YouTube Still Wants More 'Cobra Kai' Despite Rumors Of Reducing Original Programming [WonderCon]

Cobra Kai put YouTube Premium on the map with originals. The sequel to the Karate Kid films became a phenomenon when it premiered last year, and YouTube ordered a second season in the first week. Since then, YouTube decided to stop investing in original series. Now the second season of Cobra Kai is about to premiere and fans definitely want to know there will be moreCobra Kai creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg and Josh Heald were at WonderCon for Cobra Kai. The creators seemed to have it on good authority that YouTube is still behind Cobra Kai, and had some more teases for the upcoming season.

YouTube Won’t Sweep Cobra Kai’s Leg

YouTube may have previously indicated that they were shifting their originals strategy to make it ad supported instead of the Premium paywall. Analysts have speculated that means they won't order new series, which isn't an unreasonable leap.

However, that doesn't mean they'd cancel their popular shows. They need something big to generate views for advertisers, and Cobra Kai is guaranteed eyeballs. The first season generated 20 million views based on interest alone. Now everybody knows the show is great so they'll keep watching.

"We haven't gotten any indication that this affects Cobra Kai in any way at all," Heald said. "As far as we know, the news is not necessarily the news."

According to Hurwitz, however the YouTube originals strategy evolves, Cobra Kai will be a part of it.

"I know there's changes in their plan," Hurwitz said. "All we know and all we've been told is that they love Cobra Kai. They view Cobra Kai as a longterm part of their platform."

And They Have Many More Seasons of Ideas

Re-opening Cobra Kai dojo gave them much more than one season of story. Season one ended with a new All Valley Karate tournament, but the fallout of that raises more questions about Cobra Kai training. Plus, John Kreese (Martin Kove) showed up in the last scene, and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) decided to open a Dojo, one in which his daughter Samantha (Mary Mouser) is training.

In fact, the more story Cobra Kai tells, the more they realize it's going to take a long time to get to all the story they have. Heald hinted at further plans for more seasons:

"There were things in season one we thought we were going to do in season one and just didn't have the runway to get to in a way that felt like we were honoring the storyline in a proper way and we kicked down the road. Once we got season two, there are things that felt like okay, let's deal with some of that baggage, and some of that baggage got kicked down the road again even because you have so many balls in the air at any given time."

The return of John Kreese and Daniel stepping into the Mr. Miyagi mentor role are plenty for a new season of Cobra Kai. Those lead to new types of drama too. "We knew that we wanted to explore the Johnny/Kreese dysfunctional father/son relationship in season two," Hurwitz said.

2 Dojos: Many Warriors

Everyone's waiting for Daniel and Johnny to have their rematch. They might have to do battle as businessmen first. Daniel opening a dojo in Mr. Miyagi's honor isn't just some friendly competition for Cobra Kai dojo. Daniel throws down the gauntlet making an offhanded snake joke on his commercial, plus he's offering free classes. Cobra Kai still has bills to pay.

"One of the key elements of season two that we knew we were going to do was do this dojo vs. dojo battle," Hurwitz said.

This simple concept opens up exponentially more dramatic possibilities because all of the students are affected by the dojo wars. Fans are already invested in Miguel (Xolo Mariduena), Samantha, Johnny (William Zabka)'s son Robbie (Tanner Buchanan), Hawk (Jacob Bertrand) and Aisha (Nichole Brown). Their friendships, romances and family dynamics are torn asunder by their feuding senseis. The creators want to explore all of those before rushing into future storylines they have planned. Heald said:

"There are so many characters in our universe now between all the kids and the spider web of rivalry that has now erupted in the valley. What you thought may have been a really important storyline to get out there very early, suddenly becomes a secondary storyline that isn't dependent on the drive of the moment. We want to make sure that this continues to feel like a movie that you can't get up in the middle of because it's just at the part that's getting good. That's our goal at all times to make this feel like one big cohesive thing."

All of this bodes well for the future of Cobra Kai. The creators made the right choices in reintroducing Cobra Kai as a series. They leaned into the comedy so no one else could make fun of them for doing Karate Kid 30 years later. The first season gradually proved it was as dramatic as the movies, and they introduced great young characters whom we all want to see continue too.

And in success, they could have just repeated the formula and fed more nostalgia to the fans they'd won over, but they're not being lazy about it. They're putting the characters in difficult situations that are good for drama. If there's another tournament, sure, someone can train and win. If two grown men are trying to guide kids on the right path, the difference in their styles are more complicated. If the kids were friends but split between dojos, that's drama. And if John Kreese wants to get his way, that's trouble for everyone.

Cobra Kai returns April 24, 2019 on YouTube.