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Even after 35 years, The Karate Kid's battles are still playing out in the YouTube original series, Cobra Kai. William Zabka and Ralph Macchio reprise their roles from the 1984 classic and the next generation of their conflict will continue in the upcoming second season. Zabka was also a guest at C2E2 2019 and he stopped by the Live Stage to offer some hints about the new episodes.
According to Zabka, Johnny’s Season 2 evolution began in the Season 1 finale.
"You could see it in the tournament scene at the end," said Zabka. "The motivation speech before he sends the kids into the tournament, he’s walking around and telling them to ‘have no mercy. Life shows no mercy. We have no mercy.’ And sets them out to go destroy these people. Halfway through the tournament, of course, his top student is fighting his son.”
“The heart of Johnny Lawrence right now is his son and the disconnect he has with his own flesh,” continued Zabka. "More than anything, he would drop it all if he could just take him camping somewhere. To see his students beat up his son that way and to use the ‘no mercy’ tactics... he's got to rein them in. He's going through a transformation.”
Zabka also revealed that the younger cast members of Cobra Kai gathered to watch The Karate Kid and took sides in the Johnny vs. Daniel conflict.
"I know there was a Movie Night when we were doing rehearsals for Cobra Kai and they would go into an apartment and all watch it," said Zabka. "[Xolo Maridueña] and Mary [Mouser], who plays Daniel's daughter, Sam; they all watched it. Then Aisha [Robinson] and they were texting us going 'man, Daniel really started all of this.' And then [Mary] would go 'No! Johnny's the bad guy!' They watched it and got fully immersed in it, and they really picked their sides."
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