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Cobra Kai creators on mapping out the Netflix series’ endgame: ‘There’s still a lot more story to tell’
Cobra Kai was an acclaimed and buzzed about series back in the days when it debuted as a YouTube original, but since it landed on Netflix for its third season the Karate Kid sequel's popularity has positively exploded. With a fourth season on the way, it seems fans can't get enough of Cobra Kai and its deeper dive into the Karate Kid universe. The show's future looks bright indeed, but its creators are already thinking about how to end it... eventually.
Speaking to Collider about their plans for the show ahead of its Season 4 debut, Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg explained that while they definitely know how they'd like the series to end, they also haven't mapped it out so explicitly that it would require a set number of seasons or arcs to get there.In fact, the more they write, the more they find ideas that expand the narrative.
"We found, even in Season 1 when we were in the writers’ room, there were so many ideas that we had that just didn’t fit into those five hours in the first season, so they ended up getting pushed to the next season. There are ideas that we talked about at the beginning of the show, that showed up in Season 3 or will show up in Season 4. And then, there are ideas that just fall by the wayside," Hurwitz explained. "There’s no added pressure to elongate the series. We’re still having a blast making it. There’s still a lot more story to tell, in our minds. We just finished shooting Season 4 and we have a lot more that we’re excited to do, going forward. So, we can’t tell you exactly how many seasons we’re going to have, but we know that we’re going to enter each season with enthusiasm and confidence. Eventually, we’ll talk to our friends at Sony and Netflix and say, 'We think this is probably around the time we should be winding it down,' and hopefully they’ll give us that time to do it. We’ll see."
Even with the clever storytelling of the first two seasons in mind Cobra Kai Season 3 was a definite expansion of the show's ambitions, and by the end of the last round of episodes fans had seen everything from the return of Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills to what seemed like an uneasy truce forming between Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka). Recent Season 4 teasers have promised to up the ante even more, as the series will now feature the return of Karate Kid Part III antagonist Terry Silver, adding extra tension to an already dramatic environment and further expanding the Karate Kid universe.
With that in mind, exactly how much can this universe expand? Cobra Kai is a sequel that follows characters from the original films, yes, but it's also introduced a vibrant new generation of teen martial artists, so how far could it go? Well, keeping in mind that Cobra Kai kind of already is a spinoff all its own (the first films were Daniel's story, while the series more closely follows Johnny), there's definitely room to grow.
"It’s one of those things where we think about it all the time, in some ways. With every character, you think of what their backstory is," Schlossberg said. "When Jon says we don’t know how many more seasons are left of the show, part of it is that we think every character has a lot of story to tell. Is that something that would be a part of the Cobra Kai story, or is it something where somebody deserves their own story? These are all things that we talk about. We love this universe and love the idea of playing with it. Everything is possible."
We'll see more of those infinite possibilities when Cobra Kai returns for its fourth season on Netflix.