Everything We Know About Netflix's 'Cobra Kai' Season 3
Will the show change now that it's on Netflix?
Note: Major spoilers for Netflix's Cobra Kai up through the Season 2 finale will follow. Click away now if you don't want the show ruined for you.
Even with a big change behind-the-scenes, the Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai shows no signs of giving up the fight. After two seasons on YouTube, where it first premiered as part of the YouTube Red slate of original programming, the acclaimed reboot, which reignites the rivalry between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) from the 1984 martial arts hit, made the jump to Netflix this summer. Even more fans are discovering the show's nimble mix of winking comedy, surprising drama, and butt-kicking nostalgia.
But will Netflix be continuing the journey of Daniel, Johnny, and all their new trainees? That's the question most viewers probably have after they finish a weekend binge of the first 20 episodes from the previous two seasons. (Or, if you've been with the show since its YouTube days, you've been asking that for an even longer time.) Here's everything we know about Season 3 of Cobra Kai so far.
Is there going to be a Season 3 of Cobra Kai?In May of 2019, YouTube Premium announced that it was making a third season of Cobra Kai, which had quickly emerged as one of its most popular and critically celebrated original series. The announcement came after the company announced that its originals would no longer be behind a paywall and would be made available to watch for free with ads. It also came after YouTube canceled most of its other original shows, like Champaign ILL, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television, and Sideswiped, suggesting that the Google-owned company was still figuring out its strategy with originals. Even though it was seen as a hit, the series' future looked a little shaky.
Following an announcement in May 2020 that the show's producing studio, Sony Pictures TV, would be shopping the third season around to other streaming platforms, Netflix was revealed as Cobra Kai's new home. Reportedly, YouTube was not interested in producing a fourth season, which is what initiated the show's jump to Netflix. It now joins other shows like Lucifer, Longmire, and Designated Survivor that have made the transition to Netflix after starting out on other networks or platforms.
When will Season 3 of Cobra Kai premiere?Here's some good news for Cobra Kai fans: Season 3 was already shot before the outbreak of COVID-19 shut down production across the country, so the wait shouldn't be too agonizingly long. On October 2, Netflix released a date announcement teaser, which revealed Season 3 will premiere on January 8, 2021. You can check out the full trailer for Season 3 above.
Is there going to be a Season 4 of Cobra Kai?Yes! Though the third season doesn't drop until 2021, Netflix has already announced that they're producing a fourth season of the show, which will likely premiere at some point in 2022. That's a long ways away, but it does give viewers lots of time to catch up on the show.
Who in the cast is returning?Obviously, Daniel (Macchio) and Johnny (Zabka) will be back. It wouldn't be Cobra Kai without the two aging warriors, and it's safe to assume that most of the supporting cast--including Martin Kove's teacher John Kreese from the original film series and new characters like Mary Mouser's Samantha LaRusso--will be continuing the saga as well.
At the end of the second season, a karate melee broke out between Johnny's Cobra Kai gym and Daniel's Miyagi-Do, putting Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) on life support in the process and setting up a big cliffhanger. Will Miguel be back? Maridueña has tweeted about shooting new episodes -- and he's prominently featured in the new trailer -- so expect him to make a recovery, potentially with some assistance from Elisabeth Shue's Ali from the original film series, who is now a pediatric surgeon in the world of Cobra Kai and has been teasing a possible appearance on the show.
Shue does not make an appearance in the new trailer, but there are some new faces in there. Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) and Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) from 1986's The Karate Kid Part 2 will make their Cobra Kai debut, deepening the show's connection to the original trilogy.
What will Cobra Kai Season 3 be about?In addition to finally bringing Ali back into the fold, likely opening up some old psychological wounds for Daniel and Johnny, Season 3 of Cobra Kai will take some elements from 1986's The Karate Kid Part II, which found Daniel traveling to Japan to continue his training. While Johnny deals with the emotional fallout from Season 2, Daniel looks like he will learn a potentially troubling secret about his late friend and mentor Mr. Miyagi.
Some of that footage was briefly glimpsed in Netflix's recent teaser and Macchio talked about filming in Okinawa during a recent interview on Conan. "I can say it dives into the origin of Miyagi-Do Karate," said Macchio. "We learn a little bit, some secrets of past history that is new to the audience, and to LaRusso, my character, and we actually went to Okinawa to shoot."
The show's creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald, who have been on board since the first episode, sound excited about the new direction heading forward. “Season 3 is definitely our biggest season,” Hurwitz told io9 in an interview tied to the Netflix premiere back in June 2020. “It’s a season of rebirth and regrouping for a lot of characters. And it’s a season where we look to the past to see our pathway to the future.”
The new trailer also hints that Daniel and Johnny will be setting aside their differences to take on Kreese. "The only way to end this is by working together," we hear Daniel say at one point in the trailer. The show's actual ending for the series is probably pretty far off, but expect some more team-work--and plenty of punching and kicking--as the action on the show continues to escalate. Could Daniel and Johny finally find peace? Or will they keep fighting? Either way, new episodes of Cobra Kai will be a strong way to start the year.
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