Following a significant delay in its initial Season 3 release schedule, fans of martial arts series Cobra Kai will likely sound a sigh of relief over news that the show has found a new home. Per Variety, the spinoff will be leaving its former home on YouTube and will instead be hosted on Netflix, a significant acquisition for the industry leader. Given that 1984’s Karate Kid, the story that introduced audiences to plucky teen Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and wise Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), hit theaters on June 22 nearly four decades ago, it seems that audiences around the world are still hungry for more of their favorite characters from the saga.
Despite an extremely strong showing on YouTube — the pilot episode of Cobra Kai, “Ace Degenerate,” has accrued over 86 million views over the course of just two years — Netflix is eager to take over the reins of the continuing Karate Kid canon. Netflix executive Brian Wright made his company’s interest in the retro-inspired action-comedy series plain in a public statement regarding the recent acquisition.
“The appeal of The Karate Kid saga is timeless, and Cobra Kai picks up right where it left off without missing a beat. The rivalry between Daniel and Johnny is one for the ages, and the show has a ton of heart and is a lot of fun. We can’t wait to introduce a new generation of fans to Cobra Kai and are thrilled to be its new home around the world.”
It is official: @CobraKaiSeries is going to @Netflix: the upcoming third season, as well as seasons 1 and 2. @jonhurwitz @WilliamZabka @ralphmacchio #CobraKai #CobraKaiSeason3 pic.twitter.com/ID1qQl9jup
— Kimberly Potts (@tvscreener) June 22, 2020
There’s a lot of fan speculation surrounding Season 3 of Cobra Kai, a series which inverts the formula of its theatrical predecessors. This time around, star Cobra Kai student Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is cast in a more sympathetic light as opposed to his villainous role in the 1984 film. An itinerant day laborer who, through a friendship — and mentorship — of Miguel Diaz (Xolo Mariduena) works to bring the best parts of the ’80s back to life in the modern era, Lawrence acts as a foil to LaRusso, who is now a wealthy businessman. With Season 2 having left off on an extreme cliffhanger, viewers have been waiting for over a year to see the contest between — and within — Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do continue.
Unfortunately, audiences will have to wait to have their curiosity sated in terms of a hard release date for Season 3. So far, showrunners and Netflix alike haven’t offered anything up on that score, though anticipation is running high for this third outing. Will Sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) continue his fiery feud with his most iconic student? Will Daniel LaRusso’s Miyagi-Do be forced to adapt after the infamous high school slugfest — and the consequences of that violence?
Remaining questions concerning the fate of Miguel and the whereabouts of Johnny’s long-lost love, Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue), are also teased for Season 3.