In the 1989 film The Karate Kid Part III, Sean Kanan portrayed martial artist Mike Barnes. During the movie, Cobra Kai sensei John Kreese’s (Martin Kove) friend Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) strikes a deal with Barnes to face off Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) at the 1985 All-Valley Karate Tournament. The fighter is offered partial “ownership of [Silver’s] new dojos,” under the condition that he “beat[s]” Daniel. While Barnes constantly antagonizes the teenager, Daniel is able to secure his title as reigning All-Valley champion.
The acclaimed series Cobra Kai often features villains from the Karate Kid franchise, like Kreese and Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto). However, Kanan has not yet reprised his iconic character.
Kanan Has Spoke About ‘Cobra Kai’
While speaking to The Desert Sun in January 2021, however, the actor noted that there is a chance that he may make an appearance in Cobra Kai.
“I think [the creators] would like to work everybody in. At least 50 people a day hit me up on Instagram asking me if I’m coming back for season four. I think there’s a definite possibility, but I can neither confirm nor deny,” stated the actor.
Kanan shared similar information during an August 2020 interview that was uploaded on the Cobra Kai Theory YouTube channel.
“I communicated…. with the producers on the show. You know, these guys [Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald] are real fans of the Karate Kid universe and I know they had said they would like to have everybody from the original films, you know, that’s the canon material involved in Cobra Kai, you know. I just think they want to do it in a way that is organic and serves the show, so you never know,” explained the actor.
During the same interview, he noted that he was “a big fan of the new show.”
Kanan Has Had a Long Career as a Soap Opera Star
Since starring in the third installment of the Karate Kid franchise, Kanan has had a long career as a soap opera star, as reported by The Desert Sun. Recently, he portrayed the character Sam Stevens on the 2019 Amazon Prime series Studio City.
In addition, The Desert Sun noted that he authored the book Way Of The Cobra that is available to preorder. On top of being an actor and a writer, Kanan also volunteers for Boo2Bullying. According to the organization’s website, the program, “seek[s] to eradicate bullying, intolerance and discrimination by educating schools and parents about accepting diversity and giving young people the tools to connect with and positively impact those around them.”
Kanan spoke about working for Boo2Bullying during his interview with the Cobra Kai Theory YouTube channel.
“I’m very involved with a group called Boo2Bullying and what we do is we go to high schools, and we facilitate a dialogue about bullying,” said the father-of-one. “And generally, when I’m giving on the seminars, I’ll show part of the final tournament scene [from The Karate Kid Part III]… and I’ll go to the kids, ‘would you believe that that scary guy there used to get bullied when he was a kid?’ And I was pretty severely bullied when I was a young kid.”
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