Cobra Kai, based on the beloved Karate Kid movies from the 1980s, has a dark inspiration. Creator Hayden Schlossberg revealed on Twitter that the HBO series Oz was the biggest inspiration, saying that “there is no Cobra Kai without Oz.”
It served as inspiration for Cobra Kai with its storytelling. The show, which centered on inmates and correctional officers inside the Oswald State Correctional Facility, was watched repeatedly before filming Season 4 of the Netflix series.
He posted this in response to a Deadline article that featured the creator, Tom Fontana, and some of the cast of Oz as they reflected on the series that went from 1997 to 2003. Fontana was joined by Terry Kinney (Billions), Lee Tergesen (The Americans), Dean Winters (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Harold Perrineau (Lost), and Kirk Acevedo (Arrow).
Cobra Kai was initially a YouTube series that was a follow-up to the 1984 film, The Karate Kid. It went for two seasons on the platform, but since its third and latest season, it moved to Netflix.
The connection to the 1980s trilogy came from Ralph Macchio returning as Daniel LaRusso and William Zabka returning as Johnny Lawrence. The show follows the rivals reuniting and Johnny opening up his own Cobra Kai dojo.
Cobra Kai creator Schlossberg has his roots in darker things, but not quite like Oz. His roots are in raunchy comedies like the two Harold & Kumar movies and this year’s Plan B, which was directed by Parks and Recreation‘s Natalie Morales.
Despite flipping platforms between seasons, Cobra Kai became a success. With two Emmy nominations for its stunt coordination and rave reviews. Currently, on Rotten Tomatoes, the first season is at 100 percent, while two and three are at 90 percent for critic reviews.
While Season 4 is in the works, it is a little unknown how many more it will go for. The series has been hit and continues growing its viewership since it made a move to Netflix by hitting number one on the streaming service. In an interview with Collider, producer Jon Hurwitz said how the showrunners have “a set end game” in mind. To get to that conclusion, he said that they are not “sure exactly how many seasons it’ll take to get there.”
From Deadline, we do know some things to expect from the next season of Cobra Kai. Vanessa Rubio and Peyton List had recurring roles in the previous seasons of the karate-based series. Now they will get promoted into regulars. Rubio has played Carmen Diaz in the first season and appeared in 16 episodes, who is Miguel’s (Xolo Maridueña) mother. List has popped up as Tory Nichols, a troubled and tough teen, since the second season, which got her to be in 15 episodes total.
Another change in casting will happen with Dallas Dupree Young (Ready Player One) and Oona O’Brien signing up to become recurring characters for the upcoming season. This will mark the first major production for O’Brien, who has only appeared in the 2020 short called Sky High.
Cobra Kai Season 4 is slated to hit later this year on Netflix.