Cobra Kai has not only charmed audiences with its inimitable revival of the beloved '80s classic The Karate Kid, but the spinoff series has captured the attention of fans all over for its explosive cliffhangers every season — and this past May's was no different.
Following the events from the Season 2 finale, which left fans on the edge of their seats and teased the likely return of Elisabeth Shue's character from the 1984 film, Cobra Kai and Karate Kid star, Ralph Macchio opened up to PopCulture.com exclusively about the possibility of seeing Ali Mills reappear in the franchise.
"No one will confirm or deny that, but they certainly approached [her] and have questioned it," Macchio, who plays Daniel LaRusso in the iconic franchise, told PopCulture.com. "We know that she really enjoyed the show and sees the quality of the show. So yeah, I think the door is open for something there."
In the final moments of the Season 2 episode, "No Mercy," fans will recall how the jaw-dropping episode teased Ali's probable return when Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) threw his cellphone away, with cameras capturing one last shot showing a friend request from Ali Mills Schwarber — the ex-girlfriend of both Daniel (Macchio) and Johnny.
While the showrunners admitted in past interviews that they would like to leave it with a question mark for fans of a workable return, the 57-year-old actor is optimistic — especially since the show has done so well compared to other revivals and reboots in recent years.
"This one really is smart," Macchio said, adding how he is unsure though how a return from Ali will come about, whether it translates to a phone call, a story arc, a whole season or even just an episode. "Nothing's locked or confirmed. But as far as the writer's room, it's just opened. There's a lot of cleaning up to do after that cliffhanger and what happened."
The cliffhanger Macchio is talking about not only disturbed fans among social media who were in awe during those final moments of the season, but left a major character's life in balance that the New York native believes will permeate throughout Season 3.
"There's a lot of devastation in the end that has to be sifted through, and all these characters have a journey ahead of them," Macchio said. "And that's the whole point. We want to keep this going for many seasons. And to tie it all up [with like, Elisabeth], to get Ross and Rachel together right now — then the show's over. You have to be careful."
The show has been most clever in both its execution and writing since its debut on YouTube as an original series in 2018, proving itself to be a winner among the revival renaissance hitting the realm of television programming in recent years. Pleasantly blending '80s nostalgia and well-written characters, Macchio is incredibly proud of the series and knew it was something special when he was first approached by showrunners, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald to be part of it.
"I come off a lot more intelligent than I probably am," Macchio laughed, adding how he had a feeling it would take off with audiences. "Because when something works out this well, well that's why I waited… I knew that this was the only one. I certainly did wait a very long time."
With Cobra Kai officially returning for Season 3 in 2020 thanks to its growing success and viewership, YouTube is putting its weight on the fruitful series in hopes to catapult it toward even greater heights through a newly inked deal with Enterprise — a partnership Macchio is eager about since he gets to be playful with his co-star and friend, Zabka.
"Once we got all the elements together, we really wanted to make the ad about William Zabka and Ralph Macchio going into Enterprise, having good intentions of renting a vehicle, just like friendly," Macchio said of the ad campaign, which is his first starring spot with Zabka ever. "As soon as they look at the cars [though], they each have to get one that's better than the other [and] it sort of morphs into the 'Johnny Lawrence and Danny LaRusso' rivalry, even though it stars the Macchio and Zabka friendship."
Macchio adds how the partnership feels like a "nice marriage" for the show and company, considering his on-screen character Daniel owns an auto group.
"The fact that Danny LaRusso's livelihood besides martial arts is in auto dealerships that he has with his wife, and that he runs, it was a nice tie-in to do that," Macchio adds. "It was a lot of fun and fun to shoot too."
But just because Macchio is part of the campaign, doesn't mean the star has had a chance to test drive his dream car just yet.
"Yeah, that's next," Macchio laughed. "I definitely have to test drive the dream car!"
Cobra Kai and its first two seasons are currently streaming on YouTube.0comments
Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for more with Macchio as he dives deeper into the YouTube series, The Karate Kid 35 years later and how he continues to honor Mr. Miyagi star, Pat Morita.
Photo credit: Getty Images / Columbia Pictures