Ralph Macchio and Martin Kove in The Karate Kid Part III

Exclusive: Martin Kove on Cobra Kai’s far-off future and John Kreese possibly being ‘human after all’ 

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Jun 28, 2018

Martin Kove, aka John Kreese, aka the sensei every brainwashed Cobra Kai member said yes to back in the ‘80s, is coming back to The Karate Kid universe in a big way, as a regular on Season 2 of YouTube Red’s hit reboot series, Cobra Kai. But as excited as Kove is about that, he’s already talking about Season 3.

“I’m a regular in the show, Season 2, Season 3, it’s very exciting,” Kove told SYFY WIRE last night on the Saturn Awards red carpet. 

Granted, he may be getting a little ahead of himself, seeing as a third season isn’t official in the body bag, since Season 2 is still a ways off. The 10-episode first season just dropped in May, with Kove only showing up to sweep the audience’s collective leg in the finale. But still, he’s got reason to be optimistic about the far-flung future.

“I can’t imagine they’re not going for Season 3, because the writers have such a journey to write as well as they did for Season 1, that Season 2 has got to be beyond perfect,” said Kove. “And everybody is waiting for what's going on – I’ve been given a little hint, they’ve told me a little bit – but nothing to really talk about, because it’s still in the planning stages. But my character is a regular on the show, and it’s great to have all three of us together [Ralph Macchio and William Zabka]  with three writers that extracted the greatest elements of Karate Kid I, II, and III, and put them in a TV series. Which is unheard of, 30 years after the movie.”

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Martin Kove at the 44th Annual Saturn Awards (Credit: Getty Images)

Having been named on countless lists as being one of the most hated characters in filmdom, we wondered if Kove had actually missed being Kreese.

“You know, it’s really interesting, the darkness that prevailed through John Kreese in those days is remembered by a lot of people, the interesting thing about what we’re going to do, is maybe he won’t be so dark, but he’ll still be on another agenda,” said Kove. “Because, as you know by the 10th episode, it looks like he’s got it all together. But maybe he doesn’t, and that’s what's really interesting: Maybe he doesn’t have it all together, and he’s a human being after all – which is exciting for me to play as an actor.”

And exciting for fans and foes alike to see the other side of such an iconic jerk, much in the same way the show has portrayed Johnny.  

“Everybody gets used to seeing John Kreese and thinking death and Lucifer and all of that, but how interesting it’d be if he has another side to him that is equally as effective: a vulnerable side that maybe might turn just as dangerous,” said Kove. 

Ineresting indeed. Cobra Kai Season 2, starring series regular Martin Kove, will debut some time in 2019. Season 3? We’ll see, but we sure hope Kove is right.