‘Cobra Kai’ Creators Explain Season 5 Ending, Going Global in Season 6 and Their ‘Ferris Bueller’ Spinoff

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you haven’t watched all of “Cobra Kai” Season 5, now streaming on Netflix

Every season of “Cobra Kai” seems to one-up itself in terms of dramatic fights, returning “Karate Kid” characters and tantalizing cliffhangers. Season 5, now streaming on Netflix, is no exception, with the finale teasing an inevitable Season 6 — which hasn’t officially been greenlit by Netflix, but the creators say they already have plans for.

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Season 5 ends with Kreese (Martin Kove) faking his death and escaping from prison, setting up his return as a possible antagonist if “Cobra Kai” is renewed. With Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) now arrested, things should be quieter in the Valley, unless Kreese seeks payback against Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). Johnny might also have his hands full with a baby at some point soon, with Carmen (Vanessa Rubio) now expecting.

One of the biggest dangling threads from Season 5, however, is the mention of an international karate tournament called the Sekai Taikai. The best martial artists from around the world are invited to participate, which sounds like the perfect place for the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do students to get some fresh opponents. And now that the Cobra Kai students have lost their evil sensei, could they jump ship and join Miyagi-Do? Not to mention, Daniel, Johnny and especially Chozen (Yuji Okumoto) suffered some brutal injuries in the final fight against Silver and will need some time to heal.

“Cobra Kai” creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg spoke with Variety about the Season 5 ending and where they want to go with a possible Season 6. The trio is in production on another Netflix series, titled “Obliterated,” and they’re also in the early stages of making a spinoff of another beloved ’80s film: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The film, titled “Sam and Victor’s Day Off,” will focus on what happened to the two valet drivers who took Cameron’s dad’s Ferrari on a joy ride that day.

Chozen survives his fight with Terry, but it seemed like he was almost killed off. Did you have plans to kill any characters this season?

Josh Heald: We thought about somebody getting gravely injured when we entered Season 5. What might happen to Kreese in jail, what could happen with a Silver-Chozen clash, Silver-Daniel round 2 in the finale? We decided to take things up to the line and not cross over into people karate-murdering each other. It was something that was discussed, “Have we earned the right to enter that phase?” Ultimately it felt like, for this season, it pushed things past the point of no-return, where it’s hard to imagine remaining invested in other elements of the story. That might’ve taken on too much of an aftermath role.

Will Kreese be the main villain in Season 6 after his prison escape?

Hayden Schlossberg: We liked the idea that for a lot of the characters it feels like, “We did it. It’s over. Cobra Kai is done.” Meanwhile, there’s the ultimate Cobra Kai snake out there that is really pissed off at everybody right now. We’ll see if life goes on easy in Season 6, or if Kreese has something to say. Something tells me that it’s going to be the latter.

Are you already preparing for Season 6? How much more story is there to tell?

Jon Hurwitz: We have more story to tell; we’re still figuring out the specifics of that. We’re in the midst of filming another series that we created and are showrunning called “Obliterated” for Netflix, which is another passion project of ours. The three of us have been friends since we were teenagers. When we’re making a show, we live together because it’s just easier to keep working at night. After a long day shooting “Obliterated,” the talk turns to “Cobra Kai” very frequently. There’s plenty in store, lots of thoughts going forward. There’s a lot we want to do with these characters and we’re giddy about that next step.

Will Johnny train his baby in karate?

Heald: We’ll have to see; that’s a storyline that’s in process. We are still in 2019 in our storyline, and the seasons tend to pick up pretty close, if not immediately after, the previous season. The fact that there is a baby on the way is certainly a crucial piece of growth for Johnny Lawrence and a big evolutionary leap for his relationship with Miguel, Robby and Carmen.

Will we see this international karate tournament next season?

Schlossberg: We grew up loving the “Rocky” movies. There’s that original “Rocky” and then there’s Mr. T in “Rocky III.” Once it gets to that craziness, how do you top it? Well, you get Russia and America and Drago. All these kids are gaining in skill in terms of karate power, so you have to create a new obstacle for them to deal with. It felt like in the real world, that’s what would happen. If you’re the best around in karate, what are you going to do? Maybe there’s something beyond just your local area.

Would any of the Cobra Kai members, like Tory, Kenny, Devon or Kyler, join a different team now that Silver is gone?

Hurwitz: All these characters have learned the truth about Terry Silver, and it’s clear they don’t like who their sensei is, the dishonesty, the lack of sportsmanship. Their worlds are shook. Where do they turn? Do they continue on the path of karate? If they do try to reach out to these other dojos and get involved, will they be accepted? Season 6 and beyond, we’ll get to see that next step. Will these kids continue to find new conflict in new ways? Will there be new sources of conflict that enter their world if they’re united?

Are you approaching your “Ferris Bueller” spinoff in a similar way to making “Cobra Kai” after “Karate Kid”?

Hurwitz: We are children of the ’80s. When we talk about the seminal movie experiences of our lives, there’s a five-year period from ’83 to ’88, where a lot of those movies fall for us. “Ferris Bueller” was such a moment in our lives. We love side journeys. In “Ferris Bueller,” there’s this great wish fulfillment happening with these two valets, who take this amazing Ferrari on the ultimate joyride. We only get a couple of glimpses of them leaving, cresting a giant hill, taking the car airborne and then returning it. What’s going on in their lives? They seem to be living a very different experience than Ferris, who lives in the the ultimate suburbia. What may have led to them needing that car, wanting that car and taking it? When you begin to unravel all the threads, it sparked a lot of ideas. We’re excited to tell a very different story that takes place in Chicago on that day that’s not trying to retread “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” It is only trying to add to it; we’re not trying to shove nostalgia down anyone’s throats. We love and respect movies that everyone talks about being untouchable, and this isn’t looking to touch or mess with “Ferris Bueller” in any way.

Heald: We’re not interested in remaking something. We love it so much, we want to explore it more. The similarity with “Cobra Kai,” it started with a point-of-view that you haven’t seen. In “Karate Kid,” what if you were in Johnny’s shoes? It makes you look back at “The Karate Kid” in a fun, different way. It keeps that movie alive in a different way. If things work out with this, it would be similar.

Do you have any ideas or any familiar faces or moments or songs that might reappear?

Hurwitz: We don’t want to spoil anything that’s going to happen, but needless to say, it’s taking place the same day as Ferris’ day off. They’re in Chicago, they’ve crossed paths on their journey. Some of the iconic set pieces or locations that we saw through Ferris’ eyes, perhaps we’ll get to see through the eyes of other characters.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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