Cobra Kai Creators Weigh In: Could Hilary Swank Make a Return?

Hilary Swank & Pat Morita

Getty Noriyuki "Pat" Morita and Hilary Swank share a scene in the movie "The Next Karate Kid."

As fans of the Karate Kid franchise are aware, Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank portrayed Mr. Miyagi’s (Pat Morita) student, Julie Pierce, in the 1994 movie The Next Karate Kid.

Since its premiere in 2018, Cobra Kai has continued the storylines of many popular Karate Kid characters, which may have led some fans to be curious if future seasons will feature Julie.


The Show’s Co-Creator Commented on the Likelihood of Swank Becoming a ‘Cobra Kai’ Cast Member

Hilary Swank

Getty Hilary Swank poses at “The Homesman” premiere in 2014.

During a December 2020 CinemaBlend interview, one of Cobra Kai’s co-creators and executive producers, Jon Hurwitz, weighed in on how likely it would be for Swank to become a series cast member.

“In our writers’ room we speak about literally every character that has appeared in the Miyagi-verse, so it’s obvious that we’ve spoken about Julie Pierce. As to whether or not she’ll return to the series, that’s something you’ll just have to wait to find out,” remarked Hurwitz. 

The writer then suggested that the incidents, which took place in The Next Karate Kid could eventually affect Cobra Kai‘s plot. He told the publication:

We always say that our show takes place in the Miyagi-verse… in our minds, any story in which Mr. Miyagi was a character, with Pat Morita playing Mr. Miyagi I should say, is canon to our world. The Next Karate Kid is a part of our universe. We believe that the events of that movie happened.

While Hurwitz noted the film “has its pluses and minuses,” he complimented Swank’s portrayal of the high school student. 

“One of the things that’s really special about it is it’s very early work for Hilary Swank and she’s gone on to be one of the great actors in Hollywood. Her performance is great in that movie and her chemistry with Pat Morita is fantastic,” said the executive producer. 


Ralph Macchio Has Spoken About Julie Becoming a Character on ‘Cobra Kai’

Ralph Macchio

GettyRalph Macchio talks during San Diego Comic-Con 2019: Day Two.

In a January interview on the Sway podcast, hosted by journalist Kara Swisher, the “Karate Kid” himself, Ralph Macchio commented on Julie becoming a character on Cobra Kai Season 4. He shared similar sentiments to Hurwitz and discussed “the Miyagi-verse.”

“Listen, here’s the generic answer. Anyone who’s part of the Miyagi verse — any character that appeared during the Miyagi-verse, which was during the life of Mr. Miyagi, and any of those sequels is canon for this show, so who knows. Yes, no, maybe,” said the actor.

While Macchio famously portrayed Daniel LaRusso in the first three installments of the film franchise, he did not have a role in The Next Karate Kid. While speaking to Uproxx in 2018, he explained that he had not been asked to be in the martial arts movie. 

“[M]y assumption was [there was] an idea from the studio to continue on, and they got Pat [Morita] to sign on with that idea. And I had heard they were making it, and probably almost dealt with it the first time I heard about it,” explained the 59-year-old. “It was kind of odd for me. I never really had a conversation with Pat about it afterwards… It wasn’t like they came to me and [I] said, ‘Oh no, I’ll never do another one of these.’ None of that happened. I think it was probably a decision by the studio and producer at that point, ‘Hey, let’s take this in this direction, let’s find another way to go.’”

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