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Cobra Kai season 4: release date, cast, story, and everything else we know so far

Cobra Kai season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Cobra Kai season 4 is getting closer – the latest installment of the Netflix show finally has a release date, and it's arriving on the streamer on December 31.In the meantime, we've got plenty of sneak peeks and hints to pore over – Netflix has released two teaser trailers so far, and we've also got quotes from the big names both in front of and behind the camera about what's in store for the new season. 

Plus, we've got a full list of confirmed cast members so you can see which familiar faces are returning for round four. What else? Well, we know that The Karate Kid Part 3 villain Terry Silver is returning, and we can expect to see a showdown between Cobra Kai and the combined forces of the Miyagi-do and Eagle Fang dojos.So, for all that and more, keep reading to find out everything we know so far about Cobra Kai season 4.

Cobra Kai season 4 release date: December 2021

Cobra Kai season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

Cobra Kai season 4 finally has a release date: the next batch of episodes will be arriving December 31, 2021. The series wrapped filming in May.

Cobra Kai season 4 cast: will Ali and Aisha return?

Cobra Kai season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

Cobra Kai wouldn’t be Cobra Kai without the eternal sparring (verbal or otherwise) between Daniel LaRusso and his long-time rival, Johnny Lawrence. Ralph Macchio and William Zabka are back, baby.

Xolo Mariduena (Miguel), Mary Mouser (Sam), Tanner Buchanan (Robby), Jacob Bertrand (Hawk), Peyton List (Tory), and Martin Kove (Kreese) are all returning. List and Vanessa Rubio (Carmen) have been upgraded to series regulars, while Dallas Dupree Young and Oona O'Brien will be joining the Cobra Kai season 4 cast.

Netflix has also confirmed that Terry Silver actor Thomas Ian Griffith is back for the fourth season. Given how the third season ended, The Karate Kid Part 3 villain is bound to have a major role to play.

Griffith himself has talked about reprising his role, too. "When the guys called about Cobra Kai saying they're bringing back Terry Silver, at first it was like 'well, what's Terry Silver been up to for the last 30 years?' And then when they mapped out their plan it was like, 'Oh my god I cannot say no to that, that sounds incredible.' So, I jumped on it," he told the Cobra Kai Kompanion podcast. He added: "All I can say is, just wait till season 4. Because they really go for it... you may still hate him, but there's definitely something you're going to want to watch with him." The actor also indicated that this season will be a big one: "It's an exciting journey, not just for Terry Silver, but overall. It's an epic season, I'm so proud of it, and I really can't wait for it to drop."

Meanwhile, much has been made about Aisha being MIA during the events of the third season. Nichole Brown, who played the character, announced on Instagram she wouldn’t be back for the third season. But that might not be the end for the character.

Creator Jon Hurwitz told Pop Sugar: “We love that character, and perhaps we'll see her again one day.”

And what of Ali? Elisabeth Shue returned as Daniel and Johnny’s former flame. The door is very much left wide open for her to stick around, depending on how the creators shape the upcoming story.

Executive producer Hayden Schlossberg exclusively told GamesRadar+: “When we were creating her character, we were thinking about all the different possibilities of where that character could go. You learn that, you know, she’s single, and she has kids of her own. That is now out into the universe, and people can take that and run with it, and maybe we’ll do something with it. Maybe we won’t. And that’s part of the fun of the show.”

Cobra Kai season 4 story: what will happen in the new season?

Cobra Kai season 4

(Image credit: Netflix)

More than any other season prior, Cobra Kai season 4 has the majority of its upcoming story mapped out well in advance. So we have a good idea of what to expect between the Eagle Fang, Miyagi-do, and Cobra Kai dojos respectively.

That’s because all the pieces on the board have moved into place for a grandstand finish; all eyes are on the U18 All Valley Karate Tournament.

The setup? On one side, Kreese. On the other, Johnny and Daniel in their newly-formed dojo combining Miyagi-do and Eagle Fang. Whichever dojo wins the tournament, the other must disband for good. We can expect it to be dramatic, as co-creator Hayden Schlossberg wrote on Twitter: "I've been watching and rewatching the All Valley tournament in Season 4. There are so many times when I get revved up and almost lose it. It's like every Rocky fight rolled into one and built up with so much hype and anticipation, leading to an explosion of nonstop action."

That showdown appears to be the general outline for the upcoming season, but it could get far more complicated than that. Hawk, it appears, is back on the side of the (karate) angels and fighting the good fight, while Robby is now by Kreese’s side – and could be one of the major villains of season 4 alongside Peyton List’s ruthless Tory.

Then, there’s the small matter of who Kreese is calling during the final moments of the third season. Terry Silver, the main villain from Karate Kid Part 3 and someone he served time with in Vietnam, is back. The moneybags returning to Reseda could spell trouble for Daniel and Johnny – and a vast expansion of Cobra Kai.

Of course, Daniel and Johnny teaming up is a big change for the series, which so far has seen them at odds with each other. "What I'm most looking forward to in the Daniel/Johnny team up is the challenge. Navigating their varied personalities and stubborn mindsets as they work toward the same endgame," Daniel actor Ralph Macchio told Deadline. "Their history is nuanced and multi-layered. They are wired so differently even though their intentions are aligned. Billy [Zabka] and I love diving into the friendship as well as the rivalry. This is what [executive producer] Hayden Schlossberg has always called the Ross and Rachel element of our show. It makes for great comedy as well as heightened drama within Season 4."

Added Johnny Lawrence actor Zabka: "I was thrilled Johnny and Daniel found common ground and aligned themselves at the end of Season 3. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." It's a great note and launching point for all that’s ahead in the story."

Co-creator Josh Heald told The Hollywood Reporter a bit more about how the new dynamic will play out in the next installment. "Season 4 delivers on the premise of the series, which is what happens when these guys get into each other's lives and get under each other's skin. We've watched arguments, we've watched consequences and reactions, and overreactions, and now we're entering a phase in which they are putting down their weapons and looking at each other and accepting the challenge in front of them with [head teacher John] Kreese and kind of taking that next step and trying to grow as adults and leaders. And it's a great tipping point for them as performers and for their characters because it starts to provide new colors to their arrangement that are not just "I hate you, I hate you." We're finally entering into a second phase of their relationship."

It seems the new season will be an interesting one for two characters in particular. "Sam and Tory are two of our favorite characters in the series and their rivalry is a fresh one that certainly cuts to the core for both of them," co-creator Jon Hurwitz commented. "We're eager for people to see how it plays out in Season 4 because there's certainly no love lost between those two at the end of Season 3 and there's a lot more between them going forward. We think it's a very special season for both those characters."

Cobra Kai season 4 trailer

The latest Cobra Kai season 4 teaser trailer shows off Johnny and Daniel's combined dojos, and gives us our best look yet at the return of Terry Silver. Check it out above. 

There's also been another teaser trailer released, which is much shorter, and starts out like a commercial for the All Valley tournament before it shifts into some quick clips of the characters in action. 

Beyond Cobra Kai season 4: is it the final season?

Thankfully, no. Cobra Kai has been renewed for a fifth season by Netflix, meaning we've got two full seasons left at the very least. Beyond that, who knows? But, given the show's success, more seasons and a spinoff or two would surely pack a punch with the Cobra Kai fanbase.

Plus, co-creator Jon Hurwitz recently spoke about plans for the future. "We are very deep into our season five planning," he wrote in response to a fan on Twitter. "Several scripts and outlines have been written. And we are definitely writing towards an endgame, which will hopefully be beyond season five." He added in another Tweet: "We have lots and lots of plans, both inside and outside of the Miyagiverse." 

In the meantime, make sure to catch up on everything we know about one of Netflix's other huge shows, The Witcher season 2.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.