It was the sequel no one thought they needed but after five amazing seasons of Cobra Kai, the streaming spin-off from the Karate Kid movie franchise that has jumped onto two services, is finally getting swept across the legs, as the newly announced sixth season will also be its last.
The comedy series, from creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg, and distributed by Sony Pictures Television was originally launched on YouTube Red / YouTube Premium, before moving to Netflix starting with the third season. It follows the events from the original three films, and elements from the fourth, and reunites stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka who reprise their roles of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, as they, and their children continue the never-ending conflict established in 1984’s All Valley Karate Tournament.
Instead of continuing the series from LaRusso’s point of view, Cobra Kai re-examines the “Miyagi-Verse” narrative from Johnny Lawrence’s perspective, as he decides to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo, which infuriates Daniel. While the series stars newcomers Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, Peyton List, Vanessa Rubio and Dallas Dupree Young, it has also brought back popular faces from the original trilogy, including Martin Kove and Thomas Ian Griffith as franchise villains, as well as cameos from Elisabeth Shue, Tamlyn Tomita, Yuji Okumoto and Robyn Lively.
The cancellation, which shocking, was not entirely unexpected as the success of the sequel series was unexpected and last year, Sony announced that a new Karate Kid sequel was being planned for 2024, and that it would be a continuation of the original movies, without revealing more details. Unfortunately, it was subsequently revealed that the team behind the successful Netflix sequel series were not behind the planned movie sequel.
In a new statement, Heald, Hurwitz and Schlossberg explain why they’re ending the series on their terms.
“Reacquainting the world with ‘The Karate Kid’ universe has been our humble honor. Making ‘Cobra Kai’ has allowed us to join the same hallowed dojo once inhabited by the great Robert Mark Kamen, John Avildsen, Jerry Weintraub, and all the amazing original cast members.
It has also enabled us to play sensei, expanding the original storylines and birthing a new generation of underdogs. We’ve never once taken this opportunity for granted.
Our day one goal with ‘Cobra Kai’ has always been to end it on our terms, leaving the Valley in the time and place we’ve always imagined. So it is with immense pride and thankfulness that we are able to announce that achievement.
The upcoming Season Six will mark the conclusion of Cobra Kai. While this may be a bittersweet day for the fandom, the Miyagiverse has never been stronger. This fandom is the BEST on the planet, and we hope to be telling more ‘Karate Kid’ stories with you down the line. Because as we all know, Cobra Kai Never Dies.”
It remains to be seen if the Miyagiverse will continue, but as long as franchise newcomer Hillary Swank, from 1994’s The Next Karate Kid, remains one of the key characters yet to make an appearance in the series, the fight looks set to continue on.