The crane kick from the original Karate Kid has a well-earned place in ’80s nostalgia lore, but it can be easy to forget that the franchise was spread across five films, including one soft-reboot with Hillary Swank in the lead and one total reboot with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan replacing Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. Now, a YouTube Red series with a focus on the Cobra Kai dojo is set to stretch things even further, and they’re bringing back some familiar faces.
Entertainment Weekly called dibs on the first teaser. In the clip, it’s clear that tensions are still flaring between the stars of the first (and second) film as eternal bad boy Johnny Lawrence (Billy Zabka) resolves to restore his old stomping grounds (there is no fear of failing as a small business in this dojo!) and sainted Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) tries to stop him.
There are even the beginnings of an epic showdown as Johnny and Daniel step onto the mat (in street clothes). Will we get to see another punishing faceoff between these two that culminates in a leg sweep? Probably not! These men are both adults now. Daniel is a car salesman. They can’t risk an assault beef. Besides, while they are nowhere to be seen in the trailer (because you would have no ’80s feels for them), the show’s description seems to indicate that the family backstory is going to be front and center as Johnny’s son (Tanner Buchana) resists his dad’s no mercy teachings. The show will also feature Johnny’s pupil (Xolo Maridueña), Daniel’s family (Courtney Henggeler and Mary Mouser as his wife and daughter, respectively), and Ed Asner, as Johnny’s stepdad who, I think we all hope, gets a chance to offer some old guy wisdom in the absence of Morita (who died in 2005).
Cobra Kai is set to debut on YouTube Red at some point in 2018. That is, unless, the trailer winds up being part of an ad campaign for Australian tourism like the Dundee movie.