Since the Season 2 finale dropped in the spring of 2019, Cobra Kai fans have been waiting eagerly in suspense as they wonder what will happen to their favorite characters. But with the show now officially situated at Netflix after leaving YouTube Red, the streaming giant released a teaser trailer for its third season coming in 2021, possibly hinting at a familiar face from The Karate Kid franchise. With the cast telling PopCulture at Comic-Con last year that the series would head to Okinawa to dig into the past of Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), fans have been speculating over the return of the sophomore movie's villain, Chozen (Yuji Okumoto), following the new trailer release.
While nothing is official and the teaser ends on the echo of den-den daiko drums from The Karate Kid Part II starring Okumoto, Cobra Kai star William Zabka — best known as Johnny Lawrence — tells PopCulture.com that "nothing's impossible" when it comes to the beloved film lore and its characters, like Chozen and Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita) merging into the Netflix series.
Netflix reveals the first footage from #CobraKai season 3 (due out next year), and while it's a super quick shot... is this Yuji Okumoto? The return of Chozen!!?https://t.co/RhcfsXVPIc pic.twitter.com/sI660fkNpW— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) August 24, 2020
"I have to leave Okinawa in Okinawa, but as far as Johnny Lawrence goes, he has no idea that either of those two characters exists. Johnny never saw The Karate Kid Part II," Zabka laughs with PopCulture. "[But] for those two to come into contact would be an interesting thing. But, hey — nothing's impossible. Johnny has his own agenda. The last thing Johnny remembers is getting cranked up to a chase. His world's turned upside down."
Zabka goes on to joke that "Johnny's still watching Rambo" before adding how at the end of the 1984 classic, his character and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) make amends, but it's his vicious Sensei, John Kreese (Martin Kove), who proceeds to choke him out.
"Miyagi saved [Johnny], so far as any carryover kind of venom from those days, Johnny has no ax to grind with Daniel LaRusso at all," he said. "I think that what's funny about the show is Daniel sees the potential danger of what Cobra Kai could be, and he steps into Johnny's life again, and then Johnny's opinion is antagonizing them all over again."
With the tables turned in Cobra Kai between Daniel and Johnny, Zabka shares how appreciative he is of how the "perspective has changed" between the two since the first movie. "You listen to a story from one point of view. Everybody has their point of view of their story, and it's been a lot of fun to explore Johnny's point of view, for sure. But there's a happy medium somewhere, I hope, in that."
One of the things fans can be certain they will be seeing more of in Season 3 is the bromance between his character and Macchio's blossom. "Working with Ralph has been amazing. I mean, we had chemistry from day one when we did Karate Kid together, and we became friends over the years. So to jump back in with all the experience in life and career that he's had and that I've had together and then to jump back in front of the camera — and to jump in the skin of Johnny and Daniel and tear each other down, we've had a great time with it on and off the set," he said, adding how the two have stayed "very tightly" in contact from the initial pitch to where it is today with Netflix.
"We feel very protective of the franchise together and just so thankful that we have such an amazing writing team and the creators that the franchise is in amazing hands. So it's been incredible working with him, and there's a lot more bromance to come," Zabka said. "They're kind of meant for each other in a way, but they're so different, but at their core, they both want to do good. They both want to do right. It's a lot of fun to play that clash."
Cobra Kai Season 1 and Season 2 are currently streaming on Netflix, with Season 3 arriving sometime in 2021. For more on the affable Billy Zabka, Cobra Kai, The Karate Kid and all of your favorite shows, keep it locked to PopCulture.com for the latest!