More than 30 years after the debut of The Karate Kid the movie's legacy continues with Cobra Kai, an upcoming web series on YouTube Red that will see the rivalry between Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence reignite and bring a new generation with it.
The series see Daniel (Ralph Macchio) living a good life running a string of successful car dealerships throughout the valley while Johnny (William Zabka) is living a less happy life, his own life since the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament having taken a different path. However, Johnny will seek out redemption by reopening the Cobra Kai karate dojo to teach a new generation of students the martial art. One of those new students is Miguel, played by Xolo Maridueña. ComicBook.com recently spoke with Maridueña about Cobra Kai about what fans can expect from the series and while it may be the next chapter, fans shouldn't be looking for a rehash of the iconic 80s film. According to Maridueña, Cobra Kai is a whole new story.
"While Cobra Kai does have the same nuances that the Karate Kid had, it's a very new story that brings everything that you loved about the original movie without being a rehash," Maridueña said. "In many ways, I think there are a good chunk of people who can relate to the Johnny storyline as much as they can with Daniel San's. I love that Cobra Kai is the flip side."
Of course, being able to tell that flip side story required a little bit of research for Maridueña. The actor said that while watching the original movies as well as the 2010 remake, what really helped him get an understanding of things was talking to Macchio and Zabka about their work in the film.
"I have watched the original movies, and I watched the re-telling with Jaden, but for me, talking to Ralph and Billy was so much more helpful than watching the movie," Maridueña said. "By watching the movie, everything is up to my interpretation but by actually asking Ralph and Billy, 'hey during this scene, what were you feeling? what were you thinking?' I've found that those answers are more helpful. Can you imagine being able to speak to those guys and ask them what the room felt like in the final tournament scene?! They are both so gracious and welcoming that it really allowed me to absorb information that I can use to help create my own character."
In Cobra Kai, Maridueña plays Miguel, who struggles with bullies at his new school and is taken under Johnny's wing. With Miguel being interested in karate, this allows him to become Johnny's first student at the new Cobra Kai, but don't expect Miguel to be too impacted by the long-running rivalry between Danny and Johnny. Maridueña says that Miguel won't know what's going on right away.
"Miguel has been dropped into the middle of a generational feud but has absolutely no idea what the hell is going on, so in regard to an immediate impact, not so much, but you'll see that impact seep into the season," he said.
Viewers will get to see Miguel, as well as the Danny/Johnny rivalry reignite, when Cobra Kai debuts on YouTube Red on May 2.
Are you excited to see this next chapter for The Karate Kid? Let us know in comments!1comments