Cobra Kai star Okea Eme-Akwari, who plays Shawn in the Karate Kid sequel series on Netflix, is hopeful his masked fighter returns for the eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead. Eme-Akwari first appears as part of the six new episodes extending season 10, where Maggie (Lauren Cohan) reunites with Daryl (Norman Reedus) and his group of survivors after her years away. In "Home Sweet Home," premiering February 28 on AMC, the mystery man accompanying Maggie in October's "A Certain Doom" unmasks himself as Eme-Akwari's Elijah — part of the new community Maggie found when she left the Hilltop after an intense confrontation with the jailed Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
"They're doing a mini-season extension, a six-episode season extension to tag onto the end of season 10 before season 11 kicks off. So that was one of the biggest blessings to come out of all this mess that was 2020," Eme-Akwari told the Cobra Kai Kompanion. "If [The Walking Dead] didn't get delayed, then they don't make those episodes, then I probably don't get the audition. Or who knows, maybe they could have, but I'm very thankful for that experience as well."
After the coronavirus pandemic delayed the original Walking Dead season 10 finale by six months and postponed filming on season 11, showrunner Angela Kang announced a six-episode extension would bridge what would become the final season of The Walking Dead.
"We got to shoot [the extended season 10] last fall and then they're prepping up for season 11 now, so hopefully I'll be a part of that as well and take it from there," Eme-Akwari said. "It's definitely a cool experience to be a part of two really distinct fandoms that both have their individual energies. The same way I'm getting Cobra Kai messages, I'm getting a lot of Walking Dead people too. And it's crazy because they're both worldwide shows now, especially Walking Dead being around for a decade."
Eme-Akwari's Elijah is part of the "big story" still ahead for Maggie in season 10C. The mini-season is set in the aftermath of the Whisperer War, which would have counted Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) as a casualty were it not for Maggie and Elijah's last-minute save in "A Certain Doom."
"She has seen some dark things on the road, and obviously, like when she comes in, she's with this man in like a metal mask, and who is this fellow, what adventures have they been on? That's all part of the story going forward, and it's going to drive one of the major missions that we'll start to see unfold," Kang said about Maggie's return in October. "It will lead us to meet some other interesting characters that will cross into some of the other major storylines of our series going forward."