Cobra Kai is coming back for a final season on Netflix. Indeed, season 6 will mark the show’s end but perhaps not the end of the Miyagiverse. Here’s everything we know about season 6 of Cobra Kai, including production news, what to expect from the story, why the show ends, who’s starring, and much more.
First premiering as a YouTube original series, Cobra Kai officially moved to Netflix after two seasons and has soared in popularity, becoming a massive hit for the streaming giant around the globe.
The series is a continuation of The Karate Kid movies that have been active since the mid-1980s. It takes place 34 years after the events of the original Karate Kid, which reignites the rivalry between Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso.
Cobra Kai Renewed for a Sixth and Final Season on Netflix
For most prior seasons, Netflix has always renewed Cobra Kai ahead of new seasons dropping, so the long wait for confirmation of season 6 was excruciating.
On January 20th, 2023 (five months after season 5 dropped in September ’22), Netflix officially announced that Cobra Kai would return for a sixth and final season.
In a statement on Twitter, the showrunners expressed their heartfelt gratitude to fans and promised a big final season to close out the story. Their complete statement is as follows:
“When Daniel LaRusso arrived in the Valley with his mother in 1984, little did he know that his life was about to be forever changed. The same went for three young kids from New Jersey who hadn’t yet met one another. Daniel’s journey from bullied teen to underdog hero became an indelible part of our childhoods, and something that we would always carry with us in our hearts.
Reacquainting the world with The Karate Kid universe has been our humble honor. Making Cobra Kai has allowed us to join the same hallowed dojo once inhabited by the great Robert Mark Kamen, John Avildsen, Jerry Weintraub, and all the amazing original cast members. It has also enabled us to play sensei, expanding the original storylines and birthing a new generation of underdogs. We’ve never once taken this opportunity for granted.
Our day one goal with Cobra Kai has always been to end it on our terms, leaving the Valley in the time and place we’ve always imagined. So it is with immense pride and thankfulness that we are able to announce that achievement. The upcoming Season Six will mark the conclusion of Cobra Kai.
While this may be a bittersweet day for the fandom, the Miyagiverse has never been stronger. This fandom is the BEST on the planet and we hope to be telling more Karate Kid stories with you down the line. Because as we all know, Cobra Kai Never Dies.
In the meantime, strap in for the BIGGEST SEASON OF COBRA KAI YET. And let today be a celebration of all that’s come, as well as all that’s still left to be told. We couldn’t do it without you.
We made it.
Strike First. Strike Hard. No Mercy.
— Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Reacting to the renewal, Hayden Schlossberg said in a Tweet:
“Big thanks to the fans for getting us to the finish line. Now get ready for one final round and lots of big surprises along the way.”
Why the delay in announcing season 6? We suspect it’s because the showrunners had another project on the go (at Netflix) in the form of Obliterated set to release on November 30th. That series wrapped up filming in November 2022, and once post-production/editing had concluded, they were free again to move on to Cobra Kai.
Of course, the creators have always teased that the show may only get to season 6. Speaking to Deadline about the possibility of a sixth season in early 2022, Hayden Schlossberg said:
“We have an end in mind. How many seasons it takes to get there, we don’t know. We’re enjoying making it so much. If it gets tiring to us, we’ll stop before that; we have a few more seasons already planned out.”
This affirms an earlier tweet from Jon Hurwitz, who replied to a Tweet in 2020 stating that they’d like to do six seasons.
Hurwitz has been keen to point out that Netflix didn’t decide to bring the show to an end rather, the creators did. In a Tweet on February 27th, Hurwitz said:
“Netflix didn’t tell us it was the last season. We told them it was the last season. We’ve always wanted to end Cobra Kai on our own terms and we are grateful we have the opportunity to do so. But that doesn’t mean we’re finished with the Miyagiverse. We love this world.”
How well did Cobra Kai season 5 perform on Netflix?
Using various sources, we can look at how well the show performed in its fifth season following its release on September 9th, 2022.
For the first time, we can use hourly data provided by Netflix to look at the show’s performance.
As we covered in our September 14th Top 10 report (which uses CVE metrics), the show lagged behind the fourth season. In the report, What’s on Netflix contributor Frédéric states:
” …its fifth season and its launch of 17.1 million CVE lags a little behind the 21.4 million CVE of Season 4.
But Season 4 was released on the first of January, so that might explain the difference (people have time off around Christmas). “
This data comes from Netflix’s top 10 satellite site, where we get 40 hourly figures weekly. Between September 4th and October 9th, 2022, the show was watched for 274.72M hours globally and in the top 10s before dropping out of the rankings.
Here’s how viewing hours are broken down per week:
|Week Period||Hours Viewed(M)||Rank||Week in Top 10|
|September 4th, 2022 to September 11th, 2022||106,700,000||1||1|
|September 11th, 2022 to September 18th, 2022||95,550,000 (-10%)||1||2|
|September 18th, 2022 to September 25th, 2022||38,120,000 (-60%)||3||3|
|September 25th, 2022 to October 2nd, 2022||20,820,000 (-45%)||4||4|
|October 2nd, 2022 to October 9th, 2022||13,530,000 (-35%)||7||5|
How does season 5 compare with season 4 in viewership?
There’s a notable drop, but the two series had a similar trajectory. Season 5 kicked off with an 11% drop down from season 4.
The two seasons then saw the same decline week-to-week:
|Week||Season 5||Season 4|
|Week 1 (Partial Week)||106,700,000||120,060,000|
|Week 2||95,550,000 (-10%)||107,810,000 (-10%)|
|Week 3||38,120,000 (-60%)||41,240,000 (-62%)|
|Week 4||20,820,000 (-45%)||23,840,000 (-42%)|
|Week 5||13,530,000 (-35%)||–|
What to expect from Cobra Kai season 6 on Netflix
Below, we’ve compiled our predictions, expectations, and what we’ve been told publicly about the upcoming season.
As an aside, we’ve also asked two Cobra Kai superfans, The Cobra Kai Kid and Watch Party, for their predictions on what to expect from the sixth season.
Officially so far, Jon Hurwitz has revealed that season 6 takes place roughly one year away after the season finale of season 2.
What is the future of Cobra Kai?
With Terry Silver’s cheating antics revealed to his students, they all turned their back on their sensei, and he was subsequently arrested for his crimes.
The future of Cobra Kai has now been thrown into severe doubt, and so too will the dojo’s place in the Sekai Taikai.
As Kim Da-Eun has a 50% stake in Cobra Kai, she may overcome this hurdle and use students from her own dojos by using the Cobra Kai name and branding.
Will Mike Barnes take over Cobra Kai?
Mike revealed to Daniel and Chozen that he was promised a 50% stake in Cobra Kai by Terry Silver many years ago. While he is unsure if he can find the document or the lawyer to prove it, there is a chance the former enemy of Daniel can continue to redeem himself and Cobra Kai if he were to take over the dojos.
However, this could also lead to a potential Cobra Kai civil war if Mike Barnes leads Terry’s former students who may have to fight the students of Kim Da-Eun.
If Kreese is involved with Kim Da-Eun, we could easily see him try to manipulate the situation by getting Kim Da-Eun to stake her 50% against Barnes’ 50% in a winner takes all bet at the Sekai Takai.
What is Kreese up to?
With Kreese making his escape from prison, the only person he can now turn to is Kim Da-Eun, the granddaughter of his former master.
Silver and Kim Da-Eun were already a formidable pairing, but Kreese now has nothing to lose, making him more dangerous than ever.
Hurwitz teased in a Tweet, “Kreese certainly has a complicated legal situation as we enter S6? I don’t think it’s safe to assume anything.”
What is the future of Miyago-Do and Eagle Fang?
With Silver defeated, Miyagi-Do and Eagle Fang should be able to return triumphantly, re-open their dojos, and begin training the students for the Sekai Takai.
Who represents their respective dojos remains to be seen, but we would expect Miguel to represent Eagle Fang and Hawk to represent Miyagi-Do.
Depending on the situation with Cobra Kai, Robby could represent the dojo over Kenny; however, if Robby were to rejoin Miyagi-Do or Eagle Fang, he may have to compete against either Hawk or Miguel.
Samantha will represent Miyagi Do, and Devon Lee could again represent Eagle Fang. As for Tory, her place in the tournament could be in doubt if the Sekai Takai organizers ban her for not coming clean earlier about Silver’s cheating. This may also lead to Tory’s further redemption if she is allowed to compete.
When will the baby be born?
Johnny is having a baby with Carmen, and it’s unclear when the baby is due, which could impact Johnny’s attendance at the Sekai Takai.
Will Julie Pierce make an appearance?
Nearly all significant characters from the original Karate Kid movies have returned to reprise their roles in Cobra Kai. The only omission so far is Julie Pierce, previously played by Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank.
It would be extremely fun to see Swank return to reprise her role as Julie, as the character could return to help train the Miyagi Do students to prepare the Sekai Takai.
If there is a further conflict with Kim Da-Eun, it would be incredibly fun to see Julie Pierce go one-on-one with the Korean master of Tang Soo Do.
Who will return for the sixth season of Cobra Kai?
Cobra Kai already has an extremely extensive cast list, but we would expect the majority of the cast to reprise their roles from the fifth season for the sixth season, including;
- Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso
- William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence
- Courtney Henggeler as Amanda LaRusso
- Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz
- Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene
- Mary Mouser as Samantha LaRusso
- Jacob Bertrand as Hawk
- Gianni DeCenzo as Demetri
- Martin Kove as John Kreese
- Vanessa Rubio as Carmen Diaz
- Peyton List as Tory Nichols
- Griffin Santopietro as Anthony LaRusso
- Dallas Dupree Young as Kenny Payne
- Yuji Okumoto as Chozen
- Oona O’Brien as Devon
- Alicia Hannah-Kim as Kim Da-Eun
When will filming start on Cobra Kai season 6?
The earliest we heard about the development of the sixth and final season was about the writer’s room opening up in mid-February 2023. The show’s final season reportedly has a budget between $2 and $3M per episode.
Numerous people attending the ATL Comic Convention in late February reported that Ralph Macchio stated they were “aiming” for a May 2023 production start.
Filming for the show is to again occur in Atlanta, Georgia, but showrunner Jon Hurwitz teased that he expects something to be filmed outside of the US state like most previous seasons.
According to ProductionWeekly, Cobra Kai season 6 will be filmed under the codename, THE ABORIST, and suggested that the show’s final season will be filmed between late Spring 2023 and be concluded in late Summer 2023.
However, on May 1st, the WGA strike began and paused any development on the show, delaying any production start. Speaking to Deadline on May 20th, the three creators behind the show stated they were due to begin production the day the strike began.
Hurwitz also stated in a post:
“We hate to strike, but if we must, we strike hard. Pencils down in the Cobra Kai writers room. No writers on set. These aren’t fun times, but it’s unfortunately necessary. The moment a fair deal is in place, we’ll get back to kicking ass. In the meantime, sending strength and support to the negotiating committee. You got this.”
In June 2023 at Netflix TUDUM in Brazil, Cobra Kai was among the roster of shows and movies that were featured. There, we got a first look at the cast reuniting to have a readthrough of the script for Cobra Kai season 6.
In July 2023, SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA in striking, meaning that filming cannot resume until both strikes have been resolved as both unions cover Cobra Kai. The WGA strike concluded after a deal was struck in late September with Hurtwitz celebrating the news by encouraging a SAG-AFTRA deal but adding that he’s “Ready to get back into the dojo!”
On September 25th Hurwitz confirmed that scripts for the fifth season weren’t complete ahead of the strike saying:
“Much of the Cobra Kai season hasn’t been written yet. We’ll get back into the writers room in the coming weeks. Once the SAG strike ends, we’ll figure out when we can get back on set.”
So as of September 29th – writing can continue on the new season but production cannot start until the SAG-AFTRA strike has been resolved.
You can see more Netflix shows and movies that have been impacted by the SAG/WGA strikes here.
When can we expect to see Cobra Kai season 6 on Netflix?
In the relatively short span of twenty months, we’ve seen the release of three seasons of Cobra Kai on Netflix, starting with season 3 in January 2021 and, most recently, the fifth season in September 2022.
While subscribers have already become used to seeing new seasons of Cobra Kai on Netflix semi-regularly, the wait for a sixth season could be the longest.
Given the strike, it’s looking highly unlikely we’ll see the show return in 2023 or even for much of 2024 at this point. Instead, we’re predicting a very late 2024 release date at the absolute earliest but could be into 2025 by the time we return to the dojo.
As you may have heard, Sony Pictures is currently producing a new Karate Kid movie, although details are slim. Although we know it’s set to be a return to the original “Karate Kid” franchise that starred Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. It’s being directed by Jonathan Entwistle and written by Rob Lieber. Like Cobra Kai, it’s been heavily impacted by the strikes having originally due to begin production in Montreal, Canada this Summer.
Are you looking forward to the sixth and final season of Cobra Kai on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!
Kasey Moore contributed to this preview.