Ralph Macchio Said He Hated the Title of ‘The Karate Kid’ but the Alternate Title Was Much Worse

Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio admitted that the movie title The Karate Kid wasn’t his favorite originally, but the alternate title would have been far worse. During an interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Macchio also revealed the title the film had in other countries.

Ralph Macchio on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 2021
Ralph Macchio | Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Ralph Macchio hated ‘The Karate Kid’ movie title

During a Jan. 5 interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Macchio discussed some fan theories and rumors about The Karate Kid, including the rumor that he didn’t like the movie’s title.

Fallon asked Macchio about the title during a segment called “The Final Word: Cobra Kai Edition.”

“First rumor … The Karate Kid is such an iconic title, but is it true that you didn’t like it at first?,” Fallon asked.

Macchio confirmed that the rumor “is true,” saying, “I thought — and I was not the only one — thought it was kind of a hokey, kind of cheesy title for a movie being directed by the guy who made Rocky and all this stuff.”

“Maybe it was foreshadowing,” he continued. “I may have thought if I ever got the part I’d have to carry the damn thing for the rest of my life.”

Fallon then asked a follow-up question: “What do you think the movie should have been called?”

Macchio said he didn’t know but did reveal an alternate title that director John G. Avildsen suggested: East Meets West in West.

“I think it was called The Moment of Truth in many countries when karate had a negative connotation in certain territories,” the actor added.

RELATED: ‘Cobra Kai’: How Many Seasons Will the Netflix Show Run For?

Ralph Macchio beat out some big names for the ‘Karate Kid’ role

Macchio answered some other questions about the iconic 1984 film, including which actors he beat to get the role.

“Everyone knows you as Daniel LaRusso but is it true other people were considered for the role too?,” Fallon asked.

Macchio shared some of the big names that were considered. “I was found early,” he answered. “I was cast very early but it was one of those test deals where you’re not in yet. And I remember walking by and seeing Charlie Sheen hanging outside [producer] Jerry Weintraub’s bungalow thinking ‘What’s Charlie doing here? … You don’t look like an Italian guy from Jersey.’”

“And Nic Cage, I think and Robert Downey Jr.,” he added as other possible contenders.

Macchio continued, “Robert Downey Jr. also did the workshop of my part I did in The Outsiders, so I was doing pretty good with Downey Jr. at that point and then it just …” [he motioned how Downey Jr.’s career took off] “Like Iron Man, it took off … it’s great.”

Macchio cleared up the rumor that he writes ‘Thor’ comics

Fallon also asked Macchio if it’s true that he writes Thor comics and the actor set the record straight — it’s another Ralph Macchio.

He explained how he learned of this other Ralph Macchio when he was thanked for Thor. “There’s a very famous Ralph Macchio, who’s a part of Stan Lee’s team at Marvel and writes comics,” the actor explained. “I’ve never met him.”