She’s one of the surprise additions to Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” this season but did you know Elisabeth Shue’s return as Ali Mills from “The Karate Kid” (1984) near happened 35 years earlier?
As Ralph Macchio’s squeeze in the original John G.Avildsen hit, Shue lit up the screen with a plucky, adorable turn as a young, sweater-clad woman torn between her ostensibly-rotten ex (William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence) and the new guy in town, Daniel LaRusso (Macchio).
Remember this? awww…
…and what about this? my god, what a doll!
Work on “The Karate Kid Part II”- with returning cast Macchio and Pat Morita again working under the charge of Avildsen – commenced just ten days after filming wrapped on the first. That was soon enough for the producers to quickly nab Martin Kove (Kreese) and Zabka back for small appearances in the film but sadly, Shue had already put her acting behind to concentrate on her studies.
The plan to film a sequence where Alli breaks up with Daniel just before she jets off to Europe – and he tags along with Mr. Myagi to Okinawa – was scrapped because the actress was head down at Harvard.
And that’s the truth. No ‘I hate sequels’ diva here; after all, Shue would later play Jennifer Parker in “Back to the Future II” and “Back to the Future III”. Shue’s first film post-“Karate Kid Part II” would be a real departure- the cult classic “Link”.