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Daniel LaRusso may have been the best around 34 years ago when The Karate Kid came out, but how will his Crane Kick fare against Johnny Lawrence these days? It looks like we may have our chance to find out, judging from the first teaser below for Cobra Kai.
That’s right: Because nothing ever dies in pop culture, The Karate Kid saga continues later this year when Ralph Macchio and William Zabka return for YouTube Red’s upcoming 10-part series. And because, why wouldn’t we want to know what happened to two seminal '80s characters?
Last we saw them together, Daniel-san had just kicked Johnny’s stupid nose in at the 18-and-under All Valley Karate Championships in The Valley (which we get a portentous first shot of in the teaser). In the tourney’s parking lot shortly thereafter, during the beginning of the sequel, we then saw Johnny’s Cobra Kai Sensei (Martin Kove) get his nose honked by Danny’s maintenance man/karate master, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), causing all the stupid Cobra Kai to sulk away in shame, presumably leaving the dojo to die.
Well, all these years later, Johnny the jerk-face adult has decided to reopen the old place, with all the old bully mottos intact: “Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy.” Not exactly the most compassionate of life lessons.
So you can understand why his old rival Daniel would disapprove of Cobra Kai being reopened, and why he’d object with Johnny sculpting young minds and fists. So much so that the two former rivals find themselves squared up on the dojo’s mats.
It’s hard to imagine how these two grown men are going to handle this old feud in an adult manner, but perhaps the younger generations will help make that clear.
According to Entertainment Weekly, which debuted the trailer, the cast will include Parenthood's Xolo Maridueña as a bullied youngster who's mentored by Johnny, while Designated Survivor's Tanner Buchanan plays Johnny’s son, who's fighting to escape his father's shadow. Ed Asner also stars, playing Johnny’s stepfather.
We also learn that Daniel’s wife and business partner Amanda is being played by Courtney Henggler, while Mary Mouser plays their spitfire daughter, so you can bet they'll have a say in Daniel, now a successful car dealer, getting back into the fighting game.
Cobra Kai is written by Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine) along with Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (Harold & Kumar), who also directed most of the episodes, which debuts on YouTube Red later this year.
Are you interested in seeing these two old rivals square off again? Let us know in the comments!