If you’re among the doubters who’ve wondered whether a YouTube Red reboot of The Karate Kid was the answer to a 34 year-old question no one was asking in 2018, this newly-released trailer for Cobra Kai may just be the clip that wins you over.
The trailer for the new show, which brings back original Karate Kid stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka to reprise the respective roles of Daniel and Johnny, finds the old nemeses at a new crossroads in adulthood: Johnny now looks poised to become the Mr. Miyagi figure, while Daniel may be looking a little too suspiciously at Johnny’s motives for taking on a new generation of students.
The new clip mostly revolves around the beleaguered, shiftless Johnny’s transformation from middle-aged bust-out into a dojo-dominating sensei. When he unleashes some mad karate moves to put down, with prejudice, a group of young punks who’ve cornered him, it leads one of them to seek him out afterward in the hope of tapping into whatever secret fighting sauce Johnny gave him such a rude taste of.
It’s a cool setup, and it lays out the origin story for Johnny’s new Cobra Kai studio — and perhaps even Johnny’s ascent out of what looks like a purposeless, sad-sack existence.
Check out the trailer and we’ll pick it up after the jump — but be warned, there’s some NSFW language peppered throughout:
The trailer leaves plenty of open-ended questions to chew on. Has Daniel turned into a total jerk, or is he right to be super-wary of what his old enemy is up to? Is Johnny still a simple, two-dimensional bad guy, or does he have nobler reasons for taking on the self-professed role of sensei? Will their continued antagonism end up being one big case of miscommunication, the product of a mistrust seeded in childhood? Is it possible they’ll even end up finding a common cause?
One thing seems clear: Both these guys have a lot of stuff kicking around in their heads, and Johnny in particular seems to have the potential to become a pretty complex character. They’re now in their 50s, so there’s gotta be more to their intertwining stories than schoolyard bullying and fighting for pride.
Oh, one more big thing: Along with the new clip, YouTube has finally revealed the release date for Cobra Kai. We’ll be suiting up and getting back in the dojo when the show makes its debut to the service on May 2.