Since the premiere of Cobra Kai in 2018, Karate Kid fans have been curious if Elisabeth Shue will make an appearance on the show and reprise her role as Ali Mills Schwarber. The character, who only appeared in the original 1984 Karate Kid movie, dated both Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), noted The Pioneer Woman. Ali’s involvement with Daniel caused Johnny to immediately dislike the New Jersey native, which resulted in a rivalry that has spanned decades between the two men.
Both Johnny and Daniel have mentioned Ali throughout Season 1 and Season 2 of Cobra Kai. For instance, in Season 1, Episode 9, Daniel informs Johnny that their shared high school sweetheart is a Denver-based pediatric surgeon. In addition, the final scene of Cobra Kai’s Season 2 finale revealed that Ali, who is married to an oncologist named Gregory Schwarber, had requested to be Johnny’s Facebook friend, seemingly in response to him accidentally sending her a message on the social media platform in Season 2 Episode 8.
William Zabka and Elisabeth Shue Have Spoken About the Possibility of Ali’s Return
GettyWilliam Zabka strikes a pose at the premiere of “Where Hope Grows” in 2015.
While it has not been confirmed that Elisabeth Shue will join the production of Cobra Kai, her former co-star William Zabka spoke to Pop Culture in 2019 about the possibility of Ali heading back to Encino, California in the show’s third season. He noted that as far as he was aware Shue had “been approached” to become a cast member.
Zabka also revealed he hoped his character and Ali would become romantically involved.
“I’m rooting for Ali with Johnny. She’s been a huge part of Johnny, she’s a big part of The Karate Kid, [Elisabeth’s] a wonderful actress, and she’d be a great addition to the show, so I’m rooting for it, but I’m in the dark at this moment,” said the actor.
Shue also commented on the possibility of playing Ali Mills once more during a May 2019 sit down interview with ET Canada, stating,
I have seen [Cobra Kai] and I thought it was really well done and I’m thinking about it. That’s what I can say.
Fans Have Theories About Ali’s Role in Cobra Kai
Getty Elisabeth Shue strikes a pose in a black dress at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
According to Screen Rant, fans have a few ideas about how Ali can seamlessly be a part of the show. One popular theory is that the doctor will have a hand at saving Miguel Diaz (Xolo Maridueña), who as of the Season 2 finale is severely injured following a fight with Johnny’s son Robby Keene (Tanner Buchanan) in the halls of West Valley High School.
Another fan theory is that Ali could have a connection to one of the newest members of Cobra Kai. As reported by Screen Rant, some viewers believe that Sam LaRusso’s (Mary Mouser) rival, Tory Nichols (Peyton List), is actually Ali’s daughter.
Now this theory is unlikely, as Tory has implied that she comes from a low-income household and that her mother at one point worked as a waitress. Not once did she mention that her parents were currently medical professionals and were living in Colorado. It can be argued, however, that Tory lives with her adopted family, instead of her birth mother.
One detail, however, makes this theory somewhat plausible. Upon first meeting Miguel, the karate student tells him that her name is “Tory… with a Y.” This serves as a callback to Ali referring to herself as “Ali… with an I” in The Karate Kid.
For those who are curious about Ali’s possible appearance in Cobra Kai, be sure to watch the show’s third season, which premieres on Netflix, January 1.