Of all the recent Netflix success stories, few have been as unexpected as Cobra Kai – the Karate Kid spin-off that took the streaming platform by storm when it moved from its previous home on YouTube Premium last year.
Combing a genuine affection for the previous films with a fresh story and dynamic new characters, the show quickly became a word of mouth smash, and its third series returned to more rave reviews in early 2021.
The only problem is that the show has proven so addictive and enjoyable that fans are already desperate for more – and the good news is that we know there’s no end in sight for the show at this stage.
With a fourth run already confirmed, series co-creator Josh Heald has teased that he and his fellow showrunners have several series worth of ideas in the pipeline, so this could well be a show that runs and runs.
The demand for a fourth season as soon as possible is no doubt exacerbated with the dramatic fashion in which the third season ended: in the final episode long-time nemeses Daniel and Johnny finally united, bringing their dojos together to see off the threat of long-time antagonist John Kreese and his nasty gang.
And Heald revealed after the finale that he always intended to have Johnny and Danny put their issues behind them and team up, although he’s confirmed it won’t all be plain sailing between the pair from here on out.
Speaking to TVLine, Heald explained: “Giving them this moment was something we’ve always known was coming. We always felt like this was the time for it to happen, but we are doing it in a way where we’ve also established who these characters are.
“They’re both very strong minded in their own philosophies, ideals and pasts. There does appear to be a very distinct battle ahead, a very clear boundary and set of circumstances that have brought them to this moment, but time will tell if history repeats itself and they fall back into old habits again, or if they’re going to be able to weather the storm and lean into each other to do the hard work of what it is to form a partnership.”
Read on for everything you need to know about Cobra Kai season four, including when we can expect to see it arrive on Netflix and what might happen in the next run.
Cobra Kai season 4 release date
A fourth season of Cobra Kai had already been announced by Netflix three months prior to the debut of season three, such was the success of the first two seasons on the streamer after making the move from their original home on YouTube Premium.
Writing on Twitter shortly after the renewal, co-creator Jon Hurwitz explained that they’d been expecting a season four as soon as they agreed to take the series to Netflix, and that that was confirmed after the huge interest in the show.
“When we moved to Netflix, they had us open up a writers room with us all expecting we’d be making a season four,” he wrote. “That said, the show needed to perform well for us to officially get picked up.”
That has obviously all gone according to plan – so when can we expect to see the next series?
Well, unfortunately, there is no official information about this at this stage, but Hurwitz did announce in October 2020 that it was the last day of the series four writers room and that scripts had been “rolling in” – so we know significant progress has been made on that front.
It’s understood filming will begin in January 2021 and last until April, so RadioTimes.com predicts the earliest we will see season four some point in Autumn 2021.
That said, there could be longer to wait than that, with Hurwitz having tweeted that, while he didn’t have anything to reveal about an air date, he reckoned it could be roughly a year after season three – in other words January 2022.
I don't have the answer, but would imagine Season 4 will come out roughly a year after Season 3.— Jon Hurwitz (@jonhurwitz) November 8, 2020
We’ll update this page as soon as we get more official information.
Whenever the fourth season arrives, however, it seems all but certain that it won’t be the last we see of Cobra Kai, with Josh Heald revealing that there were “multiple seasons” left and that the end of show “is not fast approaching”.
As reported by Fandom, the co-creator said: “We still have a multi-season story in our heads to resolve this in the way that we want to resolve it. I can’t say how many seasons it is because it always gets a little bit cloudy as we grow.
“You know, I’ve said it before, but there are storylines that we’ve kicked and we’ve gotten to, and there are storylines that we’ve kicked and we haven’t even approached yet.
“We have multiple seasons of this story left in us to tell, but the fun of this show is that it always hits a new climax that feels like this is it, you know?”
Cobra Kai season 3 recap
After another exciting season, series three ended in dramatic circumstances, with Daniel and Johnny putting aside their differences and joining forces against John Kreese.
Speaking of Kreese, the season also delved deeper into his backstory, providing fans with a look at the profound affect his experiences in Vietnam had on him and his journey to becoming a true villain.
Then at the end, having been defeated by Daniel, Johnny and their respective dojos, John reached out to a former army pal by the name of Terry Silver – a character who previously appeared in The Karate Kid 3.
As for the final set-piece itself, it saw an attack on the La Russo house by a handful of Cobra Kai students including Tory, Hawk, and Kyler, with a major fight ensuing between them and Daniel and Johnny’s now-united dojos.
Afterwards, Kreese agreed that whichever dojo was victorious at the forthcoming All Valley tournament will get to stay together while the other must disband.
At the very end, we saw Johnny and Daniel teaching a karate class together – finally united.
What will happen in Cobra Kai season 4?
While it’s too early to say exactly what might happen in season four, we can certainly make a few educated guesses – and there are a couple of things that are all but guaranteed to happen.
A highly anticipated event in the next season will be the 51st All-Valley Karate Tournament, which will see the Miyagi-do and Eagle Fang dojos team up and take on Cobra Kai, with an awful lot at stake.
It remains to be seen exactly who will fight in the competition, but we’d be willing to put forward Samantha and Miguel as the likely candidates for Johnny and Daniel’s combined forces, with John Creese likely to rely on the likes of Robby Keene, Tory, and Kyler.
It’s unclear if the lead-up to the tournament will take up the bulk of the fourth season, or whether the tournament will take place in an early episode before the narrative turns to other issues, but we’ll keep this page updated as more details emerge.
And season four is unlikely to wrap up the story once and for all, with the creators teasing many more seasons to come. Speaking to TVLine, Heald said, “We have an endgame in our heads. We’ve had one for quite some time, and it’s not in season four. It’s well beyond that. In our minds, we have seasons’ worth of story that is necessary to tell before we get to that endgame.”
As for the cast members, they’re as in the dark about future developments as we are. Speaking to RadioTimes.com ahead of the debut of season three, Sam LaRusso actor Mary Mouser revealed that she was still trying to piece what the future holds for her character.
When asked how much she knows about the fourth season and beyond, Mouser explained, “Not much at all. We have three amazing creators, writers, directors, showrunners – the little machine that makes this show go. I’ve been tugging on their sleeve, but they’re smart enough to keep me waiting, and not telling me anything!”
Cobra Kai season 4 cast
We’d expect to see most of the main cast return for series four, including franchise legends Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Martin Kove as Daniel LaRusso, Johnny Lawrence and John Kreese respectively.
It’s also likely that we’ll be seeing more of the younger cast members such as Mary Mouser, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan and Jacob Bertrand.
Nothing has been confirmed about any new faces at this stage, but it is highly probable that we could see some extra cast members join the fray for a fourth season as well.
Then there’s the matter of more familiar faces from the Karate Kid films joining up: as far as this is concerned, the most likely candidate is Thomas Ian Griffith, who played Kreese’s friend Terry Silver in Karate Kid 3 and who is called by Kreese at the end of series three.
His involvement has not by any means been confirmed, but co-creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg did tease that it could be something to look out for.
“Just because Kreese reached out to somebody, doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s returning to the show,” Hurwitz told TVLine. “That said, on our show, we try to bring back the original actor who played characters in the past as much as possible.
“We all loved the character of Terry Silver in The Karate Kid 3 and his portrayal by Thomas Ian Griffith, so if that character was to return for season four, we’d hope that he’d be the one playing him.”
Schlossberg added: “There’s no confirmation, anything can happen, really. But I will say: If you do love Terry Silver, this is probably the best show to tune into to see if he does show up.”
And another film character who has been tipped for a return is professional karate fighter Mike Barnes, who was played in the films by Sean Kanan.
Kanan himself has suggested there’s a possibility he could appear, although he said there was no more concrete information to confirm at this stage.
Speaking to The Desert Sun in January 2021, he revealed: “I think (the creators) would like to work everybody in. At least 50 people a day hit me up on Instagram asking me if I’m coming back for season four. I think there’s a definite possibility, but I can neither confirm nor deny.”
And then there’s even an outside chance of an appearance for two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank, who originally made her big-screen breakthrough as Julie Pierce in The Next Karate Kid before embarking on a hugely successful career in film and TV.
In an interview with Cinema Blend before the release of season 3, Hurwitz explained: “In our writers’ room we speak about literally every character that has appeared in the Miyagi-verse, so it’s obvious that we’ve spoken about Julie Pierce. As to whether or not she’ll return to the series, that’s something you’ll just have to wait to find out.”
Is there a trailer for Cobra Kai season 4?
It’s still too early to expect any trailers at this stage – with production yet to get underway, but as soon as one arrives we’ll post it right here!