After following the story of Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso in the first three Karate Kid films, the franchise tried a reboot of sorts with 1994’s The Next Karate Kid. In the film, Mr. Miyagi trained a new student, Julie Pierce, played by future Oscar winner Hilary Swank. While the story of Julie Pierce never intersected with that of Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, that hasn’t stopped Cobra Kai co-creator Jon Hurwitz and the show’s writing room from considering maybe bringing Hilary Swank onto Cobra Kai.
In a recent interview, Jon Hurwitz said that the Cobra Kai writers’ room has discussed bringing Julie Pierce into the mix, saying, “In our writers’ room we speak about literally every character that has appeared in the Miyagi-verse, so it’s obvious that we’ve spoken about Julie Pierce. As to whether or not she’ll return to the series, that’s something you’ll just have to wait to find out.” So even though Cobra Kai writers have been open to the idea, apparently Hilary Swank’s Julie Pierce is just one of many characters the show has talked about introducing.
Jon Hurwitz also goes on to further explain the “Miyagi-verse,” saying that any story that had Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi in it is part of Cobra Kai’s canon. That means that any character from 1984’s The Karate Kid, 1986’s The Karate Kid Part II, 1989’s The Karate Kid Part III, and 1994’s The Next Karate Kid is fair game, including Hilary Swank as Julie Pierce.
Cobra Kai has already done a great job digging into the history of The Karate Kid and the Miyagi-verse to build out the world of Daniel La Russo and Johnny Lawrence. The trailer for Season Three shows that Kumiko and Chozen from The Karate Kid Part II will appear in the upcoming season, and the show has already previously hinted that Elisabeth Shue’s Ali could be coming back as well. As maybe the biggest actor to come out of the Karate Kid series, it would be kind of surprising if the Cobra Kai team didn’t want to figure out a way to integrate Hilary Swank into this world.
Hilary Swank has been fairly prolific over the last year. Earlier in 2020, Swank appeared in The Hunt, while she also starred in the recent release, Fatale. This year, she also did voice work in the final season of BoJack Horseman, and starred in her Netflix series, Away, which was canceled after one season. Even though Netflix canceled Away, there’s no reason to think the streaming service wouldn’t want to work with the Swank again, especially in a project that already has a devoted audience.
As of right now, it does seem like Cobra Kai is more interested in focusing on characters that were directly involved with Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, so extending to Hilary Swank’s Julie Pierce might be a bit of a stretch at this point. But as the Cobra Kai writer’s room says, anyone who appeared in a Miyagi film is fair game, so it’s possible that Swank could at least make an appearance. Considering Netflix has worked with Swank recently, and the popularity of Cobra Kai, even before the streaming service purchased the show, it does seem like this would be a perfect combination for Netflix.