Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg knew that they would be catching some seriously positive vibes from the fanbase when they made Thomas Ian Griffith's return as Terry Silver (The Karate Kid III) official. Now, Kreese (Martin Kove) has some serious back-up and life is about to get a whole lot uglier for Daniel LaRusso's (Ralph Macchio) Miyagi-Do and Johnny Lawrence's (William Zabka) Eagle Fang dojos. This means there's more than just a trophy on the line at the All Valley Karate Tournament- it's a battle for the heart and soul of the community. And now viewers know when it will all kick off, with Netflix releasing an announcement teaser on Thursday morning confirming that the "Karate Kid" sequel series will return for its fourth season this December.
So for a preview of what's to come as the tournament begins, check out the following teaser for Netflix's Cobra Kai:
Cobra Kai Season 4 finds the Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang dojos joining forces to take down Cobra Kai at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament… and whoever loses must hang up their gi. As Samantha and Miguel try to maintain the dojo alliance and Robby goes all in at Cobra Kai, the fate of the Valley has never been more precarious. What tricks does Kreese have up his sleeve? Can Daniel and Johnny bury their decades-long hatchet to defeat Kreese? Or will Cobra Kai become the face of karate in the valley?
Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso), William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence), Courtney Henggeler (Amanda LaRusso), Xolo Maridueña (Miguel Diaz), Tanner Buchanan (Robby Keene), Mary Mouser (Samantha LaRusso), Jacob Bertrand (Hawk), Gianni Decenzo (Demetri), Vanessa Rubio (Carmen), Peyton List (Tory), and Martin Kove (John Kreese) star, with Dallas Dupree Young (Kenny), Oona O'Brien (Devon) and Thomas Ian Griffith (Terry Silver). Cobra Kai is written and executive produced by Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg via their production company, Counterbalance Entertainment. Will Smith, James Lassiter, and Caleeb Pinkett executive produce for Westbrook Entertainment along with Susan Ekins in association with Sony Pictures Television. Macchio and Zabka also serve as executive producers.
In an interview from earlier this year, Hurwitz, Schlossberg, and Heald addressed a number of topics from the third season that will have some major impacts on the series moving into the fourth season:
When They Knew the Johnny/Daniel Team-Up was the Right Time: "We've always known from the beginning that putting Johnny and Daniel in scenes together is a combustible and hilarious and tense situation all at the same time. And in those early seasons, taking those moments to put them in scenes together, there's these little flare-ups — Oh, they're going to fight! Oh, they're going to argue! And it gets to a place of, Johnny's coming to Daniel's house and it looks like they're going to duke it out in the backyard," Heald explained.
"Gradually, we see their relationship get to a place where they have common interests, they have a common enemy, and they still can't really make it work. They're trying at the beginning of season 3 to get there and it once again devolves, and they actually throw some punches. It's only when the stakes get high enough that it's almost a last resort for them both to say, "We're going to fight through this. We're going to make this uncomfortable thing happen for the greater good." We know that that's a moment that you really get once in this series to play — the moment that they actually come together. We've seen other series pull it off. Jon and I watch Billions regularly, and that moment where Chuck and Axe finally sit down and decide, "Let's do this" — you're ending the season on a "Yeah!" moment as opposed to the gut-punch of how season 2 ends."
Heald continued, "We were gradually always getting to this point, this apex in the series, but we also are always modulating the ins and outs of seasons and, and cliffhangers can have different textures. This one felt right at this time to finally enter this portion of their relationship."
How the Idea of Bringing Elisabeth Shue's Ali Back Developed: "Obviously, like pretty much every Karate Kid fan, the three of us fell in love with Ali and have been huge fans of Elisabeth Shue's for decades now. We knew when starting the show that this character, who really was at the center of the conflict between our two leads, has the opportunity to provide a really valuable impact when she eventually shows up. We've had a sense of what we wanted to do for a while, but the timing has always been the question, as to when is the exact right moment," Hurwitz explained.
"We felt the way the stories were weaving and what we were building to at the end of the season — where you wanted Johnny and Daniel to be pushed to that place where it's time for them to forget the past and come together — that it was an impactful way for Ali to return on the show. [She can] help these guys look in the mirror and recognize that perhaps they're not so different after all."
Hurwitz continued: "On top of that, it was really finding a way for her to advance her character in a way where there's intrigue for us going forward. She's lived a life, and it's a life that we're interested in and we could perhaps see again one day. But beyond that, it's making sure that [Ali] had meaningful scenes with both Johnny and Daniel [as they] reflect on their past together. [There were] some things that we knew and you get to see in a whole new light, and other things that we never knew about the past that she shared with them. For the three of us, working with Elisabeth Shue was everything we could have hoped it would be, and then some. The fact that every once in a while, I'll get a text or a phone call and I see Elisabeth Shue's phone number show up on my phone is one of the greatest joys of my life, because I get to talk about Karate Kid with her, and other things. She's as cool a person as we all felt Ali was."
On the Status of Nichole Brown's Aisha: "No one's ever written out of our show. What we like are enormous ensembles that have ins and outs. It makes the most of entrances and exits. You saw in season 3 that we brought back [Bret Ernst as] Louie LaRusso, we brought back [Joe Seo as] Kyler, we brought back [Bo Mitchell as] Brucks, who were all absent in season 2. When we're beginning to break [the season's storylines], if we don't feel that we're going to be able to pay enough story for 20 characters, at times we will find interesting ways of paring it down," Heald explained. "[The goal is] to pack more of a punch when characters come back. Sometimes that's characters coming back from the legacy franchise, sometimes that's characters coming back from our series. So I'll say nobody ever leaves the show for good in our minds, and there always is a strategy and a reason story-wise for why they come in and out, and it serves the long story that we're telling."
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