Cobra Kai brought back the stars of The Karate Kid, including Elisabeth Shue, and Season 4 even reintroduced Karate Kid III’s Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). So Hilary Swank, who played Julie Pierce in 1994’s The Next Karate Kid, is the last big name on the table. On a panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television panel, co-creator Hayden Schlossberg teased Swank’s possible return. At least, there’s no other show that could cast her as Julie Pierce.
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“Anything is possible,” Schlossberg said. “I always say if you’re a fan of The Next Karate Kid and you want to see Julie Pierce who Hilary Swank played, we’re the show to watch to see if that happens. Season 5 is going to be coming out. It’s in the can. Anything is possible. Julie Pierce is one of the toys in the toy chest so we’ll see.”
Toys in the toy chest were the main the subject of the Sony Television panel for Cobra Kai. Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz called the Karate Kid characters action figures they used to play with, and Cobra Kai is the process of watching them play with their toys as adults.
“It’s a surreal pleasure to be able to bring Terry Silver, this character from Karate Kid Part III back into modern storytelling,” Schlossberg said. “He’s just a complete Bond villain in Karate Kid III. In our serialized series we can send him on an arc and make it where at the beginning he’s this guy who’s like, ‘I’m out of this karate game.’ He gets pulled in by the devil John Kreese but be careful what you wish for because twists the knife at the end of the season in taking over everything.”
Cobra Kai sensei Kreese (Martin Kove) was another character Cobra Kai got to explore in more depth.
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“To be able to take this character and bring him back in the way that you knew him in certain ways and start unpeeling that onion and show his backstory, cast a young John Kreese, see wait a second, this guy didn’t always start off this way,” co-creator Hurwitz said. “When you’re doing a serialized show you have the challenge of having to explain why is John Kreese just bad? What motivated him to try to teach a bunch of children? He has a world view and the worldview is shaped from his experience.”
Ralph Macchio returned as Daniel LaRusso, continuing the teachings of the late Mr. Miyagi. Macchio, also an executive producer, said he relies on Hurwitz, Schlossberg and Josh Heald to see the bigger picture of Cobra Kai.
“To have this chapter take it in another direction, it’s not always honestly what I expect,” Macchio said. “Sometimes there’s a push/pull, but at the end of the day, these guys can see the whole picture where I am often very protective of the one character part. The creative collaboration from that has enhanced this character and gone deeper with it.”
Seasons 1-4 are streaming on Netflix. Season 5 wrapped filming in December.
Check out the panel video above.
Deadline Contenders Television is sponsored by Apple TV+, Eyepetizer, Final Draft, Los Siete Misterios and Michter’s. Partners include Desalto, Film AlUla, Four Seasons Resort Maui, Jason Mizrahi Design, ModMD, The American Pavilion, and Tidelli.
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