Cobra Kai’s credits include Will Smith as an executive producer, and here’s why the movie star is involved in the Karate Kid sequel series.
Will Smith is an executive producer on Cobra Kai, and here’s why the movie star is involved with the show. The Karate Kid franchise returned a few years ago on YouTube Red with Cobra Kai. Picking up decades after the events of the original trilogy, the series saw Ralph Macchio return as Daniel LaRusso and William Zapka return as Johnny Lawrence. Their renewed feud is one of many storylines Cobra Kai follows, and the show has managed to build on what the movies started back in 1984.
Macchio and Zapka are just a few familiar faces from the Karate Kid franchise who have appeared so far, but the show itself comes from self-proclaimed super fans Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg. The three of them serve as showrunners and got the blessing from Sony and producer Jerry Weintraub to continue the franchise. But, viewers might also notice a surprising name in Cobra Kai‘s credits: Will Smith.
Smith’s involvement in Cobra Kai stems from the 2010 Karate Kid reboot starring Jackie Chan and Will’s son, Jaden Smith. Sony owned the Karate Kid franchise when the first four movies were made, but Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment acquired the rights to spearhead the reboot. Overbrook’s ownership of the franchise rights did not lapse despite never making a sequel to the reboot, so this required the studio to okay Cobra Kai. As the co-founder of the company, Smith receives an executive producer credit on the series.
Even though Will Smith’s actual involvement in Cobra Kai is limited, at best, Overbrook Entertainment did play a key role in the show moving forward. Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg revealed in an interview with Business Insider that their meeting at Overbrook was with Caleeb Pinkett, the head of creative for the studio. They said that he quickly became a fan of their pitch and helped bring the story for Cobra Kai to Sony and Weintraub to help back the idea and make it happen. Overbrook also then was involved in bringing future seasons of the show to Netflix.
Now that Cobra Kai has become much more popular thanks to Netflix, Smith can add another hit to his résumé. The show currently takes place outside of the universe where Smith’s Karate Kid reboot is believed to be set, but that could always change now. There’s even a chance that Will Smith could get more involved in the future or possibly even appear. He is no stranger to Netflix after starring in Bright, and reportedly will star in Bright 2 at some point. Smith could eventually join the cast to further boost the show’s popularity, potentially allowing Overbrook Entertainment to capitalize on some of the many Karate Kid spinoff ideas Heald, Hurwitz, and Schlossberg have for Cobra Kai.
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