Cobra Kai fans were on the receiving end of an "unexpected-ish" stocking stuffer on Thursday, courtesy of Netflix and series creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg: Team Cobra Kai and Team Miyagi-Do will be battling their way back a little earlier than announced- but more on that in a minute. With the third season kicking off next month, Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) find themselves on the defensive now that Kreese (Martin Kove) is he sensei at Cobra Kai. Johnny and Daniel are going to have to confront their pasts if they want to have any shot at making things right in the present. It also means that the two long-time rivals will need to put aside their differences and work together- as we see in the newly-released season poster. With a serious '70s "grindhouse" vibe to it (though Macchio's head looks weird), the key art shows that everyone's going to have to make a choice. Are they Team Cobra Kai… or a different Team Miyagi-Do?
Now here's a look back at the big news that broke on Christmas Eve: the third season of the "Karate Kid" sequel series will be hitting Netflix screens a week early, helping you usher in 2021 on New Year's Day:
In August, Hurwitz revealed that all of the film trilogy's characters are potentially in play (as we've seen already for the third season): "We love The Karate Kid trilogy and anyone who has seen Seasons 1 and 2 has seen us make references to all three of the original Karate Kid films. And we also say that it's our belief that anything that has happened in a movie Mr. Miyagi was in, which includes The Next Karate Kid, is part of the Miyagi-Verse and our series takes place in the Miyagi-Verse." Hurwitz continued, "Any character who has lived within this Miyagi-Verse has potential to show up at some point on Cobra Kai and I can say that the three of us, as writers, have literally discussed pretty much every person who has appeared in those films, from these large characters you're talking about, like the Terry Silvers of the world, to the most minor characters who had one or two lines."
COBRA KAI Season 3 finds everyone reeling in the aftermath of the violent high school brawl between their dojos, which has left Miguel in a precarious condition. While Daniel searches for answers in his past and Johnny seeks redemption, Kreese further manipulates his vulnerable students with his own vision of dominance. The soul of the Valley is at stake, and the fate of every student and sensei hangs in the balance.
That said, as fun as it is to bring these characters back for the fans it's important that the characters they use bring something meaningful to the series' overall narrative: "We view that as all characters who live in our universe and, at any moment in time, have the potential to show up as long as they're relevant to the present-day story that we're telling and don't feel like they're thrown in there for cameo purposes or for simply for nostalgia's sake," Hurwitz explained. "There needs to be a real, dramatic reason [in] present-day why any of these characters would be relevant to our story. I can say that, going forward, we should expect more characters from The Karate Kid films to return but I can't say who or when or pretty much anything beyond that."