In a recent interview with CinemaBlend Cobra Kai creator Jon Hurwitz opened up about the possiblity of Hillary Swank’s return to Miyagi-Do Karate. “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,” says Hurwitz. “As to whether or not she’ll return to the series, that’s something you’ll just have to wait to find out.”
The really big take away from this interview isn’t just Swank’s canonicity in the franchise, but the way Cobra Kai‘s creators view the franchise as a whole. “We always say that our show takes place in the Miyagi-verse,” said Hurwitz. “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.”
Basically, it sounds like everything but the 2010 The Karate Kid remake counts in Cobra Kai. Anyone could feasibly return unless they’re Jaden Smith or Jackie Chan. Whether or not that means Hilary Swank (who has already appeared in Netflix series BoJack Horseman and Away) will return to the Miyagi-verse is unknown — but it’s possible!
Cobra Kai returns to Netflix for its third season January 2021.