Everything We Know About Netflix's 'Cobra Kai' Season 4
The saga of Daniel and Johnny continues!
Cobra Kai can't be stopped. When the Karate Kid sequel series first debuted on YouTube Premium in May 2018, it did so as an underdog, with the kitschy-sounding comedic reboot of the famous '80s movie franchise starring Ralph Macchio being released on a streaming service that few even knew existed. But for those who sought it out, Cobra Kai was a true hidden gem (call it the Ted Lasso of 2018). Sadly, after its second season, YouTube got out of the scripted originals game and the show fell into limbo status.
Enter Netflix, which added the show's first two seasons last summer and renewed it for a third, allowing a much larger audience to discover its low-key nostalgic charms. The third season dropped January 1, 2021, and quickly occupied the perch atop the Top 10. Underestimate Cobra Kai at your own peril.
With the dust settled from a tumultuous, action-packed third season, it's time to look ahead to the future. What twists and turns can we expect as Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) join forces? Will there be more cameos from the original movies? How can the local economy support so many dojos? Let's assume the show will continue to "fight 'til the end" and "reach the final bell."
Is there going to be a Season 4 of Cobra Kai?Yes. After earning critical raves and tons of new viewers, Cobra Kai is no longer a scrappy underdog that could be canceled at any moment. When the show moved to Netflix, it was announced that there would be a Season 4. Season 3 was actually filmed for YouTube, but was sold to Netflix back in 2020 as the Google-owned video service made a shift in its programming strategy and scrapped its original series for parts. The fourth season was part of the Netflix deal and was teased way back in the teaser for Season 3.
When will Cobra Kai Season 4 premiere?Here's where things get a little tricky. There's no official release date for Season 4 yet. But in April 2021, Netflix Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos announced on a call for investors that Cobra Kai Season 4 will debut in Q4 of 2021. That means you can expect to see more episodes by the end of the year.
That matches with what some of the creative team has been saying about the shooting schedule. In an interview from January with PopCulture.com, co-creator Josh Heald confirmed that the crew was looking to make Season 4 in 2021.
"COVID has thrown a wrench into everyone's plans for exactly when production begins," he said in the interview. "But our expectation is in early 2021, we will be in production. We are just keeping our heads down and making sure that the story makes sense and the scripts are solid and getting our ducks in a row so the moment that everything looks good, we can begin."
Is there a trailer for Cobra Kai Season 4?No, and you won't see one for a while. They've still got to shoot all of the new season, so don't expect to see a trailer until later this year.
Who in the cast is returning for Season 4?Obviously, it wouldn't be Cobra Kai without Daniel and Johnny, who have begun to set aside their differences and started working together. Ralph Macchio and William Zabka will be returning, along with Martin Kove, whose villainous John Kreese, we learned in Season 3, has been a bad dude since he served in Vietnam. Look for that storyline to grow even more complex in the coming season.
Expect to see the younger generation of Miguel (Xolo Maridueña), Robby (Tanner Buchanan), Hawk (Jacob Bertrand), and Samantha (Mary Mouser) around as well. In interviews, the creators have also suggested that Nichole Brown’s Aisha, whose absence in Season 3 has caused much consternation among fans, could potentially return at some point. "No one's ever written out of our show," co-creator Josh Heald told Entertainment Weekly.
Every season also brings more opportunities for the show's creators to fold the mythology of the original movies into the continuity of the series—and bring along some of those performers from those films for an extra boost of nostalgia. In Season 3, that meant appearances from characters from The Karate Kid Part II like Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) and Chozen (Yuji Okumoto). We also finally got a long-teased appearance from Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills, as well as a few of Johnny's Cobra Kai pals from the first Karate Kid movie.
Will the show bring some of the actors from the much less well regarded threequel The Karate Kid Part III into the fold? The end of Season 3, which features Kreese placing a phone call to a mysterious man on the other line, suggests that actor Thomas Ian Griffith, who played Terry Silver in the 1989 movie, will make an appearance in Season 4.
In the interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hurwitz kept the details of Silver's likely return appropriately vague. "At the end of the season, you saw Kreese make a phone call," he explained. "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. 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."
Silver might not be the only cast member from Part III planning a return. Actor Sean Kanan, who played the villainous Mike Barnes, hinted in an interview with FanRoom Live that he could be brought back into the fold, telling the hosts, "If I were to guess, [I’d say] you haven’t seen the last of Mike Barnes!" Though he didn't confirm his cameo, Kanan made it sound like "Karate's Badboy" will be dropping by.
What will Cobra Kai Season 4 be about?Like the three seasons that preceded it, Cobra Kai Season 4 will continue to explore the decades-long dynamic between Daniel and Johnny. That means redemption, sacrifice, and friendship. All that good stuff that the show has made stories out of since the beginning. Plus, you know, fist-fights.
At the close of the third season, following yet another karate-fueled melee (this time at the LaRusso residence), Daniel and Johnny looked ready to put their differences aside, uniting Miyagi-do and the incredibly named Eagle Fang factions to take on Kreese's warriors as the All Valley Karate Tournament approaches. But will it be an easy journey? Based on the 30 episodes you've already seen, you probably know the answer to that.
Presumably, Season 4 will also continue to set the stage for a possible endgame for the series, but don't look for everything to get wrapped up with a tidy bow. The creators are already thinking about Season 5 and beyond—as long as Netflix continues to make the show. "We have an endgame in our heads," co-creator Josh Heald told TV Line. "We’ve had one for quite some time, and it’s not in Season 4. It’s well beyond that. In our minds, we have seasons’ worth of story that is necessary to tell before we get to that endgame."