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How did Smith become executive producer on Cobra Kai?



  • Cobra Kai Seasons 1 and 2 are now on Netflix and the show is growing in popularity.
  • New viewers may have noticed a familiar name in the show’s credits: Will Smith.
  • Here’s the story of how Will Smith became executive producer Cobra Kai.

    Fans either in the middle of taking off Cobra Kai Seasons 1 and 2 (now available to stream on Netflix) or already excited for Season 3 have likely noticed a familiar name in the opening credits of each episode: Hollywood superstar Will Smith. It’s fair to ask how that Men in black and Prince of Bel Air The star̵

    7;s name ended up on a series that seems pretty far from his usual wheelhouse – but the answer makes a lot of sense.

    It turns out that Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment owns the rights to the Karate kid Franchise. You may remember that in 2010 a Karate kid New start with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith (Will’s son and hip-hop artist) was released to rebuild the famous’ 80s franchise (Columbia Picutres / Sony Entertainment has owned the film rights since the original was released, but Smiths Overbrook has overseen the title since that reboot). The film was a big box-office hit ($ 359 million on a budget of just $ 40 million) and a modest critical hit (66% on Rotten Tomatoes), but a sequel never made it.

    As you said in an interview with Business Insider, Cobra Kai The co-creators Hayden Schlossberg, Jon Hurwitz and Josh Heald had to clear the rights not only with Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, but also with the estate of the late producer Jerry Weintraub and Sony themselves.

    They met with Caleeb Pinkett, Smith’s brother-in-law and head of creative at Overbrook. At first their pitch was just to have their show live in their own universe.

    “We went to this meeting thinking we’d tell him that you can still have the movie universe and if Jaden wants to do another Karate kid You can still do that with that feature, but like Marvel, there is now a TV show and movies, ”Hurwitz said.

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    To her surprise, Pinkett was immediately preoccupied with the idea and volunteered to take it to Weintraub’s estate and Sony. As the Business Insider Interview says he became a champ for the show when he put it up with higher ups.

    “He was the one who fought the battles in our meetings,” said Hurwitz.

    Hurwitz added that he believed a big reason Pinkett and Overbrook were so excited to present the show Cobra Kai, As the three co-creators envisioned, it was a different format than anyone had thought. He suspects they were thinking of another sequel to the feature film – and the idea of ​​making a TV series changed the game.

    “I had the mood that there was always talk of a sequel, but it wasn’t clear where that was,” said Schlossberg. “But television wasn’t even thought of.”

    Smith himself is a vocal supporter of the show. When season 2 kicked off on YouTube Premium in 2019, he shared a photo of a mural painted for the show on his Instagram.

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    “@cobrakaiseries just got picked up for a third season !! My team at @overbrook put their blood sweat and tears into this,” he wrote. “Many thanks to everyone who is watching and a lot of love for our @ youtube Fam., Who entrusted us with the vision. More will follow in 2020 🐍”.

    Actress Mary Mouser, who plays Samantha, the daughter of Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) on the show, says she became aware that Smith was an executive producer on the show when she saw the Instagram post above.

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    “I was just looking through Instagram and saw a picture of myself. I said, ‘Oh, this is my face on someone’s Instagram,” she said MEAWW. “I clicked it and the profile said Will Smith and I was like no way! And when I looked at it, it was like there was this huge mural his team had made and my face was on it,” explained she. “It’s like great bragging rights for a long time.”

    And so finally the way was made. Cobra Kai made it from Schlossberg, Hurwitz, and Heald’s thoughts, to Pinkett and Smith, to production, and eventually to YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red). The names of Smith and Pinkett can be seen as executive producers on every single episode, and now the show is on Netflix – gaining new fans every day.

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