Cobra Kai will be a half hour comedy on YouTube Red, and it's a sequel to the original Karate Kid movies.

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Mike Cecchini Joseph Baxter

Mar 2, 2018

Get ready for The Karate Kid to become a TV series on YouTube Red. Cobra Kai is a 10 episode, half hour comedy that will see Ralph Macchio reprise his role as Daniel LaRusso and William Zabka return as Johnny Lawrence. Macchio and Zabka are executive producing with Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossburg. Hurwitz and Schlossburg, whose credits include Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, are writing with Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine).

Cobra Kai is set in the present, with the middle-aged Daniel dealing with the loss of Mr. Miyagi, and a “down and out” Johnny who decides to reopen the Cobra Kai dojo. Presumably, hilarity ensues.

Cobra Kai Trailer

A new Cobra Kai trailer has arrived!

This time, the focus rests on Johnny Lawrence and his titular nostalgic martial arts fiefdom; the same dojo where, over 30 years earlier, he was the apple of the sadistic eye of Sensei John Kreese – at least until Daniel LaRusso’s foot fatefully met his face via crane kick. Interestingly, forgoing what subsequently happened with the Cobra Kai dojo in (the rightfully forgotten) The Karate Kid Part III, it appears that Johnny has taken ownership of the place, restored it to the way it was during his spandex skeleton suit salad days, and is teaching a new generation the old “strike first, strike hard, no mercy” methodology.

Here’s the first Cobra Kai trailer, which made the show’s initial claim for being the best around (and nothing’s gonna ever keep it down… you know the rest).

While it was assumed that Cobra Kai would manifest as a sequel that bears elements of self-parody, we see here that the rivalry between Daniel and Johnny – who seemed to reach a reasonable détente at the end of the first film – is somehow more heated than it was over 30 years ago. Moreover, judging by some familiar rhetoric, Johnny seems to be hitting the Sensei John Kreese Kool-Aid hard, despite the whole “you’re a loser,” “second place is no place,” parking lot choking incident.

Of course, an aspect of Cobra Kai that the teaser has yet to touch upon is that said rivalry will transcend generations as the respective children of Daniel and Johnny will continue the martial arts enmity.

Cobra Kai Details

“Like everyone who grew up in the 1980s, the three of us are enormous fans of The Karate Kid,” Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg said in a statement via The Hollywood Reporter. “Cobra Kai​ will be a true continuation of the original films — packed with comedy, heart and thrilling fight scenes. We can’t wait to reignite the LaRusso-Lawrence rivalry, and we’re thankful to our partners at YouTube Red, Sony Pictures Television and Overbrook for their shared enthusiasm in making our dream project a reality.”

1984’s The Karate Kid was directed by John G. Avildsen, and kicked off a new wave of martial arts pop culture mania in America. It was followed by three sequels of increasingly diminished returns, as well as a 2010 reboot. This will be the first revisiting of the “original” Karate Kid continuity since 1994’s The Next Karate Kid, which starred Hillary Swank.

Check out the first image from the set, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly:

EW also revealed the cast of the series. 

Courtney Henggeler is Amanda, “Daniel’s wife and business partner…the glue that keeps the LaRusso household and dealership running, and a calming force in Daniel’s life.”

Mary Mouser is Samantha, their daughter.

Xolo Maridueña is Miguel Diaz, who “struggles with bullies at his new school, until he’s taken under the wing of a Cobra Kai karate master.”

Tanner Buchanan plays “Johnny’s street-smart son Robby Keene. Robby is eager to prove he’s nothing like his dad, even though he’s on his way to making the same mistakes.”

In a neat surprise, Ed Asner is Sid Weinberg, Johnny’s “reluctant stepfather…an old-school, hard-nosed, former studio mogul, who is tired of dealing with his stepson’s failures.”

Cobra Kai will arrive with 10 episodes on YouTube Red in 2018.