Attending Comic-Con is much more fun now than it used to be for William Zabka following the smash success of Cobra Kai. In 1984, Zabka appeared in The Karate Kid as Johnny Lawrence, the Cobra Kai fighter who loses to Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) at the end. The character is one of the most well-known villains of the 1980s, and the attached fame would have Zabka meeting with Karate Kid fans at Comic-Con in later years.
Cobra Kai flipped the narrative when it premiered in 2018 by shifting Johnny Lawrence into the role of a protagonist. Although he was the original movie's villain, fans took to Johnny rather well and the series very quickly became popular. Returning to Comic-Con after becoming the star of Cobra Kai, Zabka noticed that he was getting some very different reactions from fans who were now much more happy to meet him. The actor detailed his Comic-Con experience in a recent interview on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast.
"It's a trip. I love it now because up until Cobra Kai I was the table that the dads would walk up and go, 'I just want my kid to meet you. This guy was the biggest asshole. Nice to meet you.' And they would walk away. Now, I got people coming up and going, 'Hey, I love you on the show. Johnny is cool now.'"
Also in the interview, Zabka revealed how he got to be the one to break the news to John Kreese actor Martin Kove that a The Karate Kid series was going to happen. Kreese is said to have wanted in immediately as soon as Zabka told him about the show while the two were attending the same fan convention. Kove's Kreese is now featured as a main character of the series alongside Zabka's Johnny Lawrence.
Now three seasons in, Cobra Kai has brought in other guest stars from the original movie series. A teaser promoting the fourth season reveals that Thomas Ian Griffith will be the next to get in on the fun by reprising his role as Terry Silver in season 4. We've previously seen other returns including Tamlyn Tomita as Kumiko, Yuji Okumoto as Toguchi, and Elisabeth Shue as Ali Mills.
Cobra Kai also stars Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Mariduena, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Gianni DeCenzo, Vanessa Rubio, and Peyton List. The series was first created for YouTube by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg. It later moved to Netflix where it premiered its third season which had originally been filmed for a YouTube release. Cobra Kai Season 4 has already wrapped filming, as revealed by Kove in April with a post on Instagram.
"Tonight, myself and the entire crew of Cobra Kai S4 officially wrapped!" Kove said. "What a season, And what a year. A crew that is fearless and shows no mercy, through Covid we pushed on, we striked first and with a cast that strikes hard! [Jon Hurwitz], [Josh Heald] & [Hayden Schlossberg] you have more energy than I knew was humanly possible. The Captains of our Cobra Kai ship, leading us to glory daily, without your leadership we would be lost in the waters."
Netflix hasn't set a release date for Cobra Kai season 4 just yet, but it will be hitting the streamer sometime in late 2021. And we know Terry Silver will return. In the meantime, you can watch the first three seasons on the streamer. Zabka's interview about his career and Comic-Con experiences can be heard on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast.