively joined The Karate Kid franchise.

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Robyn Lively starred with Ralph Macchio in ‘The Karate Kid Part III’

Lively starred opposite Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid Part III. In the movie, she plays Jessica Andrews, who becomes one of Daniel’s (Macchio) closest allies. Initially, the role was meant to follow Elisabeth Shue’s Ali Mills and Tamlyn Tomita’s Kumiko as Daniel’s new love interest. But the age difference between Macchio and Lively led to significant rewrites to drop this angle.

With The Karate Kid franchise back in the form of Netflix series Cobra Kai, fans are buzzing about whether Lively could return as Jessica. Considering Shue and Tomita already reprised their roles, anything is certainly possible. A more direct connection between Reynolds and The Karate Kid probably won’t happen though. He’ll have to live vicariously through his sister-in-law.