Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Clint Eastwood Forever Shunned Coca-Cola Because of ‘The Karate Kid’

Clint Eastwood Forever Shunned Coca-Cola Because of ‘The Karate Kid’

Clint Eastwood has proven himself to be a powerful director who picks and chooses his projects, like The Karate Kid. Wait a minute, though. Eastwood did not sit in the director’s seat for this movie, did he? Nope. Eastwood did have a little incentive to do so.

See, while Clint Eastwood was directing movies and making tracks in that pathway, his son Kyle Eastwood had some ambitions, too. Kyle ended up making his acting debut in Honkytonk Man. What was going to be his next film project? As it turns out, he wanted to be in The Karate Kid. He talked about it in an interview with The Guardian back in 2007.

Kyle Eastwood Talks About ‘Karate Kid’ Project

“I was actually willing to do [this part],” Kyle Eastwood said. “My father […] had mentioned it to me and said he thought it was an interesting part. He ended up passing the script on to somebody else and it ended up being The Karate Kid.”

OK, so that’s the opinion of Kyle Eastwood. And that may be how all of this went down. Yet there is someone else with a differing opinion. It comes from Sondra Locke, who is a former partner of Clint Eastwood. Locke happened to write about this in her memoir, The Good, The Bad & The Very Ugly.

Locke’s view on The Karate Kid situation is different from Kyle’s. When it came to having Kyle in the movie, Columbia Pictures made the call. They said no. It’s worth mentioning that the Coca-Cola Company bought the studio. They had it in the company portfolio, MeTV reports, through 1989.

Well, here’s what Locke wrote. “Clint had agreed to direct Karate Kid for Columbia only if Kyle played the lead, but they refused,” she wrote. “Clint forever banned Coca-Cola from his sight.”

The Movie Ends Up Having Sequels Made

Kyle Eastwood didn’t get the lead role. But this lead actor role happened to be one of the most desired roles at that time. Daniel LaRusso was a character that captivated people in the movie business. Who wanted this role? Well, people like Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr. did audition for the role. They didn’t get it, though.

For fans of The Karate Kid, they’ve grown up watching Ralph Macchio in the lead role of Daniel. Of course, he’s under the guidance of Mr. Miyahi, played by Pat Morita. After the success of this first movie in 1984, three additional sequels were released. In 2010, the original movie was remade with different characters. And there is actually a sixth movie in the franchise, this one featuring Macchio and Jackie Chan, and is due out later in 2024.

Now, talk about holding a grudge! Clint Eastwood won’t allow Coca-Cola in his presence, so one might presume he’s a Pepsi drinker at that.

Well, Eastwood has been quite busy as he appears to be winding down his career. His latest movie project, Juror No. 2, is getting some finishing touches put on it. And it looks like he’s done very well in his career even without directing The Karate Kid.