Double trouble! @RalphMacchio, @WilliamZabka, and more @CobraKaiSeries stars take us inside season 4’s game-changing battle for dojo supremacy. SPOILERS AHEAD: https://t.co/QELkYaTzdp— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) January 1, 2022
Story by @KristenGBaldwin #CobraKai pic.twitter.com/LrYdLq8RpA
Entertainment Weekly dives deep into Season 4 of Cobra Kai with the creators of the show, actors Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and others, and tease what might happen in Season 5.
[Thomas Ian Griffith on coming out of acting retirement to play the role of Terry Silver]
Thomas Ian Griffith was working as a screenwriter and had no plans to return to acting. "My wife and I watched the first season on YouTube, and it was charming and smart and nostalgic and irreverent. I was so happy for Ralph and William. I thought they did an amazing job and truthfully never thought Terry Silver fit into this world." Even when the Cobra Kai creators called in 2020, Griffith was skeptical. "If it was a one-off, I probably wouldn't do it," he says. Then Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg "spelled out what they wanted to do, and I was like, 'Oh, wait a sec. This is something special.'" Thankfully, he was not only still in fighting shape (he's a long-time martial artist), but his hair also just happened to be ponytail ready. "It's funny, during the pandemic, we were sitting in our office, we didn't go anywhere, and I didn't get a haircut," says Griffith. "When I first Zoomed with the guys, one of them said, 'Oh, by the way, don't cut your hair.' Hayden was obsessed: 'Make sure that ponytail is as long as it was in the film,' so I think they had to add a little [hair extension] piece to make sure the ponytail was as long."
[Deteled scene from Daniels training montage]Directors filmed a scene where Johnny blindfolds Daniel and makes him chug a gross-looking pre-training smoothie. "It was supposed to be like vodka and eggs. Ralph had to drink it, and it took like an interminable amount of time for him to choke down whatever the heck the prop master made. It was like baby food in real life." Macchio says he could not drink the concoction in one shot. "I kept thinking of Stallone in the original Rocky film, taking the five eggs down, but I went for it — it just didn't make it into the episode."
[On deciding the outcome of the Daniel vs Johnny fight]Creator Jon Heald explains: "It was always a draw for us. These characters are so passionate, in terms of whose karate is 'better,'. The show is giving you that Yin and Yang, exploring [how] it's not better, it's just different. It goes to that theme over and over again. Giving one of them a win at this stage ... it would have felt inauthentic."
[What awaits the characters in Season 5]Hayden Schlossberg says “I think the fun thing about Season 5 is you get to see what would have happened in Karate Kid III had Terry Silver won. You’re really seeing a Terry Silver unleashed and in charge and in some ways more dangerous, because he has 30 years of wisdom and waiting for this moment.”
Is there a redemption arc for Kreese? "How will Kreese respond to [being taken down by Terry]? That’s a big question in Season 5. Will it bring out greater anger in him and greater darkness? Will it cause him to reflect in other kinds of ways? It could go in any potential direction with him, but we have shown that Kreese has the potential to change his ways, at least in very slight ways.”. Martin Kove says "There's a lot of suffering in season 5, and my character really goes through a lot of emotional changes."
Johnny Lawrence: "Johnny takes on the personal responsibility that he needs to right his own wrongs and make sure he's there for Miguel the way a good father would be. There's certainly a focus on Johnny trying to put the pieces together from a family standpoint while reconciling this loss at the All Valley and his livelihood."
Will Julie [from the Next Karate Kid] return? “... She was taught by Mr. Miyagi and she’s somebody who is important to the Karate Kid universe. We can’t say if she’ll return, we can’t say how she’d return if she was going to return.”