Last week, fans of Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg's Cobra Kai were offered some seriously good news from Netflix co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos: the "Karate Kid" sequel series would be returning for its fourth season before the end of this year. When we last left things, Daniel LaRusso's (Ralph Macchio) Miyagi-Do and Johnny Lawrence's (William Zabka) Eagle Fang dojos were putting aside their drama and looking to go Avengers: Endgame to take down Kreese- thanks to a returning Ali Mills Schwarber (Elisabeth Shue) smoothing things over with the older folks and Sam (Mary Mouser) rallying the high school crowd. And it's all going down big tournament-style during the fourth season- which is why Zabka's Instagram news on Saturday is sure to bring even bigger smiles. Because Cobra Kai is clearly going to make its date with 2021.
In the following post, Zabka breaks the good news that after 3-1/2 months of production, the team has officially wrapped the fourth season- and in the image below, Zabka looks just as ready for action now as ever before:
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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."
So What Can They Tell Us About KKIII "Big Bad" Terry Silver Returning? "It was really fun for us in season 3 to bring back Terry Silver, but in a way that you've never seen before in those flashbacks," Hurwitz said. "We know how beloved the character Terry is and he is to us as well. We went so far as to introduce a character early on who has a ponytail, and you're all excited and you're like, "Oh my God, it's Terry Silver!" And then [we] kill that character, and then revealed soon after that the other guy was Terry Silver. He's a character that we have a lot of fun with."
That said, Hurwitz still isn't willing to confirm or deny who was on the other end of the phone call with Kreese. "At the end of the season, you saw Kreese make a phone call. You could guess who might've been on the other end of that call based off of the photo that he was looking at there," the co-creator teased. "But we can't really speak to how Terry Silver would respond to that call — or whoever was on the other end of the line would respond to that call. I think you'll have to see if that character returns in season 4."