In the iconic 1984 movie “The Karate Kid,” Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) feels an immediate connection to Ali Mills (Elisabeth Shue). Unfortunately, her ex-boyfriend Johnny Lawrence (William “Billy” Zabka) does not appreciate their budding relationship and proceeds to use his martial arts skills against the New Jersey native. Daniel decides to combat this near-constant bullying by learning karate from his apartment’s maintenance man, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). He eventually faces off the Cobra Kai student during the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. Despite being injured, Daniel manages to win the competition.
In the first season of “Cobra Kai,” Johnny decides to open his own dojo under the Cobra Kai name, 34 years after the All Valley. Daniel, who still resents how he was treated by Cobra Kai students and their cruel sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove), tries to intervene by reopening the Miyagi-Do Karate dojo. This causes the two men’s rivalry to worsen. However, during the season 3 finale, the martial artists make an alliance to put a stop to Kreese, who has been manipulating his students to physically assault members of Daniel and Johnny’s dojos.
The Show’s Co-Creators Have Spoken About Johnny & Daniel’s Relationship in “Cobra Kai” Season 4
However, it is unclear if the former rivals will remain friendly with each other during the show’s fourth season. After all, Johnny and Daniel have not exactly seen eye-to-eye over the past three decades. During an interview with Comic Book in January, the co-creators of “Cobra Kai,” Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, commented on how the relationship between the karate teachers will play out in the upcoming season.
Hurwitz noted that the characters have had positive experiences with each other, so they may be able to effectively work as co-teachers.
“You’ve seen Johnny and Daniel interact for a few seasons now and a movie wave way, way, way back when, and you’ve seen glimpses of them being able to get along and be on the same page and you’ve seen them throw fists on a dime. So anything is possible with the two of them together. They’re united against the common enemy right now,” said the executive producer.
He then suggested that there may be some conflict between them, as they have “different approaches.”
“Can they join forces in a way that is going to be productive and smooth sailing, or will there be bumps in the road? And that’s what people are going to have to look forward to during season four,” teased Hurwitz.
During the interview, Schlossberg shared similar information.
“Obviously they’re together, but they couldn’t have more opposite ideologies still and so there’s a lot still to work out even though they may be on the same team,” explained the writer.
Ralph Macchio Has Discussed Johnny & Daniel’s Alliance in Season 4
While speaking to Men’s Health in January, Ralph Macchio compared Daniel and Johnny’s relationship to the on-again-off-again couple Ross Geller and Rachel Greene from the sitcom “Friends.”
“[Y]ou love them together but you love it when they’re at each other’s throats, and you’ve got to keep that ball up in the air,” said the 59-year-old.
He also referenced the fact that the former rivals will be co-teaching their karate students at the same dojo. The actor stated that he hopes “they learn a bit from each other.”
“They’re different but same. That’s a Miyagi saying, but it’s true, they’re different but same. If Daniel and Johnny had had different senseis, they would have gone down opposite paths, and I think that’s what’s clever about the show,” asserted Macchio.
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