William Zabka & The Rehabilitation Of Johnny Lawrence

Cobra Kai. (L to R) William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix

In The Karate Kid, William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence was clearly made out to be the film’s bad guy, a rival in every way to Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso. But, three decades later, when the series Cobra Kai was first pitched, the idea was to make Lawrence — although still LaRusso’s rival — a much more sympathetic character. And, as the series has progressed, we’ve even seen an unlikely friendship develop between the two characters. Speaking at a Steel City Con panel, Zabka talked about his feelings regarding the evolution of Johnny Lawrence from the Karate Kid movies to Cobra Kai. (Click on the media bar below to hear William Zabka)

 Cobra Kai is currently streaming on Netflix, and The Karate Kid is available on DVD, Blu-Ray, and most digital platforms.

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