Cobra Kai’s popularity has exceeded expectations thanks to its blend of nostalgia and compelling storylines that have introduced a new audience to the Karate Kid universe. The show has re-introduced a lot of characters from the original set of films during its first two seasons but they have been regulated to the familiar titles featuring Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso and Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi. After The Karate Kid Part III, Pat Morita’s Mr. Miyagi took on a new student named Julie Pierce in 1994’s THE NEXT KARATE KID. The film starred Hilary Swank, before she went on to become a two-time Oscar winner for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby. Could Swank’s Julie Pierce make an appearance on Cobra Kai? The writers have admitted that they have spoken about the prospect.
Writer Jon Hurwitz spoke with “CinemaBlend” about the possibility of Julie Pierce appearing on the show and Hurwitz admitted that they have talked about every character from the Karate Kid universe appearing, including Ms. Pierce:
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.
The “wait to find out” statement makes it seem like it has been something that may have been discussed in some detail otherwise he would’ve just said I don’t think that’s in the cards. Granted, that’s just my opinion, but if they could secure Hilary Swank for an appearance I’m sure they would try to make it happen. Julie Pierce isn’t nearly as prolific as Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso but the writers could have some fun bringing that character into the hold if done right. As far as we know, Daniel never met Julie since he doesn’t appear in The Next Karate Kid, but fans have been wondering if the fourth film is actually canon that can be used for Cobra Kai. Hurwitz continued by explaining how The Next Karate Kid relates to Cobra Kai and its value to the franchise as a whole:
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…In terms of that movie, it has its pluses and minuses. 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.
The Next Karate Kid follows Mr. Miyagi to Boston where he meets Julie Pierce, a troubled adolescent girl that he takes on as his new pupil. The film was heavily panned by critics at the time of its release, earning a very rotten 7% on Rotten Tomatoes and it was a commercial failure, grossing a mere $8.9 million. To its credit, even critics that bashed the film did praise Swank’s performance and it is still considered her break-out role before going on to much bigger projects in the future.
Would Swank return to do Cobra Kai? The series is critically acclaimed and very popular so it wouldn’t hurt her to be attached to the show. She already has been affiliated with other Netflix shows like BoJack Horseman and Away, which was canceled after only one season, but I think she would work with the streamer again given the right project. Cobra Kai could be just it.
Would YOU want to see Hilary Swank return as Julie Pierce on Cobra Kai? Season 3 of the series arrives on Netflix in January of 2021.